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Life Story / Obituary
In the heart of Al Hoogewind, there was no greater joy than the love of family. With quiet strength, he was an encouraging and caring man, and his positive nature was always a welcome addition to any conversation. Al was a man of simple means. He never fancied the extravagant things in life, and was content in simply being a good provider for the family entrusted to his care. Always handy and willing to help others, his thoughtful and considerate demeanor was one of the many things which drew others to his side. He loved sharing a good laugh, and by way of example, he taught his children well. Deeply loved, Al will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
A time of mixed blessings in the U.S., the year 1943 was filled with the perils of war at a time when the Great Depression was officially deemed over. The Pentagon was dedicated in Arlington, Virginia, and a sense of optimism filled the air with publications such as The Saturday Evening Post and box office hits like Casablanca. Much was being done for the war effort as the nation came together during these tumultuous days of World War II. Yet for Albert and Marion (Holleman) Hoogewind, the birth of their little boy, Allen Lee Hoogewind on October 6, 1943 was indeed cause for celebration.
Born in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, young Allen was the eldest of the three Hoogewind children as he was later joined by his younger siblings, Leon and Sharon. His family made their home at 3702 Remembrance Road NW and to support their thriving household, Allen’s father worked managing the stockroom at Knape and Vogt. His mother remained at home as a homemaker. For a time she served as a crossing guard at Walker Station Elementary School, and later when Allen and his siblings were older, she took a job working at the Sweden House Restaurant.
Allen was truly a boy of his generation. He experienced the joys of childhood experiencing numerous adventures with friends, and he found his share of mischief, too! Memorable times were shared together as a family during the holidays and other special occasions. While growing up and as a young adult, Allen was a member of Remembrance Reformed Church. Not to be forgotten were the wonderful vacations spent at their cottage at Big Star Lake and boating on the river came to be cherished memories never far from his heart. During his youth Allen liked racing go-carts with friends and as a member of 4H, he often entered his horse. Having attended Walker Station Elementary School, Allen went on to Union High School. Always one for fast cars, as a young adult he rolled his prized Corvette while drag racing, landing in the ditch in front of his parent's home. So typical of Al, he climbed out of his car actually laughing!
In the late 1950s, Al enlisted to serve with the Army National Guard. He was called to active duty for the horrific riots that took place in Detroit, and later finished his remaining years with the Reserves. He served eight years total and had completed boot camp at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri where he received a shooting medal as an expert sharp shooter on an M1 rifle. Al was a proud member of the American Legion Post #28.
When Al met Mary Reyers, his heart was never quite the same. He had a friend call Mary to meet him at Bob’s Burger Master on Remembrance Road which was only the beginning of a lifelong love the two shared in kind. Mary was in the tenth grade, and after dating for nearly seven years, the two were happily married at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church on September 26, 1969 before a congregation of family and friends. The couple honeymooned in Carmel, California before making their way to the Grand Canyon. They began their new life together as husband and wife in a rented duplex on Ironwood Drive in Marne where they lived for the first nine months before moving to 534 Kinney NW. Before long they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Ellen in 1971. In 1974, their son, Brett completed their family.
Al was a wonderful husband, father and provider. His children attended Kenowa Hills schools where he was active in the Kenowa Hills Hockey Boosters. As a family they shared great times on family trips to Mackinac Island, trips to Montana and for 24 years they regularly spent time at Marco Island, Florida. Al's love for his family was evident in all he said and did. He was a good parent, and always placed his family first as a priority.
Never one to enjoy cooking, as a young adult, Al liked Big Boy and Bud’s Hamburgers. Later he became fond of Finger’s Restaurant and Turk’s Inn. He especially liked ribs, chicken wings and chicken tenders. Al was also a fan of NASCAR and drag racing. He enjoyed hockey, shooting and golf, and at one point he even shot a hole-in-one at the Elk’s Country Club. As a father and grandpa, he loved anything his kids and grandkids were involved in. Al could fix anything. He was highly skilled in electrical, mechanical and engines. True to his giving nature, he was always willing to lend a helping hand with a project. And generally, he had it done and completed before others were even ready to start!
When it came to music, Al liked the Beach Boys and the oldies in general. And of course, Ronny and the Daytona’s, “Little GTO” was his favorite. Al’s most treasured possessions as a young man was his ‘64 GTO and the Corvette he flipped. His passion for fast cars continued well into his adult years. In fact, he was often sought out by people challenging him to drag against them with his GTO. As the years went on, Al took pride in his yard and things from his grandkids.
In his early working career, Al worked at the Rose Patch and Label Company for a time and at the age of 21 he took a job with Schindler Elevator Company. Beginning as a helper, he worked his way up the ladder through the years. All in all, he remained in the elevator business for 36 years before retiring from Montgomery-Kone Elevator. Yet always with the need to keep himself busy, fate opened up the opportunity for Al to become an elevator inspector for the State of Michigan, and he did so for the following 16 years. Often described as a happy, often laughing and teasing individual, it brought Al great joy to bring laughter to someone’s day, and there there remained in him a mischievous flare. Content with a simple life, he was far from materialistic. Aside from being with his family, there was no greater place for Al to be than working in his yard. A man of integrity, honor and pride for his family, Al will be deeply missed.
Allen L. Hoogewind, age 73, died unexpectedly on July 27 while working in his happy place, his yard on Spring Lake. Al is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Mary; children, Ellen (Richard) Kelley and their children, Dustin and Adrianna “Flower”, and Brett (Heather) Hoogewind and their children, McKenna and Mya. Also surviving is brother, Leon “Henry” (Val) Hoogewind; sister, Sharon, (Dave) Klenk; brothers-in-law, Ken (Maryann) Reyers and Ron (Sue) Reyers; and sister-in-law, Betty Kelley. Allen will be remembered as an easy going, hard-working man who always had time to help others. He enjoyed his trips to Marco Island and Montana. Allen worked in the Elevator Industry as a technician for 36 years and then as an inspector for 16 years. The Funeral Service will be held at 3 PM on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 1-3 PM at the funeral home. Contributions in his memory may be made to American Legion Post #28. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read his lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.