Charles A. Westra

May 6, 1928 - October 14, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Thursday, October 20, 2016
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EDT
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Services


Thursday, October 20, 2016
2:00 PM EDT
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Web Site

Contributions


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Christian Rest Home
1000 Edison Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49502
(616) 453-2475
Driving Directions
Web Site

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Charles A. Westra lived each day with purpose while holding his loved ones near.

Because of neutrality during WWI, the Netherlands wasn’t plagued with war debts, but they also didn’t experience the depth of the economic boom that America did during the Roaring Twenties. It was during this transitional time between the wars that Age and Alice Westra were blessed with the birth of the baby boy they named Charles A. on May 6, 1928, in Gaast, Friesland, the Netherlands. When he was two, he and his family immigrated to Pella, Iowa. Charles was one of five children as he was joined in his family by his siblings, Wilbur, Frank, Wessell, and Jeanette. His father ran a farm where Charles lived and had daily chores, and he attended a one-room schoolhouse. Toward the end of the war, Charles joined the Army to serve his country serving in France. Following boot camp, Charles met the love of his life. She was a young girl from Grand Rapids, Michigan, named Mary Hager, and she had been pen pals with his cousin Gret, Following the war Charles worked on the farm.

It wasn’t long after meeting that they fell deeply in love. Charles moved to Grand Rapids to marry Mary in an intimate home wedding ceremony on June 16, 1955. The couple had three children, Thomas, Richard, and Susan, and they made their home on Sunset Hills, NW. They later moved to Kinney Avenue, NW and lastly moved to a home on Conastoga Court, NW.

Throughout his life Charles worked hard in everything he did. He served in the Korean Conflict for a time. He started his career at Michigan National Bank as a teller, and he later took a job at Old Kent Bank where he worked as a machine repairman taking care of things like manual teller machines, typewriters and coin wrappers. . Charles remained there until he retired. He loved tinkering with small engines, and over the years he fixed many lawnmowers, snowblowers, trimmers, and tillers.

Very active, Charles was a man of many interests. He loved taking walks, reading the newspaper and Readers Digest, and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday he had coffee with his buddies at Sandy’s Donut Shop on Leonard. Charles was a meat and potatoes kind of guy who loved his deserts as well as Werther’s Original Candies and Steenstra Cookies. He sometimes had Irish Coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream. He and Mary traveled to many places throughout the United States and Europe, and he looked forward to visits with his grandchildren.

Later on, Mary suffered with osteoporosis and kidney disease. Charles tenderly cared for her, and on January 30, 2003, he was deeply saddened with her death. However, his strong faith and loving family supported Charles through this difficult time. As he got older and needed more care, his grandson, David, moved in with him.

All who knew Charles Westra would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He lived a full and active life filled with love for his family, his work, and his Lord. He will be forever missed.

Charles A Westra, aged 88 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Christian Rest Home. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary R. Westra; his siblings, Wilbur (Josephine) Westra, Frank (Greta) Westra, Wessell (Willena) Westra. He is survived by his children, Thomas (Sue) Westra, Richard Westra (Conrad Anaya), Susan (Ron) Griffin; his grandchildren, Sarah Westra, Jenna Westra, Justin Westra, David Westra, Mary Rose Griffin, Eric Griffin, Stephenie Griffin; his sister, Jeannette Roose; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Larry (Jane) Hager, Nancy Deters, David (Dorothy) Hager, Patricia Hoolsema; many nieces, nephews and friends. Charles honorably served his country in the US Army during both World War II and Korean Wars. He retired from Old Kent Bank. He was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and a friend to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. A service to celebrate Charles' life will be held on Thursday, October 20 at 2:00 pm at Westend Christian Reformed Church, 1015 Westend Ave. NW, with visitation at the church on Thursday from 1:00 PM until the service begins at 2:00 pm. Contributions in his memory may be made to Christian Rest Home Foundation. To read more about Charles' Life, to leave your own memory of him, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com

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