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.
West Side Christian School Education Foundation
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund
2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Clarence Edward "Bud" Stehouwer was peacefully called to his eternal home by his Lord Jesus Christ on Wednesday evening, August 31. He was 98 years old.
On Sunday, August 21, Bud and his wife Eileen (VanHouten) Stehouwer celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary with family and friends with an open house. They were married on August 22, 1941, and deeply loved each other for every day of their long life together.
Bud was born in Grand Rapids in 1918, the ninth and last child born to Cornelius and Helena Stehouwer. He attended West Side Christian School, where one day he would serve on their board, and Grand Rapids Christian High School. Following graduation, he followed his father’s occupation in retail food sales through employment with Shedd-Bartush Foods. He served his country as a combat medic in the 291st Infantry, 75th Division, 9th Army in Europe, where he cared for the wounded in the Battle of the Bulge and the Colmar Pocket campaigns. To this day, he is known as “Doc” by those he served with in battle.
Following his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Bud resumed his position with Shedd-Bartush as a district manager until he opened his own food brokerage firm, C.E. Stehouwer Company, in 1968. He retired in 1986 after building a reputation for integrity, leadership, and reliability in the industry, having not only led his own successful business, but also contributing his leadership skills to various trade organizations.
His faith, Christian service, and sharing were important to Bud throughout his life. He helped to found Highland Hills Christian Reformed Church (now Westend CRC) and served as deacon and elder. He worked tirelessly in support of Christian education and mission outreach.
During their long retirement together, Bud and Eileen were happiest when spending time with lifelong friends, not only here at home but traveling around the world as a group. Following heart bypass surgery, Bud followed his doctor’s advice and began an active lifestyle, walking, playing tennis, then moving to golf, and bike riding. Even in his 80’s he traveled twice to The Netherlands to bike the countryside with his buddies.
In addition to his wife Eileen, Bud is survived by his daughter-in-law Marianne (Mulder) Stehouwer, Jean (Stehouwer) and Bob Freye of North Muskegon, Mary (Stehouwer) and Phil VanderMeer of Mesa, Arizona, Tom and Joyce (Hoekstra) Stehouwer of Grand Rapids, ten grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. Bud was preceded in death by his oldest son Charles Stehouwer.
Eileen and her family will greet friends at Heritage Alt & Shawmut Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids on Tuesday, September 6, 2:00-4:00pm and 6:00-8:00pm, and one hour prior to the memorial service scheduled there for Wednesday, September 7 at 1:00pm.
Memorial contributions may be made to West Side Christian School Education Foundation and to the Benevolence Fund of Covenant Village of the Great Lakes.