Wednesday, November 15, 2017
11:00 AM EST
Standale Reformed Church
202 Cummings NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
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.
Dan Beyerlein Memorial Fund
2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Fearless, competitive, and passionate, Daniel Mark Beyerlein lived his life with a deep devotion to family. Perpetually in motion, Dan was a man of action whose independent and playful nature both blessed and challenged him. With an innate need for adventure, Dan embraced every moment and lived each day fully. Dan's unwavering love for his family, an undauntable spirit, and undeniable call to serve others inspired others in countless ways. Though our time with Dan was far too short, the power of his spirit will always fuel our hearts and lives.
1987 proved a year of high drama. The nation was captivated by the Iran-Contra Scandal, the stock market crashed on Black Monday, and President Reagan spoke his famous words in Berlin, Germany: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” Aretha Franklin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Bon Jovi had us Living on a Prayer, and Moonstruck roused our laughter and hope for a brighter future. Nowhere was their more hope than in West Michigan as Mark and Ruth (Holwerda) Beyerlein welcomed their son Daniel into their hearts and home on May 31st.
With three older brothers and a younger sister, Dan quickly learned the power of motion and the value of a voice that commanded attention. Naturally impatient and driven by an unstoppable inner motor, from the start Dan was always on the move. While pursuing his older brothers, Dan developed a fierce sense of competitiveness. Being the youngest of the boys only inspired his need to prove that he could keep up and even outdo them on occasion. Dan possessed a strong will and spent a good deal of time proving himself and asserting himself by doing things his way. Those who knew him best will attest to the fact that Dan often resisted being told how to do things. His natural response to direction was to try his hardest to make it work another way, and ultimately, to prove he was right. As a child, Dan also loved to be outside, actively seeking challenges like speeding down hills and jumping over just about anything on his bike. He only had one speed: FAST! When not pushing the limits outdoors, Dan easily entertained himself by masterfully creating epic builds with Legos.
The Beyerlein Family rooted itself in a firm foundation of faith as longtime members of Standale Reformed Church. The family also enjoyed camping throughout Michigan. They had the good fortune of taking a trip out east and another out west. Though Dan wasn't the first to feel eager to go on any family outing, he always had fun once actually in the moment.
Dan attended Grandville Christian School, then Grandville Middle School and High School. During high school, he enjoyed playing Bulldog tennis as well as a year of football. During his senior year in high school, Dan enlisted in the Navy.
Shortly before Dan’s departure for training that summer, tragedy struck when his older brother Matthew was killed in an auto accident while serving in the Army. Despite the heavy cloud of loss, Dan felt determined to serve and left for the Great Lakes Naval Station that summer. Within a month of beginning his training in Gulfport, Mississippi, Hurricane Katrina engulfed Gulfport and Dan was forced to move to California.
Following his training, when not deployed, Dan spent most of his enlisted time on base at Gulfport. He proudly served in the Seabees working as a construction welder for the Navy. Dan enjoyed his service and thrilled in being able to travel to Africa, Guam, New Guinea, Micronesia. Dan was especially proud of being honorably selected to serve for six months on the Mercy Ship; The humanitarian aid tour offered Dan the opportunity to be a part of building schools, medical facilities, and providing other essential resources for people in need.
During his time in the service, Dan created several important relationships. The first was with his buddy Ryan who would become a lifelong friend. He also met and married Candice Staten. Though he and Candice’s marriage did not last long, the relationship gifted Dan with the blessing of his daughter Laityn Alivia. Dan relished in fatherhood and enjoyed any chance to spend time with her. Every day spent with Laityn was a holiday, and Dan never let distance nor time threaten his love for her.
After suffering a serious back injury, Dan was honorably discharged from the Navy. Returning home to Grand Rapids, Dan found work in construction for a time. Eventually, he found a job welding for Genzink Steel. As a way of supporting his spine health, Dan also began a faithful workout routine. What started out as a measure of prevention quickly became a pleasure, and Dan became a regular at Walker Fitness Center. In spite of his continued consumption of Doritos, Oreos, red meat, and venison, Dan’s commitment to his workouts afforded him a high quality of life.
During a fateful evening of bowling, Hillary Ruiter caught his eye. Instantly smitten and with singular focus Dan introduced himself. Having proved he was willing to be persistent and having appeared honest, Hillary gave him her phone number. Soon they enjoyed a first date that included dinner, a movie, and bowling.
Easily recognizing their hearts were destined for each other, Dan and Hillary married on June 3, 2016, at Standale Reformed Church. The happy couple honeymooned up north in Traverse City and Sleeping Bear Dunes--two places that would become favorites for them.
With a desire to grow himself professionally, despite very much liking his job at Genzink, Dan decided to pursue a new opportunity. Accepting his buddy Ryan’s offer, Dan moved to North Carolina to work with Ryan as a supervisor. Dan quickly confronted the reality that civilian rules were dramatically different from the rules in military leadership, and it took a bit of time for him to learn to manage people effectively. Though patience was not one of his virtues, Dan was also never one to run from a challenge. He leaned into the learning curve and over time, his management skills grew. He even became quite a prankster with some of his coworkers.
After spending a bit of time settling into the new job, Hillary joined Dan, and they soon welcomed their son, Liam, into their fold. Once again, Dan embraced fatherhood with relish. He prided himself on being the fun parent and enjoyed nothing more than playing with his son.
Rarely content with sitting still, or keeping quiet, Dan much preferred sharing the good company of his family and friends and actually doing something! Dan treasured returning to Michigan to spend time with his parents and siblings at Sand Lake, reminiscing childhood adventures while simultaneously creating new memories. Whether watching Michigan football with a friend, throwing a strike at the local alley or swinging a golf club, Dan felt most alive while in action and with his people.
On Friday evening, November 3, Dan was involved in a traffic accident in Winston Salem, NC and suffered severe injuries. Over the course of the next few days, it became clear that he would not recover. Plans were made for organ donation, and his family gathered. While enveloped in his family's love, Dan’s life ended.
Without a doubt, the world is uncomfortably quiet in the absence of Dan’s booming voice and vibrant spirit. While it is beyond words to imagine life without Dan's steadfast presence, may we find comfort in our many memories of the man we were privileged to know. As we reminisce about his insistence on doing things his own way, we will also remember his unwavering devotion and love for his family and country he so proudly served.
Daniel M. Beyerlein, age 30 of Winston-Salem, NC, and formerly of Walker, passed away from accidental injuries on November 7, 2017. He was preceded in death by his brother, Matthew Beyerlein; grandparents George & Marlene Holwerda, and Jim Schaafsma. Dan is survived by his wife, Hillary; children Laityn Beyerlein and Liam Beyerlein; parents, Mark & Ruth Beyerlein, father-in-law Jon & Becky Ruiter; mother-in-law Judy Ruiter; brothers and sister Ben & Lindsay Beyerlein, Adam Beyerlein, Elizabeth & Brock Ward; brother-in-law Brock Ruiter; grandparents Bob & Betty Sheridan; grandparents-in-law Don & Carol Brockman, Jon & Jane Ruiter, Sharron Schaafsma; as well as many aunts and uncles, and numerous cousins. Dan proudly served in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee. The service to remember and celebrate his life will be held on Wednesday, November 15 at 11 AM at Standale Reformed Church. Friends are invited to visit with his family on Tuesday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel. For those who wish, memorial contributions can be made to assist his family at the funeral home or at www.danmemorialfund.com. To read more about Dan's life, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com.