David Peterson

December 18, 1936 - July 8, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Sunday, July 10, 2016
3:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions


Monday, July 11, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Standale Reformed Church
202 Cummings NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534

Visitation will also be held at the church from 10 AM until 10:45 AM



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


When reflecting on the life of David Peterson, it is easy to see that he was all about family and faith. He and his wife exemplified what marriage is truly intended to be as they were soul mates, true companions, and best friends who lived to serve one another. Dave’s selfless spirit extended far beyond his family as he served in several ways within his church as well. A devoted father, he was thrilled to become a grandfather, and his grandchildren were his greatest source of pride and joy. A prayer warrior, Dave’s family and friends found such comfort in knowing that he was a praying man who covered his list of loved ones daily. Life will never be the same without Dave here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will carry on in his footsteps.

The 1930s were primarily defined by the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and countless American families lost their homes. Despite the trials around them, George and Joanne Peterson were filled with unspeakable joy as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named David R. on December 18, 1936, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was the older of two children to be raised in the family home on Hillcrest, NW, as he was 10 years older than his sister, Barbara. Dave was raised in a loving home that always had dogs as additional family members. As a student Dave attended West Side Christian School, then Grand Rapids Christian High, and finally graduated from Union High School. He also worked in a soda shop. As a young man Dave enlisted in the Army and served as a unit police while stationed in France. Dave spent three years in the Army, truly enjoying his time there, and he was then in the Army Reserves.

With his military duties fulfilled, Dave returned home and soon experienced some great excitement as he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Marjorie Koenes, and they met through some mutual friends in January. Their love quickly grew, and Dave married his sweetheart on September 25, 1959, which was the same year they met. They remained so in love for the rest of their lives, and it was easy to see. Dave and his wife always thought of one another first and foremost, and they were affectionate as well. They would eventually build their home at 0-192 Leonard Street where they raised their two children, David and Denise. To support his family Dave spent 38 years working at Purity Cylinder Gases, starting out as a delivery driver and later working his way into customer service and eventually management. He later managed the Kalamazoo location, and they moved there as well.

Family was always of great significance in Dave’s life. He was active in the lives of his children and was always there for their activities including David’s sporting events. David could always hear his Dad’s voice cheering him on. Father and son also enjoyed hunting small game like rabbits and pheasants together, often taking along a hound to help. Snowmobiling was also something they enjoyed together. For years the family enjoyed many camping vacations, primarily in the Upper Peninsula where Dave loved fishing and swimming with the kids. They did make a few trips out West as a family as well. At first the family camped in a tent, but they later got a trailer. Dave and and Marjorie eventually bought a place on Long Lake near Fremont that became their weekend getaway and the place where many family gatherings were held. Over the years they made some amazing memories with their grandchildren there. Dave and Marjorie had that summer home until about 12 years ago when he bought a place in Sandy Pines, which then became the new family gathering place.

As his family grew, Dave was thrilled. Getting together with family was always a priority even though some lived a few hours away. They still gathered for memorable birthday celebrations as well as vacations in the summer. It was tradition that Dave brought his famous spaghetti to family gatherings, which they greatly appreciated. It has been said that he was the best grandpa ever, and Dave’s grandchildren were his priceless treasure. They all have their own precious memories of special things he did for them, even if it was just playing with them. Each of Dave’s grandchildren felt individually loved, and they also knew that he prayed for them faithfully as well. After retiring, they moved from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids, and they also found a home in Mesa, Arizona, where they spent several months each winter. They had many friends there as Marjorie was very social, and although Dave was more reserved he could talk with those he felt comfortable with.

Throughout his life Dave was always busy. He was an avid University of Michigan fan, and much of his time was spent working in his big garden as he was very meticulous in caring for it. Dave also kept busy around the house as it was customary for him to get home from work, read the paper, watch the news, and then putter around doing something. Dave and Marjorie were active members of their churches as he served as a deacon, and they also had many friends who were from church. In their later years Dave tenderly cared for Marjorie as her health declined, and he also learned to take to all the household duties. Because of his sacrifice, she was able to remain in their home until right before her death two years ago. Although the days were difficult, Dave found strength in his faith and the love of his family. He remained involved in the lives of his family, and he even learned to text so he could easily stay in touch.

Along his life's journey, David Peterson lived to serve his Lord and Savior. He loved others deeply and without condition, and his devotion to his loved ones was unmatched. A prayer warrior, Dave knew he had immense power on his knees. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.

David R. Peterson, age 79 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, July 8, 2016 where he was reunited with his beloved wife, Marjorie, who died in 2014. Dave is survived by his children David and Karen Peterson, Denise and Earl Przybylski; grandchildren, Danielle, Jordan and Kelsey Peterson, Joy and Matthew Przybylski; sister, Barbara and Leonard Weller; sister-in-law and brother-in-laws Dena and Jack Teitsma, Robert VanderPloeg; and several nieces and nephews. The service to celebrate Dave's life will be held on Monday, July 11, 2016 at 11 AM at Standale Reformed Church, 202 Cummings NW. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with his family on Sunday from 3-7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW and again at the church on Monday from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Standale Reformed Church are appreciated. To read more about David's life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com