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Franklin Dieleman

April 8, 1929 - April 25, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitations


Saturday, April 29, 2017
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church
2100 Chelsea NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Map

Services


Saturday, April 29, 2017
12:00 PM EDT
Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church
2100 Chelsea NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Map

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.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Memorial Fund at Beckwith Hills CRC
2100 Chelsea NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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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He loved the Lord and modeled his faith every day of his life. He was consistent in all things and never waivered in difficult circumstances. A true and genuine family man, one of deep religious faith, determination and of admirable integrity, Franklin E. Dieleman leaves behind a lasting legacy.

The year of 1929 had notable highs and lows. The most historic event of the year was the rise and fall of the stock market. The Wall Street Stock Market reached its peak creating an economic boom. Soon though, the market began to fluctuate and eventually crashed. This crash caused the United States to join the rest of the world in The Great Depression. Remarkably, this is also when the country hit a new population mark of 120 million people. Not all was bad though, in fact, many exciting events still raged on. Charles Lindberg flew 3,400 miles from Detroit to Cape Horn, and many people heard about this amazing news on their car radios first introduced in this year by Motorola. Americans were also entertained by the first Academy Awards. Closer to home, Frank and Marie (VanZytveld) Dieleman were preparing to meet their first sweet baby. Their son, Franklin, was welcomed to the world on April 8, 1929, in the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Before too long, Franklin was joined by a little sister named Charlotte. The family grew together on the NE side of the city in a home on Marietta Street. Growing up, Franklin and Charlotte shared many happy times together, and Charlotte credits her big brother with never saying an unkind word to her (that she remembers. . .)! Franklin's faith and values in life were instilled early on and never dissolved. The Dieleman's were members of the Coldbrook Christian Reformed Church. Similar values were sought in Franklin's choice of schooling as well; he attended Creston Christian and Grand Rapids Christian High School. One of his passions as a youngster was his love for music. He played the piano and dabbled at the accordion as well.

As life's adventure continued, and Franklin matured, he found the art of love - literally. His art teacher requested that a girl by the name of Helen Johnson be the subject for the class's drawing. Franklin had the pleasure of staring at her for the entire period. Upon dismissal, he asked her out immediately. From that moment on, the two felt a spark that would not extinguish. After a couple of years and lots of romantic courting, the happy couple rang wedding bells on June 28, 1949.

The newlyweds settled into married life living in an apartment on Marietta Street above his grandparent's home. They stayed in the home long enough to celebrate the births of two children. They quickly came to the realization that they needed more space, so they moved to a house on Emerald Street just a few blocks down the road. This is where they planted more permanent roots and also added three more children to make the family complete.

To support the growing family, Frank worked at Old Kent Bank as a teller (this is also where his father worked). Proving his loyalty, he stayed with the same company in different roles for 46 years! He eventually became a branch manager spending many years in the downtown office. He had the honor of opening several branches throughout the city over the years. Like his father, this job suited him well. He enjoyed helping people, working with customers, and engaging with others in a meaningful way. He valued the relationships at work with both his coworkers and the customers.

Franklin was a caring father. He was known to be the peacemaker, for he was not fond of conflict. He never ruled with a firm hand, but instead, his children knew that disappointing him was the harshest punishment of all. He was the father always playing with the kids at the park, on the softball fields or tennis courts, or much of the time right in the family's front yard; he adored his children and spent time playing in the same dirt throughout the years. The neighborhood children were drawn to him as well because they knew he was not afraid to get right into the fun with all of them.

After 68 years of marriage, Helen's heart swells with all the memories of her loving husband. They loved one another deeply, and their marriage was a model for their children and grandchildren - proving to be a wonderful gift for the entire family. Through his actions and words, Frank taught their children to respect their mother. Their home kept the peace by following order built on routine.

As a family, the Dieleman's enjoyed some summer travels throughout the state of Michigan as they rented trailers. When the family matured a bit, they also traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for spring break. Frank and his family especially enjoyed the hikes in the mountains. And though Frank did not consider himself a handy man, he did finish their home's basement providing a great play space for their children. He endured this project despite his dislike for the three P's: painting, plaster, and plumbing, but he did it for the one 'P' he liked: playing!

Before his children were grown, he was often found volunteering his time. He served on several boards including Creston Christian School, Christian High School, Christian School Association, Christian Rest Home, Consistory at church, serving as a deacon and elder, and Kiwanis.

When his children started to find adult lives and love of their own, Helen and Frank had more time to spend together doing different activities. A particular moment spent out on a lake with some friends one summer gave Frank a new perspective on enjoying the water on a pontoon boat. Soon after, he purchased a Slickcraft and trailered it all over the state. He would take anyone along if given the chance, as he loved being out on the water. He took all sorts of trips; destinations included Mackinac Island and lakes closer to home. All this time spent on the water and Frank never did learn how to swim!

When Frank found moments of solitude to enjoy, he enjoyed keeping his mind actively engaged with Sudoku puzzles. Though he was actually quite a social person who was well liked, he did not have a great deal of alone time. He preferred to enjoy time with his friends by going out to dinner or playing cards. He continued his love for music while participating in the church choir for many years; he stayed with the same church his entire life. For many years, his Saturday morning routine consisted of enjoying breakfast at Russ'. Family knew where to find him on this day, so others would often gather to meet him there.

A remarkable and lasting gift was found in Frank's role as "funny grandpa!" Helen and Frank joyfully watched as one by one grandchildren blessed their lives. Frank loved spending time with them. He would get on the floor and play with them - never to be remembered as the grandpa who sat in the chair and watched from afar. He was always active and playing with them - just as he did with his own children years ago. He was extremely supportive and genuinely interested in their lives.

Near the end of 2016, it was clear that something was not quite right with Frank's health. It took some time to find the cause, but eventually, he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease. Being the ever positive person, he fought with all his strength and remained concerned about others in his life. With a life built on a firm foundation of faith and trust in his Savior, Franklin's battle became too difficult. Sadly, he passed away on April 25, 2017 with his loving family surrounding him. We will hold the memories we shared with Frank close to our hearts, and he will be greatly missed.

Franklin E. Dieleman, age 88 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on April 25, 2017. Frank is survived by his wife of 68 years, Helen; children James, Bruce & Jan, Mary Jo & Gary Berkenpas, Calvin & Michelle, Paul & Kathie; grandchildren Andy & Karla, Lindsay & Don Zomberg, Nick & Bethany, Ross & Rachel, Steve & Lisa Dyk, Amy Dyk, Kathryn Carl, Caleb, Calee, Madison, Allison, Evan and Adam; 15 great grandchildren; sister, Charlotte & Jim Pyp; sisters-in-law Gloria & Hank VanderVelde, Joanne Johnson; and several nieces and nephews. The funeral service for Frank will be held on Saturday, April 29 at 12 Noon at Beckwith Hills Christian Reformed Church, 2100 Chelsea Road NE where friends are invited to visit with his family from 10 - 11:45 AM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either the Memorial Fund at Beckwith Hills CRC or Faith Hospice are appreciated. To read more about Frank's life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com

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