Frederick W. Hiemstra

February 13, 1938 - March 21, 2015
Vicksburg, MI



Wednesday, March 25, 2015
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Vicksburg Location
409 South Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697
Driving Directions


Saturday, March 28, 2015
1:00 PM EDT
Portage Eagles Aerie 3531
11611 South Shaver Road
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-4088

Memorial Gathering in Fred's memory or in Fred's words his "After Party".


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.

Rose Arbor Hospice
5473 Croyden Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49006
(269) 345-8910
Driving Directions
Web Site

Charity of Your Choice - c/o Life Story Funeral Homes
409 S. Main Street
Vicksburg, MI 49097
(269) 649-1697


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

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Polderman's Florist & Garden Center
8710 Portage Road
Portage, MI 49002
(269) 327-3656
Driving Directions

Life Story / Obituary


Although he could appear a bit rough on the outside, Frederick Hiemstra had a heart of gold that was easy to see after only a few minutes of being around him. He was a longtime resident of the Vicksburg community where he was the sort of person who seemed to know everyone as the years went by. Fred was never one to worry about what he had, rather, he focused on how he could give of his time and talents to all who were within his reach. A loving father, he witnessed his family tree blossom to include the children and grandchildren he treasured. With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Fred created a priceless collection of memories that will be forever cherished in the hearts of the friends and loved ones he leaves behind.

The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, which drove the unemployment rate to over 25 percent leaving cities, communities, and families to come together to weather the storm in whatever way they could. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to bring hope to the nation, providing what he called “immediate relief” during the first 100 days of his presidency running from March 9th through June 16th in 1933. It was as we were beginning to see recovery on the horizon that William and Lula (Geiger) Hiemstra were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as winter held the city of Vicksburg, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1938. The big day finally arrived on February 13th when the baby boy they named Frederick William drew his first breath. He was one of seven children in his family and was raised in the family home in Vicksburg alongside his siblings, Red, Margaret, Ellie, Robert, Ron and Mary Ann.

In many ways Fred was a young boy of his generation. He attended local schools including schools in Vicksburg where he was #87 on their football team, played basketball and also ran track. During his tenth grade year, Fred’s family purchased a farm in Onaway where he completed his high school education.

As a young man Fred was eager for all that life had in store. He spent a few years working at Ekrich, and in 1962 he moved back to Vicksburg where he purchased the Shell Gas Station. There, Fred owned and operated the business in addition to working as a mechanic. After 40 years he moved his mechanic work home. During this time Fred also raised his three children Scott, Brad, and Jayma.

Even though his work kept him busy, Fred did participate within his community in numerous ways. He was an avid bowler whose life was forever changed when he noticed a gal named Linda Radloff while bowling one evening. He couldn’t take his eyes off her, and the rest is history as they say. Fred and Linda spent the 25 years that followed together. For years Fred was on the Vicksburg Fire Department, even serving as captain for quite some time. In addition, he sat on the village council and was active with the Vicksburg Jaycees. As a local businessman, he met so many people and made numerous friends. Thursday night found Fred playing cards for years. Always looking for a treasure, he loved collecting antiques and going to auctions.

An outdoorsman through and through, Fred enjoyed various outdoor activities. He loved hunting and fishing, which took him up to Baldwin, and he also went to Montana to hunt and into Canada to fish. Like many hunters, Fred had several German Shorthaired Pointers over the years, but his favorite was Scott’s dog, Addy. He enjoyed traveling the back roads looking for deer and a cold beer as he loved finding an old tavern to stop at for a drink. During the winter, Fred enjoyed snowmobiling.

All who knew Fred Hiemstra would agree that he was one of the nicest guys around. He was more than willing to work hard, yet he took the time to enjoy life along the way, too, making memories with the ones he loved most. Fred treated others with respect, compassion, and unconditional acceptance and he had a special place in his heart for children and the elderly, too. An extraordinary man to know and love, he will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

Fred Hiemstra, of Vicksburg, died March 21, 2015, at Rose Arbor Hospice. Fred’s family includes his long time companion, Linda Radloff; his children, Scott Hiemstra, Brad (Colleen) Hiemstra and Jayma (Eric) Teutsch; his grandchildren Jessica & Jennifer Hiemstra, Darren Hiemstra, Maggie & Alex Teutsch and Lauren & Bailie Lash; his brothers Robert “Dutch” Hiemstra and Ron (Cathy) Balch, his sister Mary Ann Hankes as well as many other relatives. Fred was preceded in death by his parents; brother; Red Balch; and his sisters, Margaret Novess and Ellie Balch. Visit with Fred’s family on Wednesday from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Vicksburg; 409 S. Main Street (649-1697). There will also be a memorial gathering or in Fred’s words an “After Party” on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at the Portage Eagles Aerie 3431; 11611 Shaver Road, Schoolcraft. Visit Fred’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory and sign his guest book. Memorial donations may be made to Rose Arbor Hospice or to a charity of your choice.