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Jim Hoogewind

November 23, 1920 - September 24, 2015
Grand Rapids,, MI

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Life Story / Obituary


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The heart of Jim Hoogewind was centered on his love of the Lord and the family entrusted to his care. Jim lived a life of service, and shared God’s word at every opportunity. He was a man of vision with a positive perspective, taking nothing for granted as he considered himself blessed beyond compare. In all ways he trusted his Lord and with unending prayer, he lived his life as a faithful follower of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The 1920s was an era of dramatic social and political change. More Americans lived in cities than on farms, and the nation’s total wealth more than doubled. With much taking place by way of technology and advancement, the year 1920 found women winning the right to vote and the introduction of prohibition. The Ford Model T was the shape of things to come for the auto industry, while small pox was a concern for many. Known as the Roaring Twenties, a sense of gaiety filled the air during this time of great transition, although many continued to stand firm in their faith and convictions. Nestled on their rural family farm in the small village of New Era, Michigan, Lucas and Dena (Groenink) Hoogewind found much to be thankful for on November 23, 1920 when they welcomed the birth of their son, James into their arms.

The sixth of eventually eight children, Jim remained close to his siblings all their lives through while enjoying many years of family fellowship. His father was a hard working farmer and from a young age, Jim learned the value of a strong work ethic. His mother was a dedicated homemaker who made a good, loving and faith filled home for her family. Shortly following Jim’s birth, his family moved to the Tallmadge Township area of Michigan just west of the Grand Rapids where they shared a close bond and enjoyed treasured times together, particularly during the holidays.

At the age of ten, Jim suffered from a severe case of pneumonia and nearly died. Although later he had aspirations of joining the U.S. Air Force during World War II, this factor subsequently deemed him unable to do so. Like many young boys, Jim enjoyed a childhood typical of his generation. He attended elementary school, yet the looming effects of the Great Depression ended his formal education at the 9th grade, forcing Jim to find work. Commonplace for young people during these times of economic struggle, Jim began working for a stores fixtures factory in Grand Rapids, and for Chris-Craft trimming boats in nearby Holland.

Jim developed quite a skill in boxing in his younger years and continued to enjoy doing so for a time on Saturday nights. However, at the age of 19, life as Jim knew it forever changed when he met Beatrice Bosman. Jim met Bea at a school play on a blind date when she was 15. They began dating and during their nearly four year courtship, they fell deeply in love. Happily blessed in marriage on November 10, 1944, they would come to spend the best 70 years of their lives together.

As newlyweds, Jim and Bea lived in Grandville for a short time before moving to 1326 Whitmore Street NW. During this time they began a family of their own which came to include six wonderful children, Bonnie, Jim Jr., Michael, Nancy, Roger, and Beth. As a father, Jim was firm yet loving. He gave correction in a gentle manner, and in all ways was a loving example for his children to live by. Eventually, he built his family a home at 3738 Richmond Street NW where cherished memories were shared over the following 55 years.

Jim worked at Extruded Metals for a time before landing a position with General Motors. He remained there for the next 30 years of his career before retiring at the age of 58. Even though his family and working to support them was a priority for Jim, he considered a Christ centered life to be his highest calling. A lifelong habit of choosing a positive perspective and outlook encouraged Jim to enjoy each day for which he was given. He considered himself truly blessed, and was thankful to his Lord for the many blessings that came his way. Jim desired to share the good news of Jesus with others, and for 54 years he served with Forgotten Man Ministries. Without ceasing, each and every Sunday afternoon, Jim worked in jail ministry to encourage other to live for Christ.

Also a man of vision, Jim was one of the two founding members of Remembrance Reformed Church. Along with his good friend, Russ Hooker, Jim and Russ’ vision for the church came to pass. Blessed in numerous ways, the church is now one of the largest on Grand Rapid’s northwest side. Through the years, Jim served at Remembrance as an elder, deacon and was involved in many of the youth programs. At every opportunity, Jim helped and served families and children in their faith.

Jim was a daily reader of his favorite book, the bible. Hymns, especially those of his youth, spoke volumes to Jim. He also enjoyed weekly fellowship through the years with many friends at Bud’s Hamburg, a nearby gathering place for good conversation and a great hamburger. Jim especially loved his all-time favorite, a hot roast beef sandwich

Over the years, the Hoogewind family enjoyed trips to Disney World in Florida, and trips out west and many other destinations. After retirement, Jim and Bea traveled to Hawaii in addition to many bus trips including Toronto, Canada, Branson, Missouri, and Tennessee. They also enjoyed a Caribbean cruise. With three of nearly everything used, Jim was a collector of everything. He parted with nothing, and lived with the notion that he might need “it” someday.

Truly one of a kind, Jim Hoogewind was a man after God’s own heart. He lived in faithful service, and in all ways acknowledged his everlasting love for Christ. A man of integrity and honor, he leaves a lasting legacy of working with the best human effort, and prayed as if he could do nothing on his own. Jim trusted God for each day he was blessed, and for these things and so much more, he will be deeply missed and remembered.

Mr. James "Jim" Hoogewind Sr., age 94, of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday, September 24, 2015. He is lovingly survived by his wife of 70 years, Beatrice; his children: Bonnie (Harold) Nagelkirk, Jim (Nan) Hoogewind Jr., Michael (Cindy) Hoogewind, Nancy (Tom) Verhey, Roger (Collette) Hoogewind, Beth (James) Gilbert; 17 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate Jim's life will be held on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 11:00 AM at Remembrance Church, 4575 Remembrance Road in Walker with burial at Rosedale Memorial Park. Friends may visit with his family from 2-4 and 7-9 PM on Monday, September 28, 2015 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, Grand Rapids. Donations in Jim's memory may be directed to Forgotten Man Ministries, 3940 Fruit Ridge Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544. To share a favorite memory of Jim and to sign his online guest book, please visit www. lifestorynet.com.

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