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It's My Living West Michigan Veterans Ranch
West Michigan Veterans Association
Inspiring Our Hero's
Life Story / Obituary
Generous, loving, and watchful, John "Bill" Biermaker lived his well-traveled life with a sense of adventure. A man of the road, Bill confidently trusted that with a steady foot on Life’s accelerator, unexpected delights were always just another twist in the road away. A gift to many, Bill will long be remembered in our hearts and lives.
1948 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation’s momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they fought so proudly for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in our history hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation soon proliferated creating the age of the Baby Boomers. In Sault Ste Marie, the cause for celebration grew even greater as John and June (Bates) Biermaker
Growing up in Sault Ste Marie, Bill had the unusual honor of being both a first born and a middle child! The first of his parents’ six children, Bill also had five older siblings from his mother’s first marriage. Bill’s father supported the family by working as a truck driver, while his mother cared for the home and children. Not only was the family large in number, they were extremely close. Holidays proved especially fun for the big family, and many a Christmas and Thanksgiving was spent in abundant love and laughter.
After his family had moved to Grand Rapids, Bill attended Union High School. Following his high school years, Bill served in the Army during the Vietnam War.
Bill was a man of many interests. As a youth, his lifelong passion for cars began. He loved to work on cars and had a special affinity for race cars. Bill could often be found watching NASCAR and was a faithful fan of his favorite driver Mark Martin. Bill also enjoyed both the peace and challenge that came with fishing. To unwind at night, Bill reveled in watching Monday and Tuesday Night RAW, as well as the sounds of his favorite old country songs.
As a trucker for many years, Bill learned to love the time to listen to his favorite tunes and stop at favorite places along his routes. His absolute favorite place to stop on long routes through Tennessee was Loretta Lynn’s Kitchen in Hurricane Mills, where the friendly atmosphere and good country cooking always warmed his spirit. Locally, Bill preferred to dine at Logan’s Roadhouse and Brann’s Restaurant. On the occasion that Bill cooked, he liked to make soup and dumplings or boiled dinners.
Over the years Bill married several times and had the honor of becoming the father of his nine treasured children. Without a doubt, Bill’s children were his heart’s delight. He enjoyed each moment he shared with them and did his best to balance his protectiveness with love and generosity. In 2009 Bill had the good fortune of meeting Amy at the 76th Street Truck Stop where she was a cook. After dating for about six years, the happy couple married in a ceremony at the Knights of Columbus on July 15, 2015, and Bill proudly gained two more children. Bill also relished in being the grandfather to his 24 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. In their eyes, he could easily see the spark of his legacy and his hopes for the future.
Having been diagnosed with cancer several years ago, Bill found deep comfort in the loving support of his treasured family and friends. Despite the challenges the disease imposed, Bill found much to smile about and feel grateful for, and in so doing was an even greater gift to those who knew him best.
Though life has certainly grown less certain in Bill’s absence, the memories of his warm smile, love of people, and passion for life will long be held as precious treasure in the hearts of all who loved him. Whether watching a NASCAR race, casting a line, listening to an old country song or enjoying a good meal, Bill’s family and friends will continue to share Bill’s legacy in every day of their own lives.
BIERMAKER, John "Bill" Biermaker Jr. aged 68, of Grand Rapids, passed away on July 15, 2017, at his home with family at his side. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Bertha Brenner and Alice Roelofs. John is survived by his wife, Amy; children, Kelly Biermaker Powers, Darcy Moffett, Cheryl (Jim) Black, John William (Cassie) Biermaker III, Kaylee (Roger) Whitley, Samantha (Codi) Warren, Casandra (Jason) Biermaker, William Biermaker, and Gabrielle Biermaker; stepchildren, Jamie (Ivan) Davidsons and Peter (Becky) Kas; 24 grandchildren: Trenton, Joshua, Bethany, Kenneth, Ashley, Kendra, SallyAnn, Helen, Cora, Jared, John, Austin, Aubrey, Brody, Hayden, Eli, Emalee, Danilla, Payton, Liam, Raven, Aurora, Noah and Blake; and 7 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his siblings, Bessie Van Dyke, Mervin Kasper, Osmon (Judy) Kasper, Charlotte Bolger, Matthew (Sue) Biermaker, Jeanette (Butch) Roelofs, Diana Roe, and Florence (Wayne) Loonsfoot. The Funeral Service will be held at 10 AM on Thursday, July 20, 2017, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Friends are invited to visit with the family from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Wednesday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in John's honor to Home Town Battles, It's My Living, West Michigan Veterans Ranch, West Michigan Veterans Association, or Inspiring Our Hero's. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read John's lifestory, archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.