Marvin Peter Van Geest

May 9, 1923 - May 11, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, May 16, 2016
10:00 AM EDT
Rosedale Memorial Park
0-50 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534

There is no funeral home service or visitation.

The cemetery is located on Lake Michigan Dr. NW,
1/2 mile west of the Wilson-Lake Michigan Dr. Intersection.


Life Story / Obituary


With quiet strength, Marv VanGeest lived fully surrounded by those he loved. As a man of faith, he also lived with honor and devotion. Born on May 9, 1923, in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Marvin Peter VanGeest was the youngest of three sons born to John and Ann (Shalk) VanGeest. He grew up experiencing the adventures of boyhood alongside his older brothers, Bernie and Henry during the heyday of the Roaring Twenties when prohibition was law of the land, and baseball continued to be America’s favorite pastime.

Marv’s father worked at Kelvinator Manufacturing while his mother remained at home as a homemaker. The VanGeest family lived on Canfield SE where young Marv attended the local schools. Life wasn’t easy during the days of the Great Depression, and Marv’s family was no exception. Although he enjoyed a childhood typical of his generation, their lifestyle was meager. Marv went on to graduate from high school in 1941, and with World War II well underway, Marv heeded the call to duty. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a mechanic in the 500th Air Force Group in Rhineland and Northern France until the war’s thankful end.

Having been honorably discharged from the service as a sergeant, Marv returned home to Michigan. Like his father before him, he took a job at Kelvinator, remaining there throughout his career until retiring as an inspector. It was during these early years when Marv met the young woman of his dreams, Eloise Greenbauer. They began dating and after sharing vows of marriage, the couple made their home in Grandville. Eloise worked as an insurance secretary, and together they grew in their faith as members of Fifth Reformed Church where they were longtime members.

Marv and Eloise were the best companions, and their wonderful dog, Cindy was never far from their side. They both loved to golf and bowl, and they did so on several leagues together. They also shared their love of travel, having traveled extensively throughout the U.S. Marv especially loved to camp and fish. Whenever the opportunity presented itself, he was at the ready. As a couple they often enjoyed these times with Eloise’s relatives, Bill and Edith Welbon. Although they never had children of their own, Marv and Eloise were particularly close to their nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. They loved them like their own, and as a close family, they thoroughly enjoyed spending time with them. As Marvin and Eloise got older, they appreciated being able to depend on the love and care of their family.

Eventually, Marv and Eloise began living in assisted living at Oakcrest Manor in Jenison. After several years they moved to Raybrook Manor where they were very active and made numerous new friends. It was heartbreaking for Marv to see his beloved Eloise suffer from Alzheimer’s, and a mixed blessing when the Lord called her home in January of 2004.

Marv continued to be active with his family and the many activities offered at Holland Home until last Sunday when he fell and fractured his hip. He was taken to Mercy Health St. Mary’s Hospital where he died quite unexpectedly. Although quiet by nature, Marv was a strong, dedicated man in all he said and did. He cherished his family, and with faith as his guide, he lived as an example to all.

Marvin Peter VanGeest, aged 93 of Grand Rapids, passed away on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at Mercy Health Hospital. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eloise VanGeest in 2004, his brothers, Bernie (Erma) VanGeest and Henry (Sarah) VanGeest. He is survived by his niece, Elaine (Earl) Welbon; great-nieces and nephews, Darlene (Dave) VanOveren, Cheryl (Jim) Noordhoek, Dennis (Jamie) Muller, Rex Welbon; many other relatives and friends. Graveside services will be held on Monday morning, May 16, 10:00 AM at Rosedale Memorial Park. To read more about Marvin’s life, to sign his guest book and to leave your own memory of him, please visit his web page at