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.
Friends of Michigan Veterans Homes
PO Box 805
Grandville, MI 49418
Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
875 N. Randolph St. Ste 225: Attn: Development
Arlington, VA 22203
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Although he was taken from his loved ones too soon, Nathan Schunemann lived a rich and rewarding life alongside his friends and loved ones. He was a hardworking and dedicated man who fully devoted himself to whatever task was at hand. Nathan accomplished many things of which to be proud, but he was a humble person who focused on others more than himself. A vibrant and active man, Nathan experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, but what made these things even better was experiencing them with his friends and loved ones. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever treasure.
The 1980s were an exciting time when we were deeply entrenched in the age of technology. We embraced things like the camcorder, cellular phones, and gaming systems. Movies like Back to the Future, Top Gun, and Karate Kid brought people to movie theaters in record numbers while The Cosby Show and Family Ties entertained us at home. Amidst this exciting time was an exciting time in the life of Cheryl Schunemann as it was on April 13, 1985, that she was blessed with the birth of the baby boy she named Nathan Jay in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was raised on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids, and from the start he was a bustle of activity and had more than enough energy to go around. Nathan had a special place in his heart for animals and enjoyed the companionship of his various pets including several dogs and cats over the years. When his mother started dating Jack Dykstra, Nathan was five years old, and Jack was his father for the rest of his life.
Even as a young boy Nathan had many interests. He always loved sports like soccer and basketball, but he really loved playing first base in baseball. Nathan also played some sports in high school and attended Calvin Christian schools all the way through high school. He developed a love of the outdoors and things like fishing, camping, and hunting everything from deer to squirrel and rabbit. Nathan frequently went hunting with his grandpa in Lake City where he spent many of his summers while growing up. His grandparents also took him camping throughout the state. Nathan developed a love for computers and gaming and was good friends with a neighbor down the street. Although he was older than most of his cousins, they all looked forward to being with him.
After high school, Nathan enlisted in the Marines and completed his basic training in San Diego. From there he was sent to Twentynine Palms and then Yuma, Arizona. Nathan was deployed to Iraq for 18 months and then went back to Yuma until he was discharged. While in the military he was in communications, particularly encryption. While overseas Nathan was able to talk to his parents, but he couldn’t ever reveal his location or anything about what he was doing. At the time of his discharge, he was a sergeant.
As a civilian once again, Nathan joined some friends in New Orleans where he started school to become a physician assistant and became an EMT. He returned back to Grand Rapids a few years later and enrolled in some classes for computer programming. Nathan had a hard time with classes that he knew he would never use while in high school, but he loved learning about things that interested him. He more naturally learned from books than he did while sitting in a classroom. Nathan took an internship position with Priority Health and was later hired on board and spent the past several years working there. For the most part, he really enjoyed his work there.
Throughout his life Nathan continued to make the most of the days he was given. He had a core group of friends for years, and although he lived with friends for a few years he purchased his own house this past spring. Nathan loved working out and was interested in cycling for years and more recently became interested in cross fit. He was also a healthy eater who referred to sugar as poison and wanted nothing to do with it. Although he was more quiet and reserved initially, he really opened up once he felt comfortable with someone and was known for his quick wit and sense of humor. Nathan got excited to talk about things he was knowledgeable about and was an independent deep thinker rather than a follower. He spent a lot of time reading, often about programming or ways to improve himself.
All who knew Nathan Schunemann would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He had a rather complex personality and was often easy going, but he could also be a bit stubborn when it came to things he was passionate about. Nathan was a hard worker and had a way of knowing how to motivate others, and he really got passionate about the things he enjoyed. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Nathan Schunemann, age 31 of Grand Rapids passed away August 19, 2016. Nathan is survived by his parents, Jack II and Cheryl Dykstra; his grandparents Otto Schunemann and Kathleen Dykstra; aunts and uncles Ann & Jeff LeBlond, Deb Lubbers, Brian & Tina Schunemann, Erica Ulrich, Margie & Ross Bartman, Paul Dykstra & Paulette De Young, James & Donna Dykstra; as well as many cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Jack Dykstra Sr. and Carol Schunemann. Nathan served his country in the Marines. The service to remember and celebrate his life will be on Thursday, August 25 at 7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW where friends may visit with his family on Wednesday from 6-8 PM and on Thursday from 6 PM until the service. To read more about Nathan, share a memory or photo, or to sign his guestbook, visit lifestorynet.com