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Life Story / Obituary
Roger De Voogd was a man of many varied interests, whose life was full of exciting and diverse jobs, experiences, and pastimes. If you had the pleasure of knowing Roger you knew a good man, a man who worked hard, and who sought the beauty and pleasure of our world from fishing, to horses, to race cars. You also, then, knew a man who genuinely cared for his family and friends and who knew deep down what was important in life.
Roger’s life began in 1939, just as our country was coming out of the great depression and things were looking up all across America. At the time, in Grand Rapids Michigan, you could buy a loaf of bread for 8 cents, a gallon of gas for 10 cents, and a new car for about $700. During this time, on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, there was special excitement in the household of Owen and Lillian (Smith) De Voogd as they prepared for the birth of their son Roger. That day came on September 20 when they welcomed their newborn son into their family. The family lived at 861 Emerald St., NE and the news of baby Roger being born spread quickly through the neighborhood.
Roger grew up on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids along with his six brothers and sisters, attending Eastern School and graduating from Creston High School in 1957. Jobs were becoming plentiful then which suited Roger well as he worked several different jobs throughout his lifetime. He was a hard worker, always, as you can tell from the type of work he did. Take cement work for example, where experience and quality are all important. Roger did cement work for a number of years and did it well. As time when on Roger took a job at Steelcase, as a Hi-Lo operator, a line of work where safety and efficiency are all important. Later on, Roger went to work for Plastic Mold Technology building injection molds for the automotive market. After the age of 65 and after a broad and varied career Roger retired.
Roger De Voogd wasn’t all work and no play, as they say. Not at all. Roger loved fishing and being outdoors, and had many great times fishing in various lakes and streams with his brother-in-law, Gary. Roger also loved horses. Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying, “There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse.” And of course, we all know how the love of animals can be key to alleviating stress and living a happier, healthier life. Roger was interested in motor vehicles too. If you knew Roger, you know he owned many different cars and trucks during his lifetime, including a Corvette, a Thunderbird, several pickup trucks and motorcycles. So it’s no surprise he enjoyed watching car races anytime, anywhere. Roger’s dream was to build his own race car but that dream never came true.
Besides knowing what he liked, and knowing how to put in a good day’s work, Roger lived life on his own terms. Like most people, he was a creature of habit. Take for instance the hat he wore. The hat was special to him and he cared for it like a good friend. And as you probably know, Roger never left his house without his hat on.
The depth of Roger’s inherent goodness and outlook on life was exhibited in many ways throughout his lifetime but none more than when he took care of his mother in her later years. Roger never married and so, yes, he had the time to care for her especially when his siblings were busy caring for their own families. Doing so says a lot about a man who gave willingly of his time and himself.
Going through life everyone meets people of all types and backgrounds. To know a person like Roger was to know a good man. A man who respected others, loved his family, worked hard, made his contribution to the world, and left us with good memories. Memories his nieces and nephews can cherish and grow from as they go on building their own lives. Roger will be missed by his family and all who knew him.
De Voogd Roger D. De Voogd age 77, of Grand Rapids passed away on Monday, November 14, 2016. Roger was preceded in death by his brother David L. De Voogd. Roger is survived by his siblings, Rich and Kay De Voogd, Dorothy Snellink, Doris Mayhew, Ruth and Jerry Lane, Mary and Gary Proos; and several nieces and nephews. The service for Roger will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Friends and relatives may meet with his family on Wednesday from 10:00AM until the time of the service at 11:00AM. Contributions in memory of Roger to Emmanuel Hospice are appreciated. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to leave a memory or to sign his register book.