Alko "Al" Jager Jr. of Kalamazoo, MI.
Age 87, passed away on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. Al was born in Kalamazoo on February 1, 1936, the son of the late Alko and Ellen (Kuiper) Jager. He was most recently residing in Charlotte, Michigan with his daughter, Sheril (Dave) Moore.
Al attended Kalamazoo Christian High School and graduated in 1954. He played basketball and baseball while in high school and enjoyed many other outdoor sporting activities. While playing basketball one evening, Al took ill and was taken to Borgess Hospital. He was then diagnosed as being diabetic. It was during this fateful hospital stay that he met a young lady named Pat Owen. After a whirlwind romance, Al and Pat were married on January 19, 1955. They enjoyed 63 years and 5 months of marriage before her passing in 2018.
Al and Pat's family grew over the years with the addition of daughters, Sheril (Dave) Moore, Deborah Clark, Julie (Bob) Saldivar and Kay (Todd) Davidson. Daughter Deb passed earlier this year and the weight of that loss was a heavy burden for Al. Besides his parents, wife, Pat and daughter, Deb, Al was preceded in death by his sisters, Clarissa Kloosterman and Frances Alkema, as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He is survived by his three daughters and their husbands; nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; brother, Henry (Shirley) Jager and many nieces and nephews.
Al worked for many years in the printing industry. He worked in bookkeeping and later in printing and sales until his retirement.
Al and Pat enjoyed traveling throughout Michigan, primarily to the Upper Peninsula. Grand Marais was also a favorite spot for Al and Pat to go fishing and just browse the shops.
Al loved the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, riding motorcycles, playing horseshoes (competitively, as well), bird watching, a good bonfire, and just sitting around drinking a cold beer. He also loved a good game of cribbage, penny ante poker, and collecting coins. Al was a talented woodworker and gifted roughly 100 stepstools to family and friends. He was an avid reader and particularly loved reading about World War II or any kind of history. He also loved John Grisham books. Al had every John Grisham book (first edition) and had them displayed, by order of release, on a bookshelf that he made.
Al had a very quick wit and feisty personality; traits he had to his very last moments. Al's most important things in life were his family members. He loved his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren more than anything. He would occasionally sneak a ten or twenty to one of the kids "just in case" they needed a little cash.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 11:00 AM at Gresham United Methodist Church, 5055 Mulliken Rd., Charlotte, MI 48813. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association. Friends and family may share a condolence message online at www.joldersma-klein.com.