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Life Story / Obituary
A hardworking, driven, and dedicated man, Jack Nuyen was an inspiration to all who were near. He has been described as a classy guy as he took great care to look his best, and he kept up with the times as well. Although work kept him busy, Jack’s family was the driving force behind his desire to succeed. He treasured being a husband and father, but he just may have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandfather and great-grandfather later in life. Life will never be the same without Jack here, but he leaves behind a timeless legacy that his loved ones will proudly carry on in his footsteps.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. It was a vibrant decade when jazz music, ballroom dancing, and dance marathons were all the rage while motion pictures first became available in both color and sound. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great excitement in the lives of Johan and Marvel (Farrow) Nuyen as they were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Jack on September 28, 1928. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he was one of four children to be raised in the family home in the Comstock area alongside his siblings, Joe, Armina, and Bill. They lived near his father’s work at the paper mill as he worked at both Sutherland & Georgia Pacific and also as a celery farmer. Jack’s mother was a busy homemaker. While growing up Jack absolutely loved baseball, and he played both football and basketball. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and swimming. Jack attended Comstock High School, graduating in 1946. After high school he attended Western Michigan University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in business.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jack when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Josephyne, and they were introduced through mutual friends. Smitten right from the start, their love grew over time. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, the sweethearts were married, marking the beginning of a new chapter in a love story that would span the next 63 years. There was no official ceremony as they were married by the justice of the peace. Their wedding day was forever the day that Jack considered to be the greatest day of his life. Together he and his wife welcomed four children including Jack Jr., James, Debbie, and Kim into their hearts and home.
There was never anything of greater importance in Jack’s life than his family. He was a caring father who was active in his children’s lives. Jack was often involved in his sons’ sports, and he loved sharing this passion with them. Although he wasn’t much of an animal person, he tolerated them because he loved his family so much. Work was a major part of Jack’s life, but it was because he wanted to provide a wonderful life for his family. With long hours and an unending willingness to work hard, he did what it took to climb the corporate ladder. After a rewarding career, Jack retired in 1990 when he was 62. Jack believed in raising kids who turned out right, and his children knew whether he approved or disapproved of them based on his look alone as he never needed to say a word. Jack continued to treasure his family even as his children grew and established families of their own. He loved it when the whole family got together, and he rarely missed any of his children’s or grandchildren’s events.
Throughout his life Jack was a man of many interests. During his retirement years he loved traveling. So many of the pictures they have are of he and his wife traveling out West with friends. Jack and Josephyne also enjoyed going to Arizona or Florida during the winter for many years. There, he was active in senior sports like softball and golf. During his adult years Jack loved sports, and as a young adult he played fast-pitch softball. Jack also bowled on several leagues over the years, which continued into his retirement years.
All who knew Jack Nuyen would agree that he had such a warm and welcoming smile. He was classy both in public and in private, and he also liked being the boss both at work and at home. Approachable and friendly, Jack was the sort of person that everyone seemed to know. A more devoted family man would be hard to find, and his love for his family was easy to see. Jack had an amazing memory as he never forgot a person, name, event, or phone number, and his work ethic was truly unmatched. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Jack Nuyen, of Portage, passed away on October 26, 2017. Jack’s family includes his wife, Josephyne; children: Debbie (Dennis) Rainey, and Kim (Valerie) Nuyen; 13 grandchildren; 7 and-a-half great-grandchildren; sister, Armina Brown; brother, Bill (Linda) Nuyen; as well as several nieces and nephews. Jack was preceded in death by his sons James Nuyen and Jack Nuyen, Jr.; and brother, Joe Nuyen. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Wednesday, November 1 at 12:45 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane. (344-5600). A funeral service will follow at 1:45 p.m. Please visit Jack’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of SW Michigan.