- About Us
Kenneth J. VanderKolk, age 90, of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Thursday, May 9, 2019. It was a peaceful passing and he was surrounded by the love of his life, his wife Arloa of almost 68 years, and his children. He was born to William and Johanna VanderKolk in the summer of 1928. He grew up on a farm in Zeeland, MI, milking cows before school and showing animals in 4H all while becoming class president and captain of the football team. He married Arloa while in medical school at the University of Michigan. They had a fairytale life, raising 4 children, who blessed them with 8 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. After serving as a Captain in the Air Force, Ken had a long and successful career as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist. He was honored for having delivered 6,000 babies in his career. For 30 years, he was the Director of the OBGYN Residency Program at Butterworth Hospital. He was dedicated to his family, friends, colleagues and patients. Many will remember him as a kind and friendly man as well as an intelligent and gifted doctor and surgeon. He was always kind and gentle, thoughtful and generous, and he loved to make people laugh. Above all, his faith in God was constant. He was a 60 year member of Central Reformed Church where he served as an usher, deacon and elder. Ken and Arloa had a deep love and respect for one another. They traveled to many places and met people along the way who became friends from all over the United States and abroad. He was an avid golfer and had many hobbies including gardening, fishing, water skiing and painting. He leaves behind his beloved wife, Arloa, his children, Ron VanderKolk, Kathy (Steve) Savara, Judy (David) Levick and Jim (Kim) VanderKolk; his grandchildren, DeAnne VanderKolk, Justin (Andria) Savara, Jason (Kelli) VanderKolk, Karly (Craig) Merizon, Ben (Stephanie) Levick, Lindsay (Adam) DeLong, Katelyn (Alex) Billings, and Adam Levick; 12 great grandchildren; brother Alvin (Joy) VanderKolk and sister-in-law, Jane Smith. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. He was a blessing to so many. Special gratitude to Porter Hills staff who lovingly cared for him. Ken’s memorial service will take place at Central Reformed Church on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 2:00pm; visitation at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Emmanuel Hospice.