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John Clarence Medema
Born March 26, 1932
Passed away January 3, 2017
John Clarence Medema (84) of Holland, Michigan returned to his heavenly home on January 3, 2017. Beloved husband of 62 years, he is survived by his only sibling, Gertrude Kloese, his loving wife, Dolores A. Medema (Natelborg) and their five children: Diane (George) Huisman; Janet (Ed) Kotynski; Paul (Betty) Medema; Daniel Medema and Connie Huizenga. John was blessed to be Grandpa to Wendi (John) Kitsteiner and Keith (Adrienne) Huisman; Cara (Brian) Hurley and Eddie (Hannah) Kotynski; Hope (Tom) Acker; Dolores Medema; Casey Huizenga and Colin Huizenga. He was preceded in death by granddaughter, Faye Medema. John was a fond Uncle, and happy and proud great-grandpa, as well.
He lived his life devoted to his family and his faith in Jesus Christ. As his earthly body was failing him and he prepared to say good bye, he expressed both his wish to remain to experience the growing up of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, (including the expected birth of another great-grandchild near his birthday), and his longing to meet Jesus and feel his touch.
John was born to the late Cornelius Medema (Chicago, Illinois) and Margaret Plantenga (Lafayette, Indiana) on March 26, 1932. After graduating from high school, he served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954 as a Corporal in the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged on April 30, 1954, and married Dolores just a few days later on May 7, 1954.
John was employed at Jewel Foods from 1950-1970, twelve of those years as store manager. He then learned the tile business in order to switch careers to something that would allow him more time with his wife and family.
John was known for being a man who loved life, people, and Oreo cookies! He deeply enjoyed his family, friends and his daily relationship with God. Spending time with those he loved, traveling with friends and family (especially his wife), and sports were some of his favorite pastimes. He was a larger than life presence, and will be sorely missed by those who loved him.
John said of his accomplishments, that he felt happy he could help many people in many different ways and that his life showed that God does care about us and will help us in times of trouble. The final message he wrote to family and friends was this:
"Make God an important part of your life. Enjoy Life. Have Fun. Don't be afraid to
laugh at yourself. Remember as you serve others, you serve God. Love people – not everyone is loveable, but everyone needs love."
He loved his church and was always involved, whether it was teaching Sunday School, working with the youth, or serving as a deacon or elder. Even in his 80's John served as an usher, was involved in the prayer partner ministry, the food pantry, and benevolent and mission committees. It was important to John that his children knew that his involvement with church and serving others did not guarantee him a place in a heaven. These activities helped him express his gratitude for Christ's sacrifice on the cross for his salvation. And he wanted all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to share his faith in Christ's death, burial and resurrection and to know Him in a personal relationship.
A small service will be held with John and Dolores' church family and local friends on Saturday January 21 at 2:30 pm at Bethany Christian Reformed Church in Holland MI. A military burial will be family only at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Battlecreek, MI. The family is making arrangements for a memorial service to be held on May 6, 2017 in the South Holland, Illinois area where John and Dolores raised their family. It is the family's hope that many who loved him will be able to come together at that time in celebration of John's life and the blessing he was to us all. More details will follow.
The family asks that In lieu of flowers, please donate to: Resthaven, 948 Washington Avenue, Holland, MI 49423 with "apply to John C. Medema account" in the memo portion.