Cover photo for John A. Den Boer's Obituary
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John A. Den Boer

Surrounded by his loving wife and children, on March 18, 2023, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, John went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Born November 15, 1947, in Sunnyside, Washington, the son of Leonard and Angeline (Arends) Den Boer, John graduated from Washington State University in 1970 with a business degree and began working as a systems engineer for Boeing (Everett, Washington) until 1986.  Pursuing a career change, he attended Western Michigan University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988, and then working as a physician assistant with Advantage Health in Grand Rapids until his retirement in 2013.

John enjoyed restoring vintage cars and taking and sharing photographs. Also, he looked forward to spending summers on Gun Lake and, after his retirement, wintering in Florida. John was happiest in the company of his family, especially his children and grandchildren. In addition to visiting friends and family in Europe, he and Merrie Beth enjoyed traveling throughout the states and going on multiple mission trips to Guatemala.

Always willing to listen, very kind, generous, and compassionate, John drew people to him. Loving Jesus and studying the Bible, he was a man of strong faith and became a wise confidante for many. As a member of East Martin Christian Reformed Church, he served as an elder and taught adult Sunday school. On April 6, 1974, in Kalamazoo, he married Merrie Beth Dupon who survives.

Also surviving are his children, Lane (Anna) Den Boer of Wayland, Stephen (Marisa) Den Boer of Grand Rapids, and Coralin (Rev. Nicholas) Davelaar of Fishers, Indiana; 11 grandchildren, Tessa, Sutton, and Everett Den Boer; Ethan and Lyla Den Boer; and Noah, Andrew, Millie, Sarah, Hannah, and Percy Davelaar; siblings, Evelyn (David) Jalbert and Larry (Joan) Den Boer, along with sister-in-law Cindy Tucker, and nieces and nephews, Haley, Heather, Lance, Chad, and Taylor.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Arnold “Arnie” Den Boer.

Friends may visit with John’s family from 2-4 and 6-8 PM, Friday, March 24, 2023, at the East Martin Christian Reformed Church, where at 11:00 AM, Monday, March 27, 2023, a funeral service will be held, with Pastor Derek Noorman officiating.

Burial will follow at 2:30 PM at Robbins Cemetery in Yankee Springs Township with Pastor Jake Weeda officiating.

Please make contributions in memory of John to East Martin Christian Reformed Church Benevolence Fund.

Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Jainya Sannoh

March 20, 2023 at 6:25 pm

My condolences to Stephen and Marisa, and to the entire family.

It is well. May his soul and all departed souls rest in peace


Cortney (Shek) Moguel

March 20, 2023 at 6:43 pm

Our family sends our condolences in your time of grief. We are so sorry for your loss and send our love. John made a huge impact in my (Cortney) life during my teens and beyond with his steady faith, love for family and encouragement! All our love to your family!


Ron and Joanne Rozema

March 20, 2023 at 10:24 pm

Stephen, Marisa and family, holding each of you in our hearts and prayers through these days. Aunt Joanne, Uncle Ron


Ed Fields

March 21, 2023 at 12:12 am

My condolences to Merrie Beth and the entire Den Boer family. John and I met in school 67 years ago and I am honored to say that he has remained a true friend. Although many miles separated us John and Merrie Beth would keep in touch and we would try to get together when they were in Washington State visiting family. Getting together with them last summer will forever be a happy memory. May God be with you all


Cathy Smith

March 21, 2023 at 7:59 am

Coralin, I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I know he was a great dad and loved you and your family so very much., He was always so involved in activities with your family the times I got to meet him that I would have thought he lived across town and not across many states. I am so thankful for your dad’s testimony, and we know he is in heaven now. I am praying for you and your entire family.


Linda and Jerry Padova

March 21, 2023 at 8:57 am

John was a kind and thoughtful man,a good neighbor and we will miss him so much. His close family will find comfort in each other sustained by their faith in God.

Lots of Love from Linda and Jerry Padova.


Ric and Mieke, Yakima

March 21, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Merrie Beth and family,

We are so very sorry to hear about your sudden loss. Our thoughts are with you.


Donna and Dave Wilson

March 22, 2023 at 9:34 am

John was a good friend and brother in Christ. We enjoyed fellowship with John and Merrie Beth several times during memorable meals together. We shall greatly miss this loving brother in Christ.

In sympathy and prayer,

Donna and Dave Wilson


Ron and Mona Moan

March 22, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Our condolence for your sudden loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family at this sad time.


Brenda Gilmore

March 23, 2023 at 8:40 am

So very sorry for your loss, Merrie Beth and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

John and Brenda Gilmore, Yakima


Helen Claassen

March 23, 2023 at 3:33 pm

My sincere condolences to Merrie Beth and the family as you grieve the passing of your beloved husband and father. John was indeed a godly man who loved the Lord and his family. May the Lord uphold and strengthen you in this time of mourning.

Helen Claassen


Helen Claassen

March 23, 2023 at 3:41 pm

My sincere condolences to Merrie Beth and the family as you grieve the passing of your beloved husband and father.John was indeed a godly man and loved his wife and family. May the Lord uphold you as you mourn your loss.

In Christ

Helen Claassen


Janet K Officer

March 23, 2023 at 4:50 pm

Merrie Beth and all

We are so sorry for your loss John was always so kind and thoughtful. Our prayers are with you.


Kathy and Dan Koehler

March 24, 2023 at 6:00 pm

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you Merrie Beth and your Family. May God comfort you during this difficult time.


Heike und Ingo Zabel

March 25, 2023 at 8:30 am

Dear Merrie Beth, dear DenBoer family,

It is with great sadness that we hear the news of John’s sudden death. His cheerful and supportive nature was incomparable, his wonderful warmth will be missed. Our thoughts are with you. Over the last 30 years we have had so many fabulous memories with John and all of you during our vacations together in Europe or the USA. He died much too early, we would have loved to see him again this year.

With a big hug

Ingo, Heike and Julius Zabel


Sylke Rauch

March 26, 2023 at 7:57 am

Dear Merrie-Beth and den Boer Family, we sending our condolences innkeeper sadness. This wonderful human will be truly missed. We are grateful to get to know him, had the chances to meet him few times with the Family and will missing his warmth and open nature. We were glad to visit them last year not knowing it was the last time. Wonderful memories no one can take. Our thoughts are with you. Sending you much love. Sylke and Christian


Patricia and Liana Bras

March 27, 2023 at 4:23 am

Dear Merrie Beth and family,

Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss. John was an amazing and kind man, and we are so grateful to have met him and you all those years back in the Netherlands. We are thankful for all the wonderful times we have been able to spend together here in the Netherlands and also in Michigan, and of course the many trips you took Liana on, she will miss her American grandpa very, very much.

Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Sending you our love.

Patricia, Hans, Liana & Frederick


Andrea Kidder

March 27, 2023 at 7:56 pm

Dear Merrie Beth,

Your brothers and sisters at Providence Christian Church send our deepest condolences. We are grateful that John was a part of our flock, and we are grieving the loss of his warm smile and friendly nature. Your church family is praying for you Merrie Beth, from many miles away in Cape Coral. If there is any way we can support you, please do not hesitate to reach out.


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