On December 19, 2016, our family lost a very special man, Willem de Boer, 78, as he went home to live forever with his Heavenly Father.
Willem was born on October 10, 1938, in Enkhuizen, Holland. There he survived the tragedies of war with his mother and father, Willem and Maria de Boer, and was raised with his siblings, Johanna, Elly, Jantina, Douwe, Fredinant and Hanstje. He and his family moved to the U.S. in 1951, eventually settling in Washington state, where he graduated from Grandview High School in 1957. He then served in the U.S. Air Force, followed by attending Grace College, where he met Susan Huelsman, the love of his life. Willem and Susan created their life together in Ohio where they raised their three daughters, Debbie, Tammy and Suzanne. His "harem," as many called his family, was protected fiercely and loved without fail. To them, he was a leader, a teacher, a confidant, a protector and friend. Going to the ends of the earth for them was never in question. Willem worked most of his life as a successful salesman, focusing not on his product, but on developing relationships with all those he met. His incredibly strong work ethic was based on developing trust with others as well as exhibiting unwavering integrity. Later in life, the harem was finally balanced out with the marriages of Tammy to Mark Bennardo, Suzanne to Orlando Roldan, and Debbie to Carlos Peralta. Willem only referred to these new additions as his sons. He befriended them and mentored them through maneuvering life as young, Christian husbands. This eventually led to the welcomed addition of his grandchildren -- Shea, Dominique, Carlos, Maria Jose, Maria Fernanda, Alyssa, Alexa, Jenna, Kaiah and Niko, the joys of his life. Willem spent as much time as possible with his grandchildren -- playing games including hours of Hide-n-Seek and Dominos, cheering them on at baseball and basketball games, speaking in classrooms, teaching them Dutch, watching school performances, and most importantly, praying circles around them daily. Willem would tell you his most important relationship in life was his relationship with Jesus Christ. His desire to serve his Savior was evident in his lifelong membership at The Chapel in Akron where he focused on serving and letting others see Jesus Christ through his huge, compassionate heart. His greatest desire was that all of his family and all whom he met in this lifetime would also love and become followers of Jesus Christ, who died for all of us and rose again so that we may join Him in heaven for eternity. Though our hearts ache at this time because of our temporary separation from our husband, father, Opa and friend, our hearts also rejoice at our knowledge of all being united together again for eternity.
Visitation and funeral service was held at Redmon Funeral Home. Burial Stow Cemetery with military honors provided by the United States Air Force. Memorials may be made to the Haven of Rest or Crossroads Hospice, 3743 Boettler Oaks Dr.,Suite E,Green, OH 44685
(Redmon Funeral Home TE 12-25-16)