Cover photo for James R. Heystek's Obituary
James R. Heystek Profile Photo
1941 James 2023

James R. Heystek

October 12, 1941 — May 20, 2023

Kalamazoo, Michigan

James R. Heystek, age 81 of Kalamazoo, died on May 20, 2023. He was born on October 12, 1941, in Kalamazoo, the son of Adrian and Helen (Koster) Heystek. Jim was a 1960 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School. He received his journeyman as a painter. Initially working at Independent Painting, then retired in 1996 after 31 years at Upjohn Company. Jim attended Third Reformed Church (Centerpoint Church) growing up and it was there he met Joyce VanderWeele. They began dating in middle school and after marrying on September 22, 1961, they shared 61 years of beautiful memories. The last 15 years, the couple had attended Haven Reformed Church, where they were active with the Primetime Dinners and Fresh Food Program. They also enjoyed traveling together and met many new friends on bus trips. The couple also owned a 1931 Ford and a 1988 Monte Carlo. They attended many car shows and belonged to a car group. In retirement, Jim worked with the lawn crew and recycling with Cooper Township. He was gifted at woodworking and sold furniture and creations at craft shows. Above all, Jim enjoyed spending time with his family.

They include his wife, Joyce Heystek; his children: Susan (Doug) Renema and Ron (Deb) Heystek; his grandchildren: Caitlin (Steve) Thrasher, Rebecca (Max) Koch, Michael (Hunter) Renema, Travis (Hannah) Heystek, and Jimmy (Liz) Heystek; his great-grandchildren: Charlotte and Payton Koch, Addison and Lauren Renema, and Emerson and Henry Heystek; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his granddaughter Emily Jo, and his siblings: John Heystek, Karen Dekkinga, and Gerard Heystek.

The family will greet friends on Wednesday, May 24th, from 5:00-8:00 PM at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th Street. A funeral service will be held at Haven Reformed Church, 5350 North Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49004, on Thursday, May 25th, at 11:00 AM with his grandson, Pastor Travis Heystek officiating. Friends may greet the family at church from 10:00-11:00 AM. Interment will follow at West Cooper Cemetery at 2:00 PM. Donations in memory of Jim may be made to Haven Reformed Church or Centrica Care Navigators. Please share memories of Jim with his family at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, May 24, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Langeland Family Funeral Home Burial & Cremation Services

3926 South 9th Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49009

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Funeral Service

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Haven Reformed Church (North Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan)

North Sprinkle Road, Kalamazoo, MI

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, May 25, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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