Cover photo for John K. Bosker's Obituary
1939 John K. Bosker 2024

John K. Bosker

July 9, 1939 — May 6, 2024

Mattawan, Michigan

John K. Bosker, age 84 of Mattawan, died on May 6, 2024. He was born Johannes Klaas Bosker on July 9, 1939, in Appingedam, the Netherlands, the son of Jannes and Ruurtje (Kloppenburg) Bosker. He decided to pursue the American Dream, and arrived by ship to the United States on June 3, 1959. He settled in southwestern Michigan, worked various odd jobs, then served in the U.S. Air Force. He became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. and changed his name to “John.” With the G.I. Bill, he attended Western Michigan University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. John bought a 96-acre parcel of land upon which he built a house and a row of hangars with his own two hands. He named his business Mattawan Airpark.

John always wanted a Dutch wife, and met Grietje Klompien (a Dutch nurse) in 1969, while they both happened to be on vacation in Austria. He visited her in the Netherlands, and also courted her long-distance with frequent letters and phone calls. They were married in the Netherlands on July 23, 1970. Grietje subsequently moved to Michigan with John and opted to go by the name of “Grace,” as it was much easier for Americans to pronounce. John and Grace had two children, a daughter named Mary Jane and a son named John Andrew, whom they raised together in the house that John built.

He lost his wife Grace on November 14, 2004. He did not think he would find love again as an older man, but was blessed to meet a wonderful woman named Sherryl Arno. They were married on July 3, 2010 and had their wedding reception in the main hangar at Mattawan Airpark.

John’s work ethic was solid, and he was rather perfectionistic with every job he did, whether professional or personal. When not busy with work, he loved to keep busy with various projects, either fixing, building, or improving all kinds of things. He enjoyed being outside, with lots of open space around him. John was planting baby pine trees on his property when he took his final breath.

John loved God, his country, his community, and especially his family.

 His family includes his children: Mary Bosker and John (Tricia) Bosker; his wife Sherryl Arno-Bosker; stepchildren: Sarah (Scott) VandenBerg and Nancy (Chad) Barrett; his grandchildren: William, Emma, Elizabeth and Madeline Bosker, and Catherine Bosker, Samuel and Charlie VandenBerg, Abigail and Margaret Barrett; his siblings: Dina (Bosker) Schuiling and Klaas (Margaret) Bosker; and nieces and nephews: Annemarie Schuiling, Kristina (Bosker) (Karl) Henn, James (Lindsay) Bosker and great-nieces and nephews: Natalie, Julia, and Karl Henn and Corinne and Caleb Bosker. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Grace Bosker, and his older brother Jakob Bosker.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 AM on Saturday, June 15, 2024, with visitation from 10:30-11:30 AM, at Mattawan Community Church, 23680 Front Street.

Please share memories with his family at www.langelands.com

Donations in memory of John may be made to:
Mattawan Area Food Pantry
PO Box 242
Mattawan, 49071

Eleanor’s Pantry
221 Drew Street
Paw Paw 49079

Mattawan Community Church
23680 Front Street
Mattawan 49071
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John K. Bosker, please visit our flower store.

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