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1930 Melvin 2023

Melvin J. Klooster

July 27, 1930 — June 30, 2023

Kalamazoo

Melvin J. Klooster the only child of Clarence and Elizabeth (Broekema) Klooster was born on July 27th 1930. On this past Friday morning at the ripe old age of 92 he took his last breath on earth and was welcomed into the arms of the Lord.

Clarence and Betty were faithful Christians and raised up their son in accordance with Holy Scripture and from it, he did not depart.

Mel enjoyed his childhood, as the love of his parents and the joy of playing ball with his friends seemed to blot out the effects of the depression and the second World War. Two significant events that defined life during his childhood years. Mel graduated from Kalamazoo Christian High School in 1948.

He served in the Army during the Korean conflict and was stationed in Alaska.

If you knew Mel for any length of time, you knew that he had a quick wit and a ready smile. Whether it was pictures from his childhood, or pictures taken at the assisted living facility, where he spent the last year of his life, he was smiling.

Clarence taught his son how to work at an early age. This trait carried on through every aspect of Mel’s life from the celery fields, to the greenhouses, to the boardrooms and to the church council. Mel never shied away from work and continued to labor until he was 88 years old.

In 1964 after many years raising celery in the muck fields of Comstock Township, Mel and his father started raising bedding plants and Klooster Greenhouse was born. It continues to be owned and operated by his son and grandsons to this day.

In 1967 Mel and several other greenhouse owners, came together, to form the Kalamazoo Valley Plant Growers Cooperative. Mel served as the first board president and dedicated a great deal of his time to the co-op. Many of the greenhouses in the Kalamazoo area benefitted from the existence of the co-op and may not have succeeded without it.

On March 5, 1954, Mel married Doris Elaine Elmore, they were blessed with 68 years of marriage that ended with Elaine’s death earlier this year.  Together they raised their 3 sons, Steve, Mike and Don.

Mel and Elaine were for many years members of Comstock CRC, later becoming members of Grace CRC. Mel gratefully served many terms as deacon or elder at both churches, serving God faithfully throughout his life.

Mel was a loving, enthusiastic and encouraging father and patriarch of a family that at the time of his death was comprised of five generations. He attended countless games and drag races always cheering for his family and offering helpful advice. His passing leaves an empty spot in his family that cannot be filled. While no one would wish him another day on earth we will miss his presence in our lives until we will meet him again.

Mel was preceded in death by his parents, wife and oldest son Steve.

He is survived by his children Nancy, Mike (Linda), Don (Sheri); grandchildren, Jason, Lindsey (Dan), Nathan (Ally), Kate (Josh), Michele (Brian), Scott (Irma), Matt (Andrea), Ben (Kristen), Liz (Matt); 20 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren; In-laws Barbara (Jerry) James, Judy Ledbetter and John (Karen) Elmore.

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 7, 2023, at 11:00 am at Grace Christian Reformed Church 1724 Whites Rd. Kalamazoo, MI 49008 with visitation beginning at 10:00 am. Interment will take place in Maple Grove Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services 3926 S 9th St. Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to Kalamazoo Christian Schools, Kalamazoo Gospel Ministries or Heritage Christian Academy, in memory of Mel. To leave an online condolence, please visit https://www.langelands.com

To order memorial trees in memory of Melvin J. Klooster, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, July 7, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Grace Christian Reformed Church

1724 Whites Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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Funeral Service

Friday, July 7, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Grace Christian Reformed Church

1724 Whites Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

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

Graveside Service

Friday, July 7, 2023

1:30 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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