Kenneth Alan Witteveen of Portage, Michigan knew that you need just three things to be happy in the world: the love of God and family, a career that is fulfilling, and hope for eternity. Ken loved with his entire being- he loved God, he loved his family, and he loved his profession and all of the people he considered "his families" in the 45 years he was a funeral director. He always made time for others, and made certain that they knew how important they were, not only to him, but to the world. He listened with patience, threw out that patience when he had had enough, and was quick to give a quip and a laugh to show that he was "still present" with you.
Ken was born on March 25, 1946 in Zeeland, Michigan, the only child of John and Eleanor Witteveen. A proud graduate of Zeeland High School ("back when there was only one!"), he started working at Yntema Funeral Home during the summer before heading off to Western Michigan University. He always said that there was nothing that he wanted to be, other than a funeral director, much opposite from his mother's dream of 'her son, the doctor". He made his way to WMU, completely bombed every chemistry class he ever took, and fell in love with his chemistry tutor, Diane VanderHam.
Surprisingly, he passed chemistry, graduated WMU, and headed off to Wisconsin. Enrolled in the Mortuary Science program at Milwaukee Technical School, he graduated Class of 1968 and promptly married Diane two days after. They moved to Kalamazoo and lived above Langeland Family Funeral Home for a while.
Daughter Jennifer was adopted in 1977. Son Jeremy followed in 1983. Work took the family to Lansing for many years, and then finally back to Kalamazoo where home remained for decades. Any stray cat now had a home. Any stray children also seemed to find their way in, too. Somehow, between all the cats, the kids, and the chaos, Ken seemed to relish his life. A member of Kiwanis, Treasurer for the Singing Crusaders, cheerleader for kids sporting events, camping every summer, active in church choirs, and being the token funny guy at every gathering. Plus giving everything he had to every family he comforted for so long. Faith was extremely important, and the fundamentals given at Third Christian Reformed Church and then later at Grace Christian Reformed Church provided much comfort to Ken and kept him going.
When Diane passed in 2011, Ken threw himself into his work and his granddaughters, Kadence and Olivia…… simply his way of showing love to others by helping. As the years progressed, the dementia that started out with a simple forgetting of keys had turned out to quickly ravage a man once so strong and clever. After many long battles, Ken was finally welcomed home to the loving arms of his Savior and his loving wife on April 29, 2021.
Adored father of Jennifer (Christian) and Jeremy (Amie); proud grandpa of Kadence and Olivia Witteveen; brother-in-law of David (Denny) VanderHam, Debra Munson, and Drew (Star) VanderHam; uncle of Matthew, Crystal, Lindsey, Casey, Jenna, and Jordan. Ken was preceded in death by his wife, Diane; parents, John and Eleanor Witteveen; In-laws, Robert and Marion VanderHam; best buddy Gizmo and all of the aforementioned cats. Visitation for Ken will be held Monday, May 3, 2021 from 12pm to 7pm at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services 3926 S. 9th St. Kalamazoo, MI 49009. A private family service will be held on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, which will also be featured on Zoom. See the Zoom link and passcode below.
The family would like to thank Medilodge of Portage for their extreme kindness, compassion, and unrelenting patience in the care of Ken over the past years. Angels show their true wings in listening to the same story without batting an eye. Special thanks also to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan for being so comforting. The family kindly requests that memorial contributions be directed to the Activities Department at Medilodge of Portage in memory of Ken.
Langeland Director is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Witteveen Funeral Service
Time: May 4, 2021 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 949 8658 1063
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Meeting ID: 949 8658 1063
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Medilodge of Portage - Activities Department
7855 Currier Dr, Portage MI 49002