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Kathryn Avink

Kathryn Susan (VanHuis) Avink, born February 8, 1937, passed away gently in the palm of God’s hands on June 30, 2019. The daughter of Thomas and Bertha VanHuis, she was born in Holland, and called West Michigan home her whole life, residing in Jenison and Hudsonville.  Faced with physical disabilities early in life, she refused to let them define her life.  She chose to take the approach of never accepting that there were things she couldn’t do, but rather approached life with, in her family’s words, the attitude of  “one tough cookie”  who’d find a way. She graduated from Hudsonville High School in 1955.  Employed for several years at the Sunshine Biscuit Company in Grand Rapids, she left her work there shortly after she married Howard J. Avink on September 8, 1960, and with him, raised four children.  She brought great personal strength, a determined outlook, an expansive faith, and respectful approach to life as she and her husband raised their children. Beyond being a wife and mother, she was an active, creative crafter, following her faith beliefs and using her skills of sewing and crochet in service to others. She supported agencies such as LOVE, Inc. and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Butterworth Hospital with hats, mittens, scarves, and other comforting items.  She also created quilts and blankets for family, friends, and those in need. She enjoyed family travel throughout Michigan and the United States, and for many years enjoyed winter months in Scottsdale, Arizona.  She especially enjoyed traveling to concerts and performances of Christian music, large or small. She was a member of the South Blendon Reformed Church, regularly participating in Women’s Bible Study groups until health matters made active attendance difficult. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Howard J. Avink of Jenison; along with her children; Steven B. (Vicky) Avink of Jenison; Karilyn S. (John) Young of Battle Creek; David T. Avink of Kent City; and Beth I. (Jon) VanZomeren of Belding; 11 Grandchildren (Katie, Brandon, Trisha (Michael), John C., Nicholas (Amanda), Kendall, Adam, Hannah, Joshua (Katie), Seth, and Jenna),and  11 Great-Grandchildren (Makayla, Leigha, Elizabeth, James, Gabriella, Braydon, Kaydon, Braydon, Joshua, Jaydan, and Connor).  Also surviving are her brothers Thomas (Helene) VanHuis, David (Nan) VanHuis, James (Maureen) VanHuis, and her sister Mary (Eugene) Brinks; numerous nieces, nephews, and a large extended family of friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents, and her sister, Beatrice (Bea) VanHuis. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at 11 am at South Blendon Reformed Church, 4817 Port Sheldon St., Hudsonville, with Rev. Gary Jarvis and Mark Bennink officiating.  Interment Blendon Township Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet the family Friday from 6-8 pm at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home (Grandville) 4145 Chicago Dr. SW, and on Saturday from 10-11 am prior to the service at church.  Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation, or Faith Hospice.

  1. Jeanne and I are so sorry for your loss, I hope you all find peace.

    - Dirk VanZomeren
  2. Remember that your loss is shared by many friends who care
    and that you’re in our thoughts and hearts and in our every prayer
    May you find the courage to face tomorrow in the love that surrounds you today.
    God Bless the entire Avink Family.

    - Robert and Dawn Snarski
  3. Remember that your loss is shared by many friends who care
    and that you’re in our thoughts and hearts and in our every prayer
    May you find the courage to face tomorrow in the love that surrounds you today. God Bless the entire Avink Family.

    - Mr. And Mrs. Robert Snarski
  4. Very honoring funeral to Kathy. Prayers as you process your loss but Kathy has her reward won. Well done!!

    - Bob & Vicki Kotman

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