Gerald Robert DeMaagd

October 20, 1936 ~
May 21, 2024

Gerald Robert DeMaagd, of Kentwood, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, surrounded by his family. Jerry was born October 20, 1936 in Rockford, MI, to Dr. Gerald and Gordelia DeMaagd. He married his loving wife, Joan (Klingaman) DeMaagd settling in Kentwood, MI where they shared 63 years together, raised their four children and traveled the world. He is survived by his wife, Joan; children: Karen (Patrick) Droste, Shawn Eckhart, Ursula Joy Smith, Thomas (Jessica) DeMaagd; grandchildren: Spencer, Henry, Callie, Kaylin, Gerald Thomas “JT,” and Brandon; siblings: Patricia (Donald) Bixby, Susan (Donald) Reithel; many nieces and nephews. A graduate of Rockford High School he continued his education attending the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and Michigan State University eventually earning an MBA from Western Michigan University. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, he served as a member of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. He was proud to be a Marine and reflected often on his experiences in the military and lived by the principles he accepted as a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit and Heart. He began his professional career as an Information Systems Security Professional in the infancy of the industry first working at Fisher Body in Grand Rapids and eventually retiring from Steelcase. A life of service was important to Jerry, volunteering his time as a member of many organizations throughout his lifetime, including 30 years as a docent at the Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, MI, serving on the Kentwood City Commission, and as a member of the Rockford Historical Society, to name a few. He was a self-described Frank Lloyd Wright / Arts and Crafts design nerd and made sure to stop and visit any Wright designed house or building he could throughout the US. He was loved and will be greatly missed by his family, and many friends including his lifetime best friend of 85 years Ken Ploeg. Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4646 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood. Burial will be held at Pine Hill Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet the family Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans or Rockford Historical Museum.

Visitation
Tuesday, May 28
6:00pm - 8:00pm

MKD - Kentwood
4646 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Kentwood, MI 49508

Phone: (616) 455-1535

Funeral Service
Wednesday, May 29
1:00pm

MKD - Kentwood
4646 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Kentwood, MI 49508

Phone: (616) 455-1535

Leave Your Tribute Message

May 28, 2024 4:28pm
hi Joan, it literally took my breath away when I saw Sunday's paper about Jerry....I have so many wonderful memories of Jerry at STeelcase! He was my mentor and looked out for me and my Security "career" there! Plus I avidly remember having lunch with you and him at your place in Kentwood several times! I was so impressed by your travels! Do you still have those photo albums of all your wonderful trips? You made those so interesting to look at and learn from! I loved how Jerry would beam about the trips and how you put together the meaningful books of your many voyages!!! God Bless you Joan, if you think I can help in any way, large or small, please don't hesitate to contact me! Sincere condolences, and prayers that you will have great comfort through these next sad weeks and months of loss......

- Julie Jacobs

May 27, 2024 3:16pm
Sincere condolences to the entire family. Many years have passed since our kids went to school together. Jerry certainly lived a full and meaningful life. June Nelson

- June Fonger Nelson

May 26, 2024 2:04pm
I am so sorry to learn of Jerry's passing. Howard and I truly enjoyed knowing you both over the past years. I am truly sorry for your loss. Dorace Bethke

- Dorace (Mrs. Howard) Bethke




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