Richard Allen Tjalsma

December 4, 1951 ~
January 25, 2023

Richard Tjalsma, age 71, of Howard City, passed away on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dewey and Dorothy Tjalsma; siblings, Jim, and Jerry Emory; nephew, Kirk Emory; brother-in-law, Jose Gutierrez. He will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 25 years, Linda; children, Casey and VaNia Tjalsma, Anthony and Karla Gutierrez, Chad Gutierrez, Matthew and Samantha Shields; grandchildren, Bayden, Cambel, Gage, Lukas, Bella, Siana, Simone, Mateo; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Oswaldo and Josie Gutierrez; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Oswaldo Jr. and Penny Gutierrez, David and Christina Gutierrez, Lewie and Gloria Carlson; his faithful dog, Maxwell; aunts, uncles, very special cousins and many nieces, nephews, and friends. Rich was a kind and helpful person who loved his family and always took care of his neighbors. Rich was widely known for his grand 4th of July celebrations. His knowledge about home repair and yard care will be deeply missed, as well as his vast accumulation of well kept tools. Richie was known to be the “mayor” of his garage. Come in, sit, have a beer and after a few hours (and drinks) all world problems were taken care of. We will miss hearing “that’s my partner” when playing cards. Mr. Dave and Sam were good partners, but they were still unable to beat the girls. Richie loved music and he would pass on his oldies to the boys with information about the song and band. Richie loved going out to Lake Havasu, Arizona, where his good friend John got him hooked on. He felt at peace out there. Richie was a loyal Democrat and a proud Union Local 167 Member and would defend them always. We have so many people to thank for their kindness throughout this trying time. Your love and support is what has kept us going. Thank You on behalf of our family. Funeral services will be held 11 am Monday, January 30, 2023 at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4031 Clyde Park Avenue SW, Wyoming, with Rev. Don VanSlyke officiating. Burial will be held at Rosedale Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet the family Monday for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association or Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Condolences may be sent online at

Monday, January 30
10:00am - 11:00am

MKD - Wyoming
4031 Clyde Park Ave. SW
Wyoming, MI 49509

Phone: (616) 534-5417

Monday, January 30

MKD - Wyoming
4031 Clyde Park Ave. SW
Wyoming, MI 49509

Phone: (616) 534-5417

Monday, January 30

Rosedale Memorial Park
O-50 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534

Leave Your Tribute Message

January 27, 2023 2:38pm
Richie you always made us laugh, you were always ready and willing to help when we needed you. Your laughter and silly jokes will be be deeply missed. Our fun times we always had together…be it in Michigan or Lake Havasu, with You, Linda, myself and Haze will be in our hearts forever. Your memory will live on. We love you Rich. Haze and Becka

- Becka and Haze Mata

January 27, 2023 2:10pm
Rich was one of my first memories when I hired in at reman in the early 90s. He was always very kind and so funny. I feel fortunate to have called him a friend during my working years along with his wife Linda. He’s definitely one of the good ones and will be sorely missed.

- Theresa Lucht Woodward

January 26, 2023 10:58pm
Our years of friendship with Rich will be always remembered and greatly cherished. A very good friend will be greatly missed. Rich was always there for questions,a listening ear and always willing to help in anyway he could. He had a gift for being a good listener and a gentle advice giver. We shared lots of laughter and good times. Not goodbye but we’ll see you soon!

- Dave and Kathie Kamps

January 26, 2023 10:41pm
Rest in peace Richie. The family is heartbroken with your passing. You will be remembered as a kind and gentle person, who had a natural knack of making people comfortable and of making people laugh. On the 4th we will ring ‘that bell’ long and loud so you can hear it in heaven. Condolences to my niece Linda and her family and to Richies’ son and family. You are in our prayers. Much love, Aunt Ester

- Ester Garcia

January 26, 2023 9:44pm
Richard a good friend since High School,crossed path years later Diesel Tech.Rich was someone you would a good joke,enjoyed talking with him when we crossed paths at work.Very sorry for this loss.

- Joseph Lebednick

January 26, 2023 9:39pm

- Joe Lebednick

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Blooming Duo

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