Ronald Lee Potter

March 26, 1948 ~
February 11, 2024

Ronald Lee Potter, 75, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, formerly of Ann Arbor, Michigan, stepped into Heaven to be with his Savior and Lord on February 11, 2024. Ron’s life was guided by his faith and propelled by an intense curiosity about the world, a love and empathy for others, and an unwavering sense of humor.

Ron was born in Battle Creek, Michigan, on March 26, 1948, the son of Charles Lee Potter and Elsie Geraldine (Babcock) Potter. He grew up in Bellevue, Michigan and attended Bellevue Community Schools. In his senior year of high school, he went on a blind date with Jill Van Dyke from the neighboring farm community of Olivet. They continued dating and married on July 19, 1969, in Charlotte, Michigan.

Ron enrolled at Central Michigan University in a joint program with the University of Michigan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1971. Ron pursued a fascinating career which took him to various parts of the U.S. and around the world. He nurtured many lifelong friendships along the way.

During the 1970s, Ron built a foundation in project management on large engineering and construction projects. In the 1980s, he founded a firm specializing in project management software. He later served as chief executive officer at a software development firm. Meeting many groundbreaking consultants during the first two phases of his career sparked Ron’s desire to shift into the consulting business.

Beginning in the 1990s until his retirement in 2019, Ron focused on executive teams, executive leadership, and corporate culture, through his company: Team Leadership Culture, LLC ( In 2004, Ron and his friend Wayne Hastings cowrote the book Trust Me: Developing a Leadership Style People Will Follow. It centered around leadership principles based on the Beatitudes.

Above his devotion to U of M football and his passion for golf, Ron’s faith was the abiding factor in his life. Ron taught adult Sunday School classes, led small groups, sang in church choirs and served in church leadership positions in various churches. His highest honor was sharing his faith.

In 2019, Ron and Jill celebrated their fiftieth anniversary with a family gathering on Mackinac Island. Ron is survived by his wife, Jill; his daughters, Amy (Andrew) Hetletvedt and Lindsay (Scott) Gustafson; four grandchildren: Judah Gustafson, Ella Gustafson, Charles Hetletvedt and Greta Hetletvedt; two sisters: Dena (James) Miller and Nancy (Jimmie) Hughes; one brother, C. Edwin Potter; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 16, 2024, at Calvary Church (Chapel Entrance C), 707 East Beltline NE, Grand Rapids, with Rev. Paul Arnold officiating. A luncheon will follow the service at the Calvary Church Gathering Place. A private burial will be held at Riverside Cemetery, in Bellevue, Michigan. Relatives and friends may meet the family Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at MKD Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Dr., Belmont. Also one hour of visitation will be held at the church prior to the service on Friday. In lieu of flowers, Ron requested donations to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship ( or the Jerusalem Project at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan (

Thursday, February 15
6:00pm - 8:00pm

MKD - Belmont
1601 Post Dr. NE
Belmont, MI 49306

Phone: (616) 866-7200

Friday, February 16
10:00am - 11:00am

Calvary Church
707 E. Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Funeral Service
Friday, February 16

Calvary Church
707 E. Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Leave Your Tribute Message

February 15, 2024 9:58pm
Jill and family, We mourn with you at Ron's passing from this life, but we rejoice with you that he is now fully healed in the presence of his Lord. Blessings to you from the Heirs Together class at Calvary Church

- Carol Snoek

February 14, 2024 2:47pm
Jill and family, I am so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. Ron was such a wonderful man and leader of Bible Study. I loved spending time with you both studying God's word. I will remember Ron's gentle spirit and wonderful laugh! May God comfort you all as only He can during this difficult time. - Kathy Griess

- Kathy Griess

February 13, 2024 12:41pm
The first paragraph of the obituary truly amplifies this well-respected man of God. A life well lived. God has a purpose and reason for each of our walks in life – this awesome Jesus following couple were at PRBC for me and my children – this I know. Loving, kind, compassionate, generous and funny (oh that boyish giggle) - so looking forward to his warm smile and greeting when I join him in heaven. Prayers of comfort and peace to Jill, Amy, Lindsey, their spouses and beloved grandchildren.

- Chris Golen

February 12, 2024 10:37pm
Ron was a pillar I looked up to during my time at PRBC/CCBC. Always a smile on my face and kind to my whole family. Sending love and wishing for comfort and celebration of his life in your loss.

- Emily (Golen) Polaczyk

February 12, 2024 8:10pm
Ron and Jill were our small group leaders for many years at Packard Road Baptist. They helped my husband, Armin, and I to built a strong and loving marriage, to grow and nurture our two daughters, Elizabeth and Erika in the Christian faith. I will be forever grateful for the fine example that Ron and Jill set for me and my family. I lost Armin to ALS just last month but I’m sure that he and Ron are already planning their next tee time in Heaven. God be praised.

- Barb Huff

February 12, 2024 7:42pm
Herb and I are heartbroken to hear that Ron passed away. He was someone we both looked up to and enjoyed talking to. We are thinking of you all and keeping you in our prayers. Herb and Julie Morelock

- Julie Morelock

February 12, 2024 7:23pm
Dear Jill, Amy and Lindsey. I am sorry for your loss. Ron is in the presence of our Lord and free from pain. Ron was a friend for many years. Our paths have crossed several times. He always brought wisdom and clarity of thinking to our chats. He saw in all of us more than we saw in ourselves. He was gifted with the ability to perceive in a unique way what would make every situation better. I will miss his humor. I will miss his down to earth communication skills. I will miss his wisdom and his optimism. May he rest in God's Peace.

- George Azrak

February 12, 2024 4:51pm
Oh Jill, Amy and Lindsey! I'm so sorry about Ron! But we know where he is - up in heaven! I'm sure he's singing with the saints! Ron meant a lot to me - he was my twin, we had the same birthday! He'd always say hi twin! And I would call him that too. I had been in some of his Bible studies, which I always learned a lot from him. He truly walked the talk, he was a man of God! And he had a great sense of humor. I loved to hear him laugh! He'd make me laugh with some of his storie/sayings/jokes. And he was a family man - he loved his family, Jill, Amy, Lindsey so much, you could see it! He was such a big support for Jill when she was the youth minister at Packard Road/Crossroads Baptist Church. I was a youth worker then and Ron supported us. He was in the background, but he'd help with whatever needed help. Hadn't seen him in a few years since we both moved. But the Potters have always been in my thoughts and prayers. Jill, Amy, Lindsey, you are in my prayers and thoughts. God Bless You! Love you all!!! Tami Gibson

- Tami

February 12, 2024 3:37pm
Jill and family, precious memories of our time with your family at Packard Road Baptist Church!! Prayers for you all

- Mary Beth Ralston

Order flowers for Ronald's service.

Designer’s Choice Grand Vase Arrangement

White Wonder

Thinking of You Basket

Tender Touch

Stargazer Garden

Stargazer Easel Spray

Sincere Sympathy Garden

Seasonal Potted Plant (mum, poinsettia, cyclamen, etc.)

Remembrance Easel Spray

Natures Glory

Loving Embrace

Gerbera Greetings

Colorful Memories Wreath

Classic Sympathy

Blooming Duo

Bells of Beauty

Beautiful Memories

Beautiful Blessings Wreath

Floral arrangements provided by Love Knots Floral.


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