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Susanne “Sue” Jonker

On Wednesday, November 6, 2019, Susanne “Sue” Jonker, age 65, was reunited with her husband, Dan, and daughter, Kelly, in Heaven after fighting a courageous battle with cancer.  Susanne was born October 19, 1954 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As a teenager, Sue met and later married Daniel Jonker on October 4, 1974. While her children were young, Sue was a stay-at-home mom who also did daycare for several of the neighborhood children. She cared for every child as if they were her own. Later, Sue began work at Jenison Public Schools where she was a paraprofessional and later administrative assistant in their School to Career office. In 1991, Sue started volunteering as a chaperone for the Jenison High School Marching Band, eventually getting a job as their administrative assistant. Even after her retirement in 2017, she continued to travel with the band. Sue’s patience, positive attitude, and caring heart quickly earned her the title of “Band Mom.” Over the years she has impacted the lives of hundreds of students, staff, and parents. In addition to her many volunteer hours, Sue enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren. She liked to go shopping with her daughters and sit outside enjoying “Dan’s Garden.”  Together, Dan and Sue liked to travel. Many memories were made “Out West”, visiting Hawaii, camping at Michigan’s State Parks, and a variety of other places. She will be fondly remembered by her friends for her conversations and quick wit over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Sue was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Jonker; daughter, Kelly Jonker; sister, MaryBeth (Dan) Nyson; brother-in-law, Wayne Jonker.  She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters, Carie (Jason) Cummings, Katie Willard; grandchildren, Ashlee, Alexis, Carson, Olivia, Amelia, Paxton, Elliot; siblings, Diana Martin, Dan (Clara) Wardell, Joe (Nancy) Wardell, Ann (Lloyd) Seese, Patty (Mike) Smith, Sandy (Roger) Hamel; sisters-in-law, Shirley (Dan) Lawton, Joyce Jonker, Carol (Tim) Cartwright; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, November 23, 2019, at 2 pm with visitation one hour before at Wellspring Church, 4466 Bauer Rd., Hudsonville, MI.  Relatives and friends may meet the family Friday, November 22, from 2 to 4 pm and 6 to 8 pm at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home (Grandville) 4145 Chicago Dr. SW. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Jenison Band Boosters for the Sue Jonker Memorial Fund.

  1. All my love to the girls and their family during this sad time of loss (Carie & Katie). Aunt Sue was one in a million and her memory will live on!!!

    - Bethann Townes
  2. To Carrie and Katie and everyone in Sue’s family – I will long remember Sue’s dedication to – and talent working with – students with autism. I enjoyed working with her, and depended upon her organizational skills and ever-present sense of humor and optimism. I am so sorry to hear of her passing, as I know she will be missed by all of you. She was the best – my thoughts and prayers are with you. Carol Gray

    - Carol Gray
  3. 🕯May all the happy memories bring a smile to our hearts. ❤️
    I will miss you sis💕

    - Patty & Mike Smith
  4. Sue Jonker was a true gem of an individual. As a member of the Jenison band program, I had many interactions with her and her kindness was truly palpable. One specific memory I have of her was sharing with her how stressed I was about having 2 solos to practice for simultaneously: one in the school musical and one in a wind symphony festival performance. I was overwhelmed with deciding which rehersal I’d rather not be yelled at for and all she said was a simple “I’ll take care of it,” and that was all I needed. She truly cared about the emotional and physical well being of all her band babies. She left a beautiful legacy and will be well-remembered.

    - Karlyn Markaity
  5. Sue, Dan, and I formed an unexpected but much needed and appreciated bound. , as we lived through our children’s drug addiction. We understood and supported one another, as only those who have lived through such things, can. I loved Sue’s warmth, humor, and optimism. Later, we focused on our mutual granddaughter, and formed an even deeper friendship. Sue was a bright light, who made everything better by her presence. I miss her so much already, but I’m content in the knowledge that she is with Dan and at peace. Rip, Sue, much love, Kim Gerstenberger

    - Kim Gerstenberger
  6. So sad to lose another cousin to cancer. Sue was a blessing to all those around her!

    - Debbie Long Roper

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