David L. Van Hemert, age 84, of Manitou Beach, formerly of Hudson, passed away Saturday, May 28, 2016, at Hospice of Lenawee in Adrian, Mich., with his beautiful wife Barbara and his loving family by his side. David was born Feb. 3, 1932, in Muskegon, Mich., to John and Alice (Kooi) Van Hemert, Sr. David married his Barbie doll, Barbara A. French, March 6, 1953, in Muskegon, and she survives. David grew up in Muskegon, graduating from Muskegon High School in 1950. As a young boy, David greatly admired a local funeral director, and wanted to be just like him. Eventually David went to work for a funeral home himself in Muskegon. He attended Muskegon Community College, then transferred to Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in Detroit, Mich. He graduated in 1954 and became a licensed funeral director in the State of Michigan that same year.
David began working for Clarence Brown at the Brown Funeral Home of Hudson and Addison in 1954. David and Barbara lived in the Addison establishment from 1954 until they moved with their two children to the Hudson facility in 1967. In 1966, David and Barbara purchased the funeral home from Clarence, and in 1974 they purchased the Dunn Funeral Home in Onsted.
David was a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association where, in 2014, he was honored and received an award for the prestigious accomplishment of being a 60-year licensee. David was a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, and past president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association District #2. He was a member of the Hudson First United Methodist Church, where he served as an administrative board member, trustee and head usher. He was a former member of the Hudson City Golf League, former member and past president of both the Addison Kiwanis Club and the Hudson Kiwanis Club. He was a member of the Devils Lake Yacht Club and Lakes Preservation League, a member of the advisory board of Community Home Care, past president of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, and a Hudson Public Library board member and trustee for 25 years. He was also a life member of the Addison Masonic Lodge #157 F&AM, the Detroit Shriners Club, and the Elks Club. David so loved his work that he continued to contribute on a regular basis until August 2015. He was compassionately dedicated to serving families in their time of need within the area.
David adored his family, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He loved to play golf, and shuffle board, and was a master at the marble game. He also enjoyed playing cards at the Hudson American Legion with friends, and enjoyed boating at his Round Lake dream home. Dave and Barb enjoyed many winters in Fort Myers, Fla., and graciously accepted warm visits from family and friends during that time. David was a constant inspiration to his family and friends and will be greatly missed.
Surviving alongside his wife Barbara are one daughter, Brenda S. (Jack) LaFollette of Onsted; one son, Robert D. (Sheila) Van Hemert of Addison; five grandchildren, Troy D. (Jody) LaFollette of Dexter, Stephanie A. Van Hemert of Addison, Courtney L. Van Hemert and her fiancé, Bradley Elston, of Somerset Center, Jennifer M. Van Hemert of Addison, Nicole E. Van Hemert of Addison; four great-grandchildren, Megan and Tyler LaFollette, Brody Earley, and Hailey Mae Eicher; one sister, Muriel Thompson of Norton Shores, Mich.; two sisters-in-law, June Van Hemert of Muskegon and Betty (Tony) Cavallaro of Eugene, Oregon; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister; two brothers, Kenneth A. Van Hemert and John J. Van Hemert, Jr.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Brown-Van Hemert Funeral Home in Hudson, Mich., with Pastor Bradley Luck, Pastor Mark Johnston and the Rev. Clyde L. Wonders officiating. Burial will take place in Green’s Lakeside Cemetery in Manitou Beach, Mich. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 2, 2016, and from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 3, 2016. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Hudson First United Methodist Church or to Hospice of Lenawee.
The Van Hemert family would like to personally thank Hospice of Lenawee and their staff for the compassionate care provided to David. We are forever grateful. Condolences can be sent to the family at www.brownvanhemert.com.
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