Henry "Hank" Posthuma
09/15/1938 - 08/06/2021
Obituary For Henry "Hank" Posthuma
Henry “Hank” Posthuma peacefully passed away at home Friday, August 6, 2021, at the age of 82. Hank was an absolute warrior, battling cancer for almost two and a half years. However, he never let that stop him from playing golf, selling his flags at the Trufant Flea Market, or playing poker on Tuesday nights. Anyone who knew him, knew nothing could interfere with his poker game!
Hank was born to Peter and Ella Posthuma on September 15, 1938. He grew up in the Grand Rapids area but eventually made his way to Sparta, living across from the 3rd Green of the Sparta Moose Lodge Golf Course. Golf was just one of Hank’s many interests. He really loved spending time with his wife and best friend, Pat. They enjoyed going to garage sales, relaxing at the Big Lake, getting coffee at Herman’s Boy, bike riding, and going on color tours Up North. And boy could they dance! They were as smooth as silk on the dance floor.
He was a hard worker and always made sure he was able to provide for his family, sometimes working two or more jobs. He also flipped and rented houses, and had a cleaning business, cleaning offices for a company whose owners and employees were very special to him. In fact, one of his sons commented that “if dad taught me anything, it was to have a good work ethic.” Chances are that as soon as Hank entered Heaven, the first thing he said was, “Jesus, let me show you how to do it!”
Hank began working for Bissell Corporation when he was just 17. He also worked part-time as a cashier at the Meijer on Division. It was in the spring of 1972, that Hank cast his eye on a certain co-worker, who became the love of his life. There was a cute, petite woman working in plastics at Bissell. Once he saw her, he began to stalk her, asking her out five times before she finally relented and went out with him in October of that year. About three months later, on January 19, 1973, this little cutie, Pat (Puksta) Pallas said “I do” and the rest, as they say, is history!
Hank leaves behind eight children: Mike (Conney) Posthuma, Debbie (Terry) Nawrot, Sandy Murray, Jeff (Marybeth) Pallas, Michelle (Dave Mallehan) Pallas, Mike Pallas, and April (Tony) Eason, as well as his “adopted” daughter, Cheryl (Harpo) Nawrot. These eight children provided him with 24 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. There are also a multitude of favorite nieces and nephews. He was well loved.
Hank knew a thing or two about large families as he was one of eight children. Six of his seven brothers and sisters are now deceased. Those include his “big” sisters Enid Hamacher, Jackie Kolkman, Wilma Akkerman, and Marion Kibby, and his brothers Sid Posthuma and Gerry Posthuma. Hank is survived by his sister Joyce Lubbers and sister-in-law Yvonne Posthuma.
In addition to family, Hank was well loved by many, many friends. He was especially close to Bob and Vera, friends he and Pat made from their seventeen winters in Florida. His Camp Lake neighbors were also dear friends, helping him carry the 40 pound bags of salt for the water softener downstairs, plying Pat with wine when the situation felt overwhelming, going on boat rides, and playing Rummikub.
There is so much to know and share about Hank. To say he was competitive is an understatement! He loved to play Scrabble with his father-in-law and he may have actually beat Tom once. Hank’s Scrabble skills were tested as well by Janet, a very good friend and former co-worker of Pat. He was accused of cheating at Dominoes, his favorite game, pairing with his Dream Team member, granddaughter Halie, playing against wife Pat and grandson Tyler. He taught his great-granddaughter, Tessa, how to play Qwirkle and her grandmother, Sandy, now loses to her on a regular basis! He also loved to play corn hole, Jarts (the good ones!) and horseshoes with his brothers-in-law.
Hank was a man of great Christian faith and he had very strong morals. He was active in his church and especially loved to work in the nursery with the children. Hank and Pat were a part of the coffee ministry, and he was sure to greet his fellow church goers with a handshake and a smile. He began each day with early morning devotions, and “attended” church the past year and a half by watching his favorite services at home. His active faith was an inspiration to many.
Special thanks from Hank’s family go out to his Camp Lake neighbors, the Lemmen Holton nursing staff, especially his loving friend nurse/navigator, Erin; and the living angels of Faith Hospice. Their kindness, caring, and compassion are examples of God’s love in action.
Donations in Hank’s name can be made to Faith Hospice, 2100 Raybrook SE, Suite 300, Grand Rapids, MI 49516
Visitation will be Friday, August 13, 2021 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Hessel Cheslek Funeral Home, 88 East Division Street, Sparta, Michigan 49345.
A visitation will also be held Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., immediately preceding a Celebration of Life service at 11:00 a.m. These will be held at Bella Vista Church, 5100 Belding Road NE, Rockford, MI 49341
I miss and love you so much Uncle Hank. I have so many amazing memories with you. You always made sure to see what was new in my life and that always made me smile. One thing I know I will miss is you and Aunt Pat singing Happy Birthday to me every year. I loved hearing you two laugh and sing. We will miss you Uncle Hank. Im right down the road so you know I will look after Aunt Pat for you❤️ Hug Grandpa for me.. 🙏
I chose the yellow candle because he was always a ray of sunshine. Never did I see him without a smile on his face. He had a GREAT sense of humor and constantly made me laugh. You will be missed my friend.
Growing up I didn't see my fathers side of the family much. Mostly because my Dad was a bit of a curmudgeon, and didn't like visiting. So, I remember occasional visits taken mostly with my mother to different Aunts and Uncles homes. With that being said, I don't have endless memories of time spent with family, but rather a few special memories of each individual. Here are three that stand out about Uncle Hank. The first memorable memory I have of Uncle Hank, was the day he came roaring up our driveway on a hot, summer, Saturday afternoon, riding his new motorcycle! He was tanned, with dark wavy hair, and had a rebel look about him. I could tell my dad was happy to see his brother, but not so happy about the motorcycle, and he said so! I was elated! It was like having the "Fonz" pulling up to your house only better, because he's your Uncle! Just think of the bragging rights! I loved my Uncle Hank! ❤️ My second memory comes years later. I'm planning my wedding, and I'm told I have to appoint a Miss-tress and Master of ceremonies to help keep things moving and staying on tract. My dad says..."Call Uncle Hank and Aunt Pat, they would be perfect. Uncle Hank is good with people, and Aunt Pat is Polish, so she'll know just what to do." Why is that I asked? " Everyone knows the Polish throw the best weddings!" LOL! ( You'd had to know my dad!). I called, they graciously accepted, and he was right! They did a beautiful job, the wedding/reception went off without a single glitch. I love my Uncle Hank and Aunt Pat! My last most important, and cherished memory of Uncle Hank and Aunt Pat, is that of them being the Spiritual Warrior Couple that they were! They were one of the catalyst in giving opportunity to my Husband, Father, and Brother, to receive Christ, and have Ever Lasting Life in Heaven with God the Father! They prayed the prayer of Salvation with them, giving them not only peace, and comfort, but more importantly...The Promise! For that, I am eternally grateful! 🙏 I mean, what could be cooler than that! (If you haven't figured it out yet, my Aunt Pat, is pretty cool too!) 😎 I love my Uncle Hank and Aunt Pat! ❤️ Rest In Peace, Until We Meet Again, Dear Uncle...😇
So thankful for your years of friendship and comittment to the Lord! Can't wait to worship with you again!
We'll never forget the time Pat & Hank came to our home a sold our entire family some amazing flags!!! Ended up with a couple items from our junk pile...he saw a purpose for them! Those flags will fly high in your name!!!
I have very fond memories of Uncle Hank, from when he briefly lived above our family in a rental house to various family gatherings and "Posthuma" luncheons. I always enjoyed conversations with him and Aunt Pat. Hank and Pat were very kind and understanding of the relationship and health challenges faced by my parents. I will miss him, but know he is secure in his heavenly home.
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