Howard Bouwens

  • Born: November 21, 1928
  • Died: July 28, 2018
  • Location: Zeeland, Michigan

Yntema Funeral Home

251 S State St
Zeeland, MI 49464
Tel. (616) 772-2173

Tribute & Message From The Family

Howard Jay Bouwens Sr., 89, of Zeeland, passed away Saturday, July 28, 2018, surrounded by his beloved family.

Howard was born November 21, 1928, in the Bouwens home on West Lawrence Street in Zeeland. He was the youngest of John and Grace (Blauwkamp) Bouwens' nine children. Howard graduated from Zeeland High School in 1948 and was already working in his father's carpentry and construction business. He married Leola Schermer and they raised their three children in Zeeland and they were members of Second Reformed Church.
Howard served as an elder and deacon at Second Church, was a Boy Scout leader, and a Zeeland volunteer fireman. Howard's work life as a boy, a teenager, his adult life, and his retirement was always centered around construction. In 1988, Leola preceded him in death.

Howard married Mary (Bloemsma) Yntema in 1998. Howard was very active in his retirement and was instrumental in the construction of the Paw Paw Bridge on the west side in Zeeland. Howard loved nature's beauty, and his back yard gardening was a great sanctuary for him. Howard was living exhibit of perpetual motion and diligence in his faith life, his work life, and especially his love and care for his family, friends, and all those around him.

He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Mary, his children: Leigh Arden Ford of Kalamazoo, Howard Jr. and Marylynn Bouwens of Holland, Barb and Chuck DePree of Holland; step-daughter Lynn Yntema of Zeeland; 7 grandchildren, 5 step-grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Lila Bouwens, and many other brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, several nieces and nephews and extended family.

A service to honor the faith and life of Howard Bouwens will be held at 11:00 am, Wednesday, August 1, 2018, at Second Reformed Church, 225 East Central Ave., Zeeland 49464. Visitation will be 4:00-8:00 pm, Tuesday, at the Yntema Funeral Home, 251 S. State Street, Zeeland. Interment will be in Zeeland Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Second Reformed Church Youth Ministries, or The Bridge Youth Ministry Center.

Condolence & Memory Journal

So sorry to hear of Howie's passing. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. He was a very kind and wonderful man.

Posted by Wes & Marge Wiggers - Hudsonville, MI   August 03, 2018

Posted by Wes & Marge Wiggers - Hudsonville, MI   August 03, 2018

We are so very sorry for your loss. Howie was a very kind and caring person and will be missed very much. We could not have asked for a better neighbor or friend and we are deeply saddened. Just know that you are all in our hearts and prayers. Love - Marlin and Von Vis

Posted by A friend   August 02, 2018

I remember Uncle Howard's good humor and tolerance for the escapades of his nieces and nephews. Good memories!
Bob Strikwerda and Penny Weiss

Posted by Bob Strikwerda - St. Louis, MO - Family   August 02, 2018

Sending condolences to you and your family for your loss, Mary! What a sweet couple you were!

Posted by Jim and Jo Rynsburger - Zeeland, MI - Friend   August 02, 2018

Just found out your Father passed away......he was a good man.

Posted by Douglas Barense - Holland, MI - Acquaintance   August 01, 2018

We are so sorry for loss. Howie was such a kind soul. We will surely miss him.

Posted by Stephen and Theresa VanDeWalket - Zeeland, MI - Neighbor   August 01, 2018

Leigh, Howie and Barbie... seeing you guys today filled my heart with joy after 30 years. Meeting your families was awesome. Your Dad was one of a kind and I'll miss him a lot. My thoughts will be with you tomorrow. I will call in bit and see if we can get together for lunch. Our childhoods together are unforgettable!

Posted by Pam Van Hoven/Courtright - Grand Haven, MI - Neighbor   July 31, 2018

We are going to miss you Howie, you are a great and faithful man......

Keith & Vickie Moored

Posted by A friend   July 31, 2018

Mary, we are so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Karen and Vern Steenwyk - Pelham, AL   July 31, 2018

We send our deepest sympathies to the family. There are so many words that come to mind thinking about Howie. Fun, loving, thoughtful, generous, talented and so many others. He had a way of making everyone feel they were pretty special. He lived his faith and shared his life with all. He will be dearly missed.

Posted by Patti & Ken Bing - Zeeland, MI   July 31, 2018


Thinking of you Mary & family , liz & dave meyering, holland

Posted by Liz Meyering - Holland, MI - friend   July 31, 2018

Best neighbor and friend anyone could ask for, will miss him dearly

Posted by Kemma Walsh - Zeeland, MI - Neighbor   July 30, 2018

So sorry for your loss Mary and family.

Posted by Kimberly Sluiter Resseguie - Holland, MI   July 30, 2018

Sending my deepest sympathy, may God give you his peace

Posted by Betty Thomas - Fort Myers, FL - Friend   July 30, 2018


Sending my deepest sympathy to the Bouwens family. Howie was a great Landlord to us at Learning Tree Montessori. We will always be thankful for the kindness he showed us over the past 20+years. He will be greatly missed and greatly remembered.

Posted by Amy Sprik - Zeeland, MI - Friend   July 30, 2018

Please know our family send our deepest sympathy to you and your family! Your Howie was a friend to everyone and had the most contagious smile! TIGHT HUGS SWEET MARY...PRAYING !!

Posted by Jack and Mardee Sytsma - Friend   July 29, 2018

Prayers for family, he will be missed and always be uncle howie

Posted by Linda Kamps-tursic - Coeur d Alene, ID - Family   July 29, 2018

Lloyd and Deanna Glass --we would like to express our condolences and sympathy to our dear friend Mary and to all the Bouwens family --may God comfort you with his Peace.

Posted by Lloyd Glass - Grand Rapids, MI - Friend   July 29, 2018

Mary and family, I am so sorry and saddened to hear of Howie's passing. He was so special and will be missed very much. I will miss seeing him with his warm smile and greeting. You were a very special couple and my heart hurts for you. My love, thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May you feel God's blessings and love during this sad time.

Posted by Tooge Willyard - Zeeland, MI - Friend   July 29, 2018

Simply put..... I just loved this man. My condolences to the entire family.

Posted by Ned Karsten - Holland, MI - Friend   July 29, 2018

How sorry I am to read of Howie's passing. He always greeted me with a hug and great smile. I met him when dating my husband and he encouraged our marriage, our move to seminary, our ministry, our children, even from afar. How grateful I am that I saw him the last time we were in Zeeland. Celebrate his life with joy.

Posted by Jan Hoffman - Scotia, NY - Friend   July 29, 2018

Mary, I am so saddened to read of Howie's passing. I will always remember him for his wonderful smile! I am privileged to have called him a friend. He will be missed. Blessings to you and the family, Kathy

Posted by Kathy Kempema - Zeeland - Friend   July 29, 2018


My dearest Mary - I can't believe that Howie has passed. I thought he would be one of those who "lived forever" as he truly will in my many memories. He was such a support to me when Don passed. They really don't make them like they used to. I am so very sorry for your loss as I'm sure it is for all those who knew and loved him. Be assured that Vick was standing in line to welcome him Home.

Posted by Bonnie Morgan - Columbus, OH - Friend   July 29, 2018

I was so saddened to read of Mr Bouwens passing. He was a dear dear man. Will miss seeing him whenever I would run into Mary and him when in Zeeland. My sympathy to Mary and family.

Posted by Lisa Meppelink/Miller - Mason, MI - Friend   July 29, 2018

Steve and I were saddened to hear of Howard's death. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mary and family. Steve and Norma Hook

Posted by Steve and Norma Hook - Zeeland, MI - Acquaintance   July 29, 2018


Dear Mary and all of Howard's family as well as his many friends... I am so sad to hear of Howie's passing. He was a friend to all and such a fun loving, kind and generous family man. My heart goes out to all who knew and loved him. A life well lived!!!

Posted by Nancy Rebhan - Zeeland, MI - Friend   July 29, 2018

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