Edward F. Havlik

  • Born: March 26, 1944
  • Died: November 3, 2018
  • Location: Holland, Michigan

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423

Tel. (616) 392-2306

Tribute & Message From The Family


Edward F. Havlik, born March 26, 1944, died peacefully at his home in Holland, Michigan on November 3, 2018, surrounded by family and a lifetime of friends.

Ed is survived by his wife, Nancy (Garnhart) Havlik; children: Laurie and Andy Bulson of Inverness, IL, Matthew Havlik of Holland, MI, and John and Kristi Havlik of Missoula, MT; 7 grandchildren: Drew, Maddy, and Jack Bulson, Paloma and Levi Havlik, and Gwyn and Jack Finn Havlik. He is also survived by two sisters, Laverne Lehman and Loretta Karnik, sisters and brothers-in-laws, Mary Ropar, Georgianna and Fritz Heinke, Joe Galbraith, and Jack and Phyllis Garnhart and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Helena Leach and Ed Havlik, his mother-in-law, Janet Garnhart, beloved sister, Jean Havlik, and brothers and sister-in-law, Joseph Karnik, Donald Lehman, Steve Ropar, Gaye Galbraith, and Mike Garnhart.

A real estate developer, homebuilder, and consultant, Ed attended Northern Michigan University from 1962-1967 and was president of the student body. He eventually served as President of the Board, an Emeritus Trustee, and was designated a distinguished alumni in 1983. After graduating with a degree in business administration, he went on to work for a national retail chain before becoming a sales manager for an international homebuilder. In his first year, his division sold over 1800 homes. He went on to acquire Chicago based homebuilder United Development from Urban Development in 1980 and over many decades, he built thousands of homes and developed real estate in Illinois Michigan, Arizona, Ohio, Tennessee, and Colorado, but his favorite home was the one he built and shared on the shores of Lake Michigan with his family. Later in life, Ed became an advocate for education of the underprivileged, earning a Doctor of Letters from Jordan College. He also enjoyed his work serving on the board of Comfort Research and mentoring many young entrepreneurs in business.

Known as "insufferably enthusiastic," Ed carried with him a "life is good" attitude during all seasons of his life — the ebbs and the flows, the highs and the lows. Nothing was more important to him than caring and investing in his beloved family and friends whether by mentoring, cooking, celebrating life's events, golfing, or being curious about their interests, successes, and learnings. He loved adventure in traveling, from skiing and hunting trips, to motorcycle adventures around the globe, to bareboating and scuba adventures, to fishing—whether on the big lake chasing salmon and perch or on Western rivers chasing white water and trout, no adventure was missed with his beloved family and friends. Ed also never saw a sunset, inversion, or green flash that he didn't appreciate, value, and capture in a photo.

Visitation will be Thursday, November 8, 4:00pm-7:00pm (EASTERN TIME) at Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th Street, Holland 49423.

The Havlik family will be holding a private memorial celebration in memory of Ed.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Holland.

Condolence & Memory Journal

Ed was a good neighbor in 1970 and a good friend after that. May God be with you.
Jim MacIntosh

Posted by Jim MacIntosh - St Charles, IL   December 13, 2018

Ed was a good friend, so intelligent and loving, never felt anything less than love from Ed. Will miss him, and hope I see him later. Nancy and her kids will go on with his spirit in their veins.

Posted by michael tubbs - Aurora, CO   November 11, 2018

I was sorry to learn of Ed's passing. I met him when he attended NMU in Marquette and again as he returned to serve on the NMU Board of Control. He was so devoted to everything that he participated in and his love for family was the best. RIP Ed. You deserve a wonderful afterlife. Connie Williams

Posted by Connie Williams - Marquette, MI - Friend   November 09, 2018

Havlik Family,
Thank you for sharing memories of Ed at his visitation. I felt a special bond with Ed, which meant the world to me. It was great seeing all of you again, and meeting the rest of your families. Ed will be greatly missed by all who knew him. His smile said it all.

Posted by Doug & Lori Knap    November 08, 2018

We are grateful recipients of Ed's generosity and friendship. May peace enter your lives. Our prayers are with you.

Posted by Dr. Dave & Janice Aussicker - Grand Rapids, MI   November 08, 2018

So sorry to read of Ed's passing. Will always remember his great smile as he walked into work in the mornings. Our deepest sympathy to the family.

Posted by Shirley Thompson - Grand Rapids,, MI - Coworker   November 08, 2018

Dear Nancy and family, my heart goes out to you for losing a wonderful person much too early. I will never forget meeting you and Ed at sunset on the beach of Anna Maria Island. What followed was a wonderful and special friendship over the years that I will forever cherish. The beautiful memories of our good times together will stay in our hearts.

Posted by Liane Klein - Ilsfeld, Germany - Friend   November 08, 2018

It was such a great experience for me to develop a life-long friendship with Ed when we were at Northern Michigan University (NMU) together. We wound up being Phi Theta Pi fraternity brothers, where he was my "Little Brother" as a pledge in our fraternity. As you likely know, Ed went on to do so many great things for many years for NMU.

We maintained our friendship for all these many years. He was such a special friend and Ed was always there for so many people when they needed his friendship, his advice, and his wisdom. God Bless Ed, and God Bless all his family members as they deal with his passing.

Posted by Dr. Jim Surrell - Newberry, MI   November 07, 2018

Deepest sympathies...appreciated knowing Ed over the years and deepest prayers for family. God Bless

Larry Branscombe

Posted by Larry Branscombe - Grand Rapids, MI   November 07, 2018

I was sorry to hear of Ed's passing. He was an impressive guy. My sympathy to his family.I also thought his sunset photos were his peace within. May prayers to be lifted up for his family. Fellow RB classmate.

Posted by Sharon Kinst-Kovalcik - Woodridge, IL   November 06, 2018

With deepest sympathy to a fellow RBHS grad. I will miss his sunset photos.

Posted by JAMES MANN - BROOKFIELD, IL   November 06, 2018

Dear Nancy and Family, my deepest sympathy to all. Although we lost touch over the years I always will remember the good times with Ed and family and through our high school years. I too will remember his smile and friendship. May you rest in peace my friend.

Posted by Bill Waitek - Naperville, IL - Friend   November 06, 2018

Our Prayers & thoughts are with your family. Remembering many great memories working at United Homes! Ed was a great man and may he rest in peace...

Posted by Lorel Strom - Ingleside, IL - Coworker   November 06, 2018

Beautiful obit for a beautiful man! I only knew you on Facebook but I saw your love of life. Godspeed to you, Ed.

Posted by David Bossy - Hinsdale, IL - Family Friend   November 05, 2018

To Ed's family:

I am Ed's 1st cousin - Tony Novotny - son - Tim Novotny on the Havlik side. My grandmother was Lilly Havlik.
My deepest condolences to all of Ed's family and friends on Ed's passing.
My thoughts and prayers to you, as my dad(Tony) died on April 18th, and Ed emailed me after he found out about my dad. Hearing from Ed so was helpful in my difficult time, and we will all miss him.

Tim Novotny
Seattle, Washington

Posted by Tim Novotny - Seattle, WA - Family   November 05, 2018

Ed Havlik, my dance partner dressed in top hat, cane, and tails while we were preteens. My producer for the Riverside-Brookfield High School musicals, my cherished friend throughout our high school years. I so loved you. To Nancy, Lovey and the Havlik family I send my deepest regret at your loss. Yes, Ed had the brightest smile of anyone. Loved getting his pictures of the sunsets. He left a wonderful legacy of dedication and empowerment. Good-bye old friend. You left this world way to soon.

Posted by Nora Campbell - Indianapolis, IN   November 05, 2018

Eddie... I still owe you for finishing my project in wood shop in 1960. Should have known then you would be a builder!

Posted by Frank Derfler - Islamorada, FL   November 05, 2018

Posted by Frank Derfler - Islamorada, FL   November 05, 2018


So sorry to hear about my cousin Ed. The picture posted is how I will always remember him......smiling, loving, and good natured. Such wonderful memories of all of us cousins playing at Aunt Helena's house and Grandma's house. We kept in touch a few times over the years, and he was always so proud of his family. He so loved wife and kids. Ed was a good person and a beautiful soul. I'm sure God has great rewards for him. My prayers are with Ed and his entire family. We will all be together again in a much better place.

Posted by Dorothy (Dottie) Glass - Martinsville, IN - Family   November 05, 2018

Sorry for the loss of your loved one.
Please accept my condolences.
Psalm 23:3.

Posted by A friend   November 05, 2018

Our neighbor, friend, and the man responsible for creating this special neighborhood we call home, passed early Saturday morning.

We first got to know Ed Havlik when he attended a Thursday deck night gathering and let it slip he had a pool table in the lower level. It didnt take long for the pool guys to recruit him to join the group every Tuesday and Thursday as they battle for bragging rights. No money exchanges hands, just a small victory pin. But you wouldnt know it. For three hours, not a word is spoken nor a drop of drink touched. But at 5:22 on Tuesdays and 5:30 on Thursdays . . . well, that is a different story.

Over cocktails, the pool guys and their wives heard the stories about the creation of Scenic Shores. Through Ed, we learned of the vision required to convert the abandoned Carousel Mountain into a neighborhood, the seemingly insurmountable challenges he and his partners faced, the perseverance and dogged determination required by everyoneincluding Nancy and the familyto make this place of beauty, a reality.

Ed was a gifted storyteller. But it was his smilestretching from ear to earthat we will most remember. Even in his final days, when asked how he was doing, hed respond, Great. I am doing great. Life is great.

We will miss him. But that smile will always be with us--every time we step from our houses into these forested dunes, walk through the neighborhood, curl our toes in the sand, or experience the beauty of a sunset over Lake Michigan.

You were right, Ed. Life is great. And you helped make it that way. Thank you.

Rubin and Mary Schmidt

Posted by Rubin and Mary Schmidt - Holland, MI - friend   November 05, 2018


My sympathy goes out to Nancy and the Havlik family. Ed was a great cook with such a vivacious personality. My Mom and I were always invited to their holiday dinners which were so much fun. He will definitely be missed.

Posted by Susan Sherrell - Grand Rapids, MI - Family Friend   November 05, 2018

My sympathy goes out to Nancy and the Havlik family. Ed was a great cook with such a vivacious personality. My Mom and I were always included in their special holiday dinners which were so much fun. He will definitely be missed.

Posted by Susan Sherrell - Grand Rapids, MI - Family Friend   November 05, 2018

Laurie and family... may God comfort you during this difficult time and know that Ed will walk beside each of you. His smile was contagious! Thoughts and prayers for all of you

Posted by Kelley Baker - Indianapolis, IN - Friend   November 05, 2018

So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and Prayers are with your entire family.

Posted by Jamie Jones - Bloomington, IL - Family Friend   November 05, 2018

May the God of all comfort strengthen your family during this difficult time and may you find comfort from his word's at Psalms 31:7

Please accept my deepest condolences for your loss.

Posted by A friend   November 05, 2018

His smile said it all. He loved us and the life he led. Memories of Ed will comfort us and inspire us.

Posted by Roy Green - Watersmeet, MI - Friend   November 04, 2018

rest in peace Ed. May God hold your hand on your everlasting journey.

Posted by Dennis Van Wieren - Flintstone, GA - Neighbor   November 04, 2018

Ed was a wonderful person and a good friend while I was President of Northern Michigan University. An involved, interested and active Board member, he was always looking for the best interest of the students and the University. The dedication to the University he attended made him a valuable contact to and for the alumni. His many friends, business acquaintances, and the colleagues he developed over the years will feel his absence. My sympathy to Nancy and the family.

Posted by James Appleberry - Louisville, KY   November 04, 2018

Our prayers and love to you, Nancy, and your family. So many "long ago" memories. Such a great person.

Posted by Marsha and David Dekker - Holland, MI - Friend   November 04, 2018

We will miss him!!! What a wonderful man! He will be in our hearts forever. Our love to you all. Judy Lowry Baars

Posted by Judy Baars - Grand Rapids, MI   November 04, 2018

Oh dear Havlik Family. How much we loved being summer neighbors and growing up with your amazing family. You all made our lives richer and so much more fun! Thanks to Ed we all know how to water ski. He deserved Dad of the Summer every year due to his unbridled enthusiasm and selfless willingness to share his time and talents with others. Thinking of you dear Havlik family and sending my love your way

Posted by Caroline Hall (Lowry) - Grand Rapids, MI - Neighbor   November 04, 2018

Our prayers and thoughts go out to Nancy and the entire Havlik family. Ed was a giant personality that will surely be missed by so many. Rest in peace, Ed.

Posted by Ruth and John Goodwin - CAVE CREEK, AZ - Friend   November 03, 2018

Posted by Dr D Aussicker - Grand Rapids, MI   November 03, 2018

Family Album