Family Login:

Nelson Stegeman

Obituary for Nelson Stegeman

February 4, 1929 - January 30, 2016
Holland, Michigan | Age 86


Having lived a rich and fulfilling life, Nelson Willard Stegeman of Holland, age 86, died on January 30, 2016, and entered the place prepared for him by his Lord and Savior. Son of Manley P. and Hattie Stegeman of South Blendon, Nelson was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Florraine Vruggink, and his second wife, Jennie Koster. With degrees from Hope College and Michigan State University and a career in education, he was passionate about teaching and learning. At New Groningen School in Zeeland he took on many roles—teacher, principal, coach, athletic director—and was instrumental in developing the district's special education program in the 1970s. His students will recall his personal encouragement and belief in their ability to succeed. Over his lifetime, Nelson financed the building of over a half-dozen schools in Bangladesh and Kenya. In retirement, he hosted Faith Travelers, introducing small-town seniors to the best of the USA and Europe, sprinkling in history and geography lessons at every opportunity. A long-time member of Faith Reformed Church, he served as elder, deacon, and Sunday school teacher. He relished campfires at the A-frame on the Little Manistee River, fishing trips into Canada, and the thrill of mountain vistas. Nelson is survived by his children, Jackie and Jim Swanezy of Holland, Steven and Ruth Stegeman of Grand Rapids, Marsha and Gregg Converse of Lowell, Marybeth and Greg Timmer of Grand Rapids, Rob and Rebecca Riekse of Grand Rapids, twelve grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held Friday, February 5, 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Yntema Funeral Home and Saturday, February 6, 9:45 – 10:45 at Second Reformed Church in Zeeland. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 am at Second Reformed Church, Rev. Dr. John Schmidt and Rev. Rebecca Riekse officiating. A private graveside service will follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kenya Hope.

Arrangements By

Yntema Funeral Home

251 S State St
Zeeland, MI 49464
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number
Email Us