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Merlyn C. DuisterhofJanuary 14, 1933 ~ December 10, 2017 (age 84)
Merlyn C. Duisterhof, 84, January 14, 1933-December 10, 2017. Merlyn passed away in her home at Heather Hills in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The youngest of six children, Merlyn was born in Delton, Michigan, to parents Russell and Blanch (Clark) Mott. Being raised on Wall Lake in Delton impacted Merlyn’s childhood, filling her memories with lake and woods experiences. She was a graduate of Delton High School and Western Michigan University, after which she became a middle school teacher in Kalamazoo. Merlyn married Gordon Duisterhof, the love of her life, in 1954. After living at several military posts early in their marriage, they made Kalamazoo their home for over 50 years and raised three children, Steve, Julie, and Tom Duisterhof. Third Christian Reformed Church was a very important part of their life in Kalamazoo. Merlyn partnered with Gordon in the creation of a water conditioning business in the 1970s. It was a joy for Merlyn to work with her husband, helping their company become what is currently Gordon Water Systems. In 2012, they moved to Grand Rapids to live in the Beacon Hill retirement community where they attended Fifth Reformed Church. Being a companion to Gordon, a mother and grandmother was the center of Merlyn’s life. Always at her core was an unwavering love for God, and appreciation for the goodness that surrounded her. For her, life was best when she could share something she created. A constant flow of baked delights, pies, and cookies were often at the center of sharing her home and the beauty of South Haven with others. She loved artistic projects and had a passion for flower arranging, sparked through her membership in the Kalamazoo Garden Club. In recent years, she crafted miniature floral arrangements for Hospice and nursing care facilities in Grand Rapids with the hope that, through them, she could bring a smile and connection to others.
Merlyn is survivied by her sister, Marjorie (Wilbur) Florida, daughter Julie (Randy) Damstra, and sons Steve (Virginia) Duisterhof and Tom (Kathy) Duisterhof; Grandchildren: Sam Duisterhof, Abigail Mirandola, Phoebe Knapp, Max (Joseph) Duisterhof, Katlyn Damstra, Mitch Damstra, Leah Damstra, Page Duisterhof, Margaret Duisterhof, and Elizabeth Duisterhof.
Not wanting to be left behind, her husband, Gordon Duisterhof died on December 16, 2017. There will be a joint memorial celebration for Merlyn and Gordon on Saturday, December 30th, 11:30 a.m. at Third Christian Reformed Church, 2400 Winchell Ave., Kalamazoo, MI (269.343.2400).
Memorial donations in lieu of flowers can be given to the Kalamazoo Deacon’s Conference and the Kalamazoo Humane Society.