It is with deep sadness that we share the passing of Adrian G. D. Gerritsen IV (“Ed”) on February 23, 2021, after a courageous battle with Leukemia.
Ed was born in Paterson, New Jersey on August 1, 1933 to Dutch immigrant parents Adrian G. D. III and Cornelia (Liepoldt) Gerritsen. He graduated from Hawthorne High School in 1950 and soon thereafter took a job as a draftsman with Reaction Motors, a company developing rocket engines. This career in engineering would span 45 years, ending with a position at Sealed Air Corporation designing bubble wrap machinery. The only interruption in that career was a stint in the U.S. Army at the end of the Korean War when he served in the honor guard of his division.
Home on leave from the Army, he met a Dutch farmer’s daughter Elizabeth Sikkema who was to become his wife for more than 64 years. They had a daughter Beth and a son Jim, both of whom also survive Ed along with their respective spouses (Bill and Kathy) as well six grandchildren - Libby, Will, Nick, Jamie, Kelley, and John. They were more recently blessed with three great grandsons - Carter, Levi and Jack. Ed was preceded in death by his parents and his much loved older sister Alida.
Ed lived his life with a deep conviction to his Reformed Christian faith. He was a man of integrity and purpose and, like his forebears, he possessed a curious and inquisitive mind. Although he was not college educated, his breadth of knowledge was evidenced by his many contributions to his community and his myriad hobbies. He served on church governing boards and the Eastern Christian School Board (two years as president). He was also a member of the Wayne Township Ambulance Squad (two years as assistant chief) and was appointed to the Wayne Township Planning Commission for 12 years (two years as chairman). His hobbies included gardening (he was a member of the Northern New Jersey Chrysanthemum Society) and photography (he had a dark room for developing pictures), and was an avid reader of history and biographies. In his retirement he was able to combine his love for history and the Christian Reformed Church as a volunteer at the Calvin College Archives which he thoroughly enjoyed for over 10 years. He loved Calvin and was as ardent a fan of the Knights as any alumni. Ed’s two children were told that they could attend any college they wanted, as long as it was Calvin! His daughter, Beth, will always treasure the memories of singing with her father in the Calvin College Oratorio Society.
The family will be pleased to receive Ed’s friends and relatives at the Metcalf and Jonkhoff Funeral Chapel from 2:00 to 4:00pm and 5:00 and 7:00pm on Monday, March 1st. A memorial service will be held there at 11:00 am on Tuesday, March 2nd.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to Eastern Christian School Association, Calvin College and World Renew.
To send flowers to Adrian's family, please visit our floral store.
Calvin University Develop Office
3201 Burton St. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546
Eastern Christian School Association
50 Oakwood Avenue, North Haledon NJ 07508
World Renew United States
1700 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI