Golf 03

Jack Van Ess

May 30, 1927 ~ October 2, 2021 (age 94)

Obituary

Jack Van Ess passed away to his heavenly home peacefully on October 2, 2021 at the age of 94. He was born on May 30, 1927 in Grand Rapids to the late Harry and Goldie Van Ess.  Jack will be lovingly remembered by his son Bill Van Ess, grandson Paul Van Ess, sister and brother-in-law Gary and Judy Bylsma, sister and brother-in-law Dolores (David) Cooper-Bixel, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Larry (Doris) Kelly, and nieces and nephews, Lynn (David) Zevenbergen, Ken Kelly, Dan (Janice) Bylsma, Tom (Susan) Bylsma, Betsy (Russell) Kopp and Kate (Jim) Scheltema.  He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Kelly Van Ess, son Jim Van Ess, daughter Susan Van Ess, brother-in-law Jack Cooper and nephew Jeff Cooper. 

Jack was a gifted athlete who excelled in all sports, especially golf.  He left South High School before his senior year to serve in the US Navy during World War II and came back after the war to graduate.  He was a legend on the golf course where he also gained fame for his “Never on Sunday.”  Jack promised his father that he would never play golf on Sunday out of respect for his father’s wishes.  Over his long career, Jack would pull out of many tournaments even with a lead because the final round was finishing on Sunday.  He led the Western Michigan Amateur five times but withdrew each time and even withdrew from another tournament when he was leading Arnold Palmer by one shot!  He marked his way in golf with his world class skill and a hickory shafted Otey Crisman Putter.  He was among Michigan’s finest golfers while for 49 years also running W.P. Williams Co., a furniture factory supplies business. He was inducted in the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 as well as the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2012.  He was the first to win both the Michigan Senior Open and Senior Amateur, World Super Senior Champion as well as winning the prestigious Dale Morey Society of Seniors event.  He also competed in the U.S. Amateur, the North and South Amateur, the Western Amateur and two U.S. Senior Opens and five Senior Amateurs.  He was a long time member of Green Ridge Country Club which later became Egypt Valley Country Club where he won the club championship 10 times. Outside of his golf accomplishments Jack enjoyed traveling with his wife Mary and spending time with his family and friends.  He was a loving husband, father and grandfather who will be greatly missed.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Friday October 29, 2021 at Central Reformed Church, 10 College Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 with visitation beginning at 10am as well as following the service.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Central Reformed Church or the Egypt Valley Country Club Scholarship Foundation, 7333 Knapp St. NE, Ada, MI 49301.

To send flowers to Jack's family, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Friday
October 29, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Central Reformed Church
10 College Ave. N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Memorial Service
Friday
October 29, 2021

11:00 AM
Central Reformed Church
10 College Ave. N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

Donations

Central Reformed Church
10 College Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids MI 49503
Tel: 1-616-456-1773
Web: http://www.centralreformedchurch.org

Egypt Valley Country Club Scholarship Foundation
7333 Knapp St. NE, Ada MI 49301
Tel: 1-616-676-2626
Web: https://egyptvalley.com/explore-evcc/news/193-egypt-valley-country-club-scholarship-foundation

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