In Memory of



Obituary for James Moerdyk

Jim grew up on the west side of Grand Rapids along with his 2 sisters, Joanne and Maude. Lots of great early stories of hanging out with the boys and whistling at the girls ("She's a Looker!"). At 17, he left Union High School to join the US Navy to be part of WWII. Jim served on the USS Hayter as a signal man. He did not see any wartime action but his arm tattoos tell a different story! (haha). When he returned, Jim attended Kendall School of Design where he studied to become a furniture designer. He began his career at Grand Rapids Chair, then Kent Furniture, John Whitcomb, and finally retired in 1994 as the head designer of Baker Furniture. He met Mary Jane Peltola and in 1948 they got married. They moved to the northeast side where they would raise 3 wonderful children, Steve, Sue, and Lori. (Dad was our biggest fan!) Jim loved nature and sports, he enjoyed telling a good joke (and laughing at yours), he was "the Grill Master" regularly burning steaks with the best of them ("two beers a side"). In retirement, Jim took pleasure in woodworking and played golf three times a week, right up to age 88. Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Martin & Lucy Moerdyk, his wife of 52 years Mary Jane Moerdyk, and his daughter Susan Saur. He is survived by his children: Steve (Annie) Moerdyk and Lori Moerdyk, his grandchildren: Carly (Kia Oboudiyat), Jimmy (Michelle) Moerdyk, Dan Saur, and Nick Saur. And 3 great grandsons, Sammy, Cass, and Kobe. We would like to thank Faith Hospice for helping Jim pass away in his own home. (and American Pickers for their 24/7 entertainment. (haha)) Cremation has taken place and Jim will be buried with Mary at St. Lukes Lutheran Church. There will be a private family service. Have a toast to Jim – Cheers to a great kind man! The Greatest Generation! Donations can be made in Jim's honor to "Grand Rapids Eagles Disabled Sports Team", 2293 Schimperle Dr, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (Lori & Dan's team) or charity of your choice.