John DeBliek, 82, passed away Wednesday evening, July 30, 2014, at home surrounded by his family. He had spent the last 10 years living with Alzheimer's disease. He was born in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands, to parents Jacob and Neeltje DeBliek. The family immigrated to Canada when John was seven years old.
He graduated from Sarnia Collegiate Institute and Technical School, Sarnia, Ontario. Following high school, he attended the Ford Trade School in Windsor, Ontario and graduated as a journeyman electrician.
In 1956, he married Doreen Johnston and they moved to Michigan. John attended and graduated from the University Of Michigan
College Of Engineering-Electrical in 1960. He began employment at The Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, and continued as a Professional Engineer until his retirement in 1995.
John was a quiet, humble, gentle and practical person. As a family man, his family enjoyed many vacation trips with him in a pop-up camper, to enjoy the variety and beauty of both Canada and the United States, including their favorite vacation spot, the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
From boyhood, John always dreamed of flying. As an adult, he learned to fly, which was followed by five years of building his own plane (a KR-2). He logged 1,000 flight hours flying out of Barstow Airport over 23 years. He often commented on the beauty of God's creation in Michigan during the various seasons of spring, summer and fall from his sky-high view.
He is survived by his wife, Doreen of 58 years; four daughters, Sharon (Dave) DeBliek-Anderson, Nancy (Chuck Miller) DeBliek, Carolyn DeBliek and Janice DeBliek; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Anthoinette (Philip) Bom and Jeanette (Joseph) Vande Kieft of Grand Rapids.
Preceding him in death were his parents; his brothers, Jacob and Anthony; and his sister, Ruth DeBliek.
Funeral services for John will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, from the Midland Reformed Church, 1100 N. Saginaw Road. Pastor Mike DeRuyter will officiate, with burial in Midland City Cemetery. John's family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St. on Friday, from 5-8 p.m., and at the church on Saturday, from 12 noon until time of service. Memorial contributions may be made to Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Research, Department of Development, P.O. Box 450, Albert Lea, Minn., 56007-0450.