Eugene Westra
1933 - 2020
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Westra, Eugene 12/18/1933 - 9/19/2020 Grand Rapids, Michigan Eugene Dewey Westra (Gene) passed away on September 19, 2020, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Preceded by his parents Dewey and Nellie (Koetje) Westra and his brothers Dor and James Westra, he is survived by his wife, Helen Petter Westra; daughter Marie and son-in-law Scott Vander Linde, daughter Rachel Mary Westra, son Arend and daughter-in-law Magdalena (Bonnin) Westra; grandchildren Annica (Vander Linde) and Peter Quakenbush, Kristin Vander Linde, Alexander and Helena Westra; and great grandchildren Linden Louise and Little John Quakenbush. A full obituary and details regarding his 24 October 2020 online memorial service are available at
"Gene's Memorial Service will be held online via Zoom on 24 October 2020 at 3:00 pm Eastern Time. Please join the Westra family for the service by following the link to the Eugene Westra Memorial Service - - on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Visitors are invited to join the Zoom meeting before the service, between 2:30 and 3:00 pm. Those attendees wishing to listen to the service by telephone can do so by calling (312) 626-6799 and entering the Meeting ID 861 5164 9530. The service will last for approximately 45 minutes, followed by time for live remarks from friends and loved ones. To request a calendar invitation to the service, and for email reminders and updates regarding the upcoming event, please send your name and email to">">">

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Published in Grand Rapids Press from Sep. 25 to Sep. 27, 2020.
Memorial service
03:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
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8 entries
October 20, 2020
Gene was my high school history teacher at Eastern Christian high in 1966. He was a great teacher, fully dedicated, and really listened to students. He was a model of kindness and intellectual engagement. It was during the Vietnam War, which was of great concern to the young men approaching the age of the draft. He was open to debate and one of our classmates, Nola Opperwall challenge him with research and argument, and changed his mind. Really an open mind. His class was also great fun--very lively. He will be missed by all.
Lucie Commeret Marsden
October 12, 2020
Bob and I were honored to be Gene (& Helen’s) neighbors for 11 years. He would come by w a rose or so to have me plant. Gave me advice on the birdhouses i was about to put up, making sure all for good for our bird friends! Always a wave across the field and let me know when his apples were ripe for picking! Loved that gentle man. PraiseOmg our Lord with Helen as he now sings in the Lord’s choir!
Paula & Bob Ter Haar
October 5, 2020
Our sympathy to the whole family. Gene was a special guy who lived what he taught. He stimulated my faith to a new level when I had him.always a deep and heartfelt smile. I’ve thought of him often as I drive by his previous home on 24 th street. We were blessed by Gene. Sorry for your loss
Trinie and Margaret Kleis
October 4, 2020
Mr. Westra was my high school teacher at Eastern Christian High School in NJ. He made an immense impact on me with his teaching - such that I still have a copy of the statement that we, without "authority" placed on seats at our graduation. Pretty bold back in 1970. I would be happy to share a copy with any family members if you would like to contact me. But the statement said..."In Christian love and joy we praise God for our growing openness and awareness of our life in Him through the efforts and teachings of Mr. Westra, who not only speaks of the Christian life, but also lives it. We join with Mr. Westra in saying: 'The most important thing a person can do is work with hope, hold on to purpose with unyielding joy, and seek healing and forgiveness for all offenses. Keep the faith!'"
I know Mr. Westra was an incredible influence in many lives and I'm sure that was true until the day he passed away. I was very sorry to learn of that. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten!
Nancy Leesman Eardley
October 3, 2020
Gene was the most influential and inspiring teacher I have ever had. I was blessed to have experienced his guidance and support.
Dan Van Kampen
September 30, 2020
A long time ago, I use to come to Gene and Helen's house for Bible study after services at Faith CRC. We alway had good teachings but also had good discussions. I am so pained at the loss of such a loving Christian man. Prayers for Helen and the family.
Christi (Broersma) Caughey
September 28, 2020
I was very found of Mr. Westra. I was a student of his in 8th grade in 82'-83'. He was a great teacher and a wonderful man. My condolences to the family.
Keith Smith
September 26, 2020
As a teen ager in the early 70's I met him in Upward Bound at Hope College ,he was a very compassioned man always a very sincere smile followed by a good Christian advise . I find myself now in my mid 60's with the regret of never had thanked him for his time and effort that he gave us but with the reassurance that he is with our Lord Jesus Christ .Thank Gene
jorge embil Embil
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