Wayne Gerald "Jerry" Melpolder
1927 - 2020
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Melpolder, Wayne Gerald (Jerry) 7/23/1927 - 9/24/2020 Grand Rapids Jerry was called home to be with his Lord on September 24, 2020. He was preceded in death by his son, Doug Melpolder and his precious granddaughter, Emily Dykehouse. Jerry is survived by his wife of 60 years, Kay (Kathryn) and their children: Daryl Melpolder (Jim Dunn), Pam Dykehouse, Mary (Doug) VanDeRiet, Patti Gutowski, Dan (Tami) Melpolder and Nancy (Scott) Cowell, 16 grandchildren: Brittany (Josh) Pearson, Brad Melpolder, Heather Golden, Sarah, Laura and Amanda Dykehouse, Kyle (Taylor) VanDeRiet, Kristen (Kevin)Kredit and Julie VanDeRiet, Alicia and Amy Gutowski, Trista Hondorp, Danica and Tori Melpolder, Morgan and Allison Cowell, 8 great-grandchildren, sister, Judy Hakken, and sister-in-law, Marilyn Stellema, many special friends, cousins, nieces and nephews. He served our country in the US Navy prior to pursuing his dream of teaching. He is best remembered for his 43-year teaching career mainly at Northview Schools followed by 12 more years of volunteering in the classroom at East Oakview. In 2004, he was nominated by his principal, Judy Care, for the Presidential Volunteer Award and received a certificate of award from President George W. Bush. A memorial service will be held at Oakview Community Church, 4242 Plainfield NE on Wednesday, September 30 at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made and appreciated to Spectrum Community Services, 1111 40th Street, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508 in care of the Springmont Home Western Region to benefit the services provided for his special granddaughter, Morgan Cowell.


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Published in Grand Rapids Press from Sep. 26 to Sep. 29, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
SEP
30
Memorial service
01:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
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12 entries
October 1, 2020
Mr Melpolder, Jerry, was a lovely man who I had as an elementary teacher and who my mom, Carolyn Reifinger, worked with for years. My mom’s been gone almost seven years now so I speak for both saying what a gentle kind hearted man he was. My mom so enjoyed her teaching time with Jerry. So happy to see he lived a long life. Still I know your loss is great and you have my deepest sympathy. Love Shari Reifinger Rodriguez
Shari Reifinger Rodriguez
Friend
September 30, 2020
Wayne shared the most positive outlook on everything at East Oakview. He always found humor in the moment. As a young teacher, he helped me in many ways and I will always be grateful. For his students, kindness ruled. He found ways to make personal connections. My condolences to all feeling deep loss at the passing of a true gentleman.
Mark Gorsky
Coworker
September 30, 2020
He was a fine Teacher. Liked him well. Sadden to hear of his passing. Sending prayers and Hugs to his entire Family.
Jeffery L. Van Stee
Student
September 28, 2020
I had Mr. Melpolder for 5th grade at North in 1954. What I remember the most about him was that I looked forward to school everyday. He was kind and a special part of my formative years. My thoughts are with the Melpolder family. Terry Brennan
Terry Brennan
Student
September 28, 2020
Mr. Melpolder was one of my teachers at Highlands Middle School. He was such a kind man and a very good teacher. He will be missed. My condolences to the Melpolder family.
Mary Rinck Evers
Student
September 27, 2020
Mr Melpoler was my 5th grade teacher at North Oakview in 1955 I think. Recall being in the classroom right off the gym. We had a great Halloween party where we took turns changing into our costumes in the small bathrooms. Recall spelling bees where we lined up on opposite sides of the classroom and kept standing as long as we didn’t misspell anything. No bad memories looking back 60 years ago so he must have been a pretty good teacher. Sincere condolences to his family. He left a positive impact on this student.
Kathy (May) Dood
Student
September 27, 2020
I remember Mr. Melpolder from NHS. As I remember I think he taught math. But I do know I liked him.
Jim McFadden. Class of 1972
Student
September 27, 2020
Jerry was a wonderful teacher and mentor. Even after he retired he continued to volunteer his time to tutor many children at East Oakview. His smile and gentle way will always be remembered by the staff and children whose lives he touched.
Judy Care
Coworker
September 27, 2020
I remembered Mr. Melpolder from working at North Village floral. He would come in to the floral shop on occasion. I saw his photo and said to myself, I remember this kind man. I just wanted to take a moment and say my sympathies to his wife and all his family. May he Rest In Peace.
Greta Kulpa
Acquaintance
September 27, 2020
Jerry was a wonderful man! I knew Jerry when he volunteered at East Oakview. I enjoyed our many conversations which were mostly about his grandchildren, he was so proud of them! I am so sorry for your loss, praying you find peace and joy in your precious memories of him
Robin Pearson
Friend
September 27, 2020
Jerry was a gentle man, kind and caring. He loved kids! He worked as a volunteer in my classroom and was such a blessing to so many. My love and heartfelt condolences to his very special family.
Pat Bartlett
Friend
September 26, 2020
Jerry was so faithful to East Oakview teachers and students. I always loved his jokes or stories. He had the best laugh. God bless the Melpolder family....I will keep you in my prayers.❤❤❤ Love Diane Novak❤❤
Diane Novak
Friend
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