Life Story Service
Monday, February 20, 2023
1:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
A reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared following the service in the Life Story Center.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
PO Box 3000
Boone, NC 8607
Child Evangelism Fellowship
PO Box 348
Warrenton, MO 3383
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Life Story / Obituary
With an enormous heart and a commitment to going the extra mile, Lambert Bolhuis lived a life rich in faith, family, and friendship. Lam was a good man and a strong leader whose commitment to ministry and excellence inspired all who were blessed to know him. A natural storyteller, Lam had a gift for weaving tales that immediately pulled listeners in and often inspired much-needed laughter. A man who never shied away from speaking out about what he believed to be true and right, Lam was a powerful role model for living a faith-centered and wholehearted life. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, and servant, Lam will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as Henry and Anna (Grooten) Bolhuis welcomed their son Lambert to their family on September 18, 1938.
Named after his grandfather, Lam was the second oldest of the five Bolhuis kids. While his father worked at Brundage in Kalamazoo, his mother was a homemaker. From an early age, Lam developed a strong work ethic that kept him busy. He had a newspaper route, sold crickets, and later on, worked at Dutch Maid Dairy. As a young adult, his established work ethic and commitment to the job included going above and beyond what was expected. This was something that followed him for his entire life.
Lam graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1956. On October 18, 1958, Lam was blessed to meet the love of his life, Janet Cooper. The couple met while singing in the Bethel Baptist Church youth group choir. As they sang, their eyes met, and sparks flew. They were soon dating and falling deeply in love. With their hearts set on sharing the future, exactly one year after they met, they became engaged. They were married at Evanston Avenue Baptist Church on May 21, 1960, and drove to St. Petersburg, Florida, for their honeymoon.
The newlyweds quickly settled into married life and, in time, were delighted to become parents. Their children: Sheri, Alan, and Bryan, were the center of their lives, and Lam and Janet were truly on the same page when raising the children. They supported each other in every way. For 36 years, Lam worked mainly third shift at the General Motors Fisher Body plant, enjoying the freedom of fewer distractions and concentrating on getting his work done. Working third shift also freed him up to tend to the children's needs and activities as well as be active in their church ministry. Lam supported his children by never missing a game or activity and making summer vacations a tradition. The family would rent a cabin in Ludington, where they enjoyed connecting on a different level. Many treasured memories of good times and simply being together were made during these vacations.
Lam and Janet built their family life on the firm foundation of their Christian faith. They were very active in their church community and never hesitated to answer the call to ministry, especially when that ministry focused on inspiring children's relationships with Jesus. Using their gifts for storytelling, clowning, magic, and working together, Lam and Jan lived their Ministry in Child Evangelism for over forty years. Jan usually came up with creative ideas, and Lam would implement the plan with signature keen attention to detail and excellence. They participated in organizing and executing camp ministries, vacation Bible school, Bible club, volunteering at Borgess hospital, and so much more.
Well known within their ministries as "Uncle Lam and Aunt Jan," the couple spread their joy everywhere. For over fifteen years, they volunteered at Borgess Hospital. Firmly believing in "healing in laughter" and that "a merry heart is good medicine," they inspired much laughter as Dr. Payne and Dr. ICU. For many years they enjoyed passing out toys at the Gospel Mission, train station, airport, and many other places, all dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus. Their combined love for music and ministry also led them to attend the Southern Gospel quartet and Christian magicians' conventions as well.
Lam liked to tinker as he fixed things and rarely required help to do things. He immensely enjoyed fishing and later attending car auctions with his son. Later in life, yard work, landscaping, and attending his grandchildren's sporting events were sources of great enjoyment. Without a doubt, Lam's heart's delight was his family, and one of the greatest gifts he gave them over the years was the example of his marriage to Janet.
Firmly rooted in faith and love, Lam and Janet shared each moment in the comfort of genuine affinity for one another. Janet's death in 2016 took a lot from him. He truly missed his sweetheart and the beautiful companionship they shared. It seems somewhat fitting that he joined her in eternal glory on Valentine's day, February 14, 2023.
Surviving members of Lam’s family include 3 children: Sheri Lynne (Jim) Aman, Alan Bolhuis, and Bryan (Jeanne) Bolhuis; 2 grandchildren: Jada and Zander; a sister: Stella Gosa; a brother Henry (Linda) Bolhuis. Along with his wife Janet, he was also preceded in death by his brothers Dan and Larry. Life Story services will be held Monday (Feb 20) 1 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A reception will be held immediately following the service in the Life Story Center. Burial will be at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Visit Lam's webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories and photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Samaritan's Purse or the Child Evangelism Fellowship.