Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Burt TenBrink

March 7, 1948 - October 11, 2020
Kalamazoo, MI



Tuesday, October 20, 2020
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900
Driving Directions


Wednesday, October 21, 2020
1:00 PM EDT
Lakeland Reformed Church
10442 South Sprinkle Road
Vicksburg, MI 49097

Service will be held in the Family Life Center.

Web Site


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.

Centrica Care Navigators
7100 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 345-0273
Driving Directions
Web Site

Charity of Your Choice


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Burton M. TenBrink Jr. was born on March 7, 1948 in Bronson Hospital to Burton M. TenBrink Sr. and Geraldine TenBrink. He passed away at Rose Arbor Hospice on October 11th after suffering a massive stroke on Thursday October 8th at home. He spent his childhood living at Austin Lake. He attended Portage Public Schools and graduated from Portage Central H.S. in 1966. He went on to Western Michigan University, earning a B.S. Degree. He was enrolled in ROTC and entered the U.S. Army in November of 1970 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He married the love of his life Cheryl Whitman who he met the first semester of their freshman year at Western. They dated for over 3 years and shared many classes and activities together. While on active duty, Burt trained as a tank commander at Ft. Knox, KY, and went on to serve his country at Ft. Carson, CO, Korea, and Ft. Hood, TX. He attained the rank of captain before leaving the Army after 5 years, in 1975. Both of their sons were born while Burt was on active duty. Cory in Colorado Springs in 1971 and Carl at Ft. Hood, TX. In November of 1975 Burt and Cheryl established their home in Kalamazoo where they lived for 45 years. Burt was a Police Officer for 26 years in the City of Kalamazoo. He retired in February of 2002 and 7 days later he was in New York at Ground Zero as a trained counselor to the men and women who worked at Ground Zero. Burt always said that even though he was there on the 5th month anniversary, the people were talking about it like it happened yesterday.

Burt lived a Christian life and served his churches faithfully. He was a charter member of Lakeland Reformed Church in Vicksburg, MI, and he and Cheryl worked diligently for over 2 years to restart the Westnedge Hill Church in Kalamazoo, MI. He was a Rotarian for over 15 years in the Oshtemo, MI club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of many organizations – FOP Lodge 98, Kalamazoo Rod and Gun Club, Michigan Rail Passengers Association, National Association of Rail Passengers, and the Lionel Train Collector’s Club of America. Burt and Cheryl attended their annual conventions for 22 years where they were held all over the United States. They often traveled via Amtrak to these conventions. Burt loved having a sleeping car when they traveled to many places – California, New Orleans, Tacoma, WA, and many times to Dallas, TX to see the family.

Burt is survived by his wife Cheryl of 50 years; son Cory and his wife Susan and daughters Eleanor, Emma, and Elysse of Plano, TX; son Carl of Skiatook, OK, and his children Benjamin, Elijah, Hunter, and Evelyn; his brother Steve TenBrink and wife Karen and their children Brian and Jill of Schoolcraft; sister Sharon Curtis and her husband Bob and their children Matt and Jennifer.

Age 72, died October 11, 2020 at Rose Arbor Hospice. Visit with family and friends on Tuesday (OCT 20) from 5-8 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Services will be held Wednesday (OCT 21) at 1 PM in the Family Life Center at Lakeland Reformed Church in Vicksburg. Visit Burt’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or a charity of your choice.