Tuesday, July 27, 2021
2:00 PM EDT
Mt. Olivet Cemetery
Mt. Olivet Road
Life Story / Obituary
Dave Veenhuis lived his life as a dedicated father and always had a huge appreciation for music. He will fondly be remembered as a kind and helpful family man with a wonderful singing voice. With his great sense of humor and kind demeanor, Dave will forever be cherished in the hearts of his family and friends.
On October 2, 1965, proud parents, Dave and Sue (Eimerman) Veenhuis welcomed their first and only child, Dave. Dave was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI where his father worked at Green Bay Packaging in sales and his mother worked at Western Michigan University. He grew up on Davis Street. Dave often liked to tell the story about his experience after the 1980 Kalamazoo tornado. After the tornado, Dave and his friend went outside to inspect the aftermath of the storm. He admitted this was probably not the best idea as Dave’s mother was frantically trying to find Dave and his friend; she feared something had happened to them since she could not locate them. Thankfully, all was well, they were just being young, curious teens!
Attending Loy Norrix High School, Dave was an active member in chorus, orchestra, and drama. He graduated in 1983 and then began his college education at Western Michigan University, taking classes in the music field. College took him a bit longer than the traditional four years, he persevered and graduated in 1990 with his bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in mathematics. After college, Dave began working at Manatron in Portage, MI, and met Jodie Amsbury. Dave invited Jodie on a date to the movies and dinner. The couple attended a showing of Kindergarten Cop and then enjoyed delicious pizza at the iconic Kalamazoo restaurant, Bilbos Pizza. After six long years of dating, Jodie decided to give Dave an ultimatum—either propose marriage or go their separate ways. Not wanting to lose her, Dave made his choice and the happy couple got married on August 9, 1997, in Augusta, MI.
Shortly after getting married, Dave and Jodie welcomed their first child in 1998, Emily. A few years later, in 2001, they welcomed their second child, Evan. Dave always prided himself on being a supportive father to his two kids and always encouraged them to be the best that they could be. When the kids were old enough to start playing a sport, soccer was chosen and became an instant passion for both Emily and Evan. Dave, of course, wanted to be involved in their soccer endeavors, and coached both of their teams throughout the years. Between AYSO and travel soccer, the sport became a huge part of the Veenhuis family. As the kids grew up, Dave continued coaching their teams and eventually coached their middle school soccer teams. In fact, he was instrumental in helping build the Comstock soccer program. Dave lived and breathed for his kids and their love of soccer, and when Emily started high school, Dave took his love of soccer to the airwaves and began announcing the Comstock High School soccer games.
Weekends were spent at tournaments and weekdays were filled with soccer practices. The family even once traveled to Europe for a soccer related vacation to watch Evan play. Although most trips were soccer related, the family did take one non-soccer related vacation to Disney World and a Disney cruise, where everyone enjoyed the time away and relaxing together as a family. At Christmastime, the family would often make the trek to the U.P. to spend the holiday with Dave’s mom’s family, and on The Fourth of July, the Veenhuis family would get away to the family cabin in Newaygo, everyone always enjoyed these special times making memories.
Dave continued his love of music by becoming a member of Kalamazoo Singers and later joined the Bach Chorus. He also participated in community theater and several Kalamazoo Civic productions. His love for music encompassed a wide variety of genres such as: classical, hard rock, and blues. He especially enjoyed going to blues shows at the State Theatre in Kalamazoo where he even got to see the legendary guitarist, BB King. Dave’s favorite band was always the Rolling Stones, and he was thrilled to have attended four of their concerts in his lifetime.
Dave lived for his children, but he also greatly enjoyed working as a computer programmer because he felt it gave him a sense of identity. He always had a wonderful work ethic which was apparent to all. In his free time, Dave enjoyed reading autobiographies, listening to music, and watching hockey and soccer. Always one to help, Dave was the first to begin clearing the table after dinner and putting things away, both at home and someone else’s house.
Fulfilling his role as dedicated father, music lover, and serving as a pillar in the soccer community, Dave led a life that he thoroughly enjoyed. All those surrounding Dave could clearly see his immense love for his children and his passion for soccer and music. There was so much to love about Dave, and there were so many whose lives were enriched for having known him. Dave Veenhuis had a true love for what he did best—being a wonderful father, husband, friend, and an overall kind-hearted person.
David M. Veenhuis, died on Friday, July 2, 2021. Members of his family include his wife Jodie; 2 children: Emily Veenhuis, Evan Veenhuis; his Mother Sue Davidson; 3 Aunts: Sr. Betty Veenhuis CSJ, Barbara Soda, Mary (Dave) Schultz; 3 Uncles Phil (Joanne) Veenhuis, Bill (Linda) Eimerman, John (Shelli) Eimerman. He was preceded in death by his father David C. Veenhuis. Cremation has taken place and graveside services will be held at 2 P.M. on Tuesday, July 27,2021 at Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Visit Dave’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Josh Whitfield Memorial Athletic Fund (https://jwmaf.org/) or Kalamazoo Singers (https://www.kalamazoosingers.org/). Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900