(August 13, 1919 – July 14, 2014)
John (J) Chester DeBoer, 94, died July 14, 2014 at Kings Daughters Home in Midland. He was born August 13, 1919 in Grand Rapids, the second son of Joseph W. DeBoer, Sr. and Anna (Smith) DeBoer. He attended school in Grand Rapids, including Junior College, and finished his education at Michigan Technological University, graduating in 1942 with a BS in Civil Engineering. He worked at Bethlehem Steel in Pennsylvania before entering the U.S. Army during World War II. After serving at General Eisenhower?ÇÖs advance headquarters in Rheims, France, he was transferred to General Lucius Clay?ÇÖs staff near Frankfurt, Germany. He then served as General Clay?ÇÖs driver in Berlin, where Clay served as the Military Governor of the U.S. Sector. He left the Army in 1945 and returned to his job at Bethlehem Steel in Leetsdale, PA. Missing the Midwest, he moved back to Michigan and accepted a job at Dow Corning in Midland in 1948, where he worked in Facilities Engineering for 40 years. He married Lois A. Cox on December 27, 1950 and they made their home in Midland, raising their daughters here. After retirement, he continued to pursue his love of gardening and was able to travel with his wife and family members to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and the Canadian Maritime Provinces, which he thoroughly enjoyed. J had a life-long love of children, as evidenced by his volunteer work with the Grand Rapids YMCA during his Junior College years to start a program for boys in an underprivileged neighborhood of the city. He taught Sunday School at Memorial Presbyterian Church and served as an elder. He also tutored a couple individuals with the Literacy Council of Midland and volunteered his time with Junior Achievement and the Midland County Emergency Food Pantry Network. He is survived by his daughters and their spouses, Anne DeBoer of Midland; Bonnie and Al Fox of Marion, Michigan; Gwen and David Hawtof of Key West, Florida.; Janet and Dan Quinn of Lake Zurich, Illinois; and Claire and Terry Porter of Powder Springs, Georgia. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Jonathon Quinn (Sarah Pranger), Katie (Terry) Martin, Trenton Porter (fianc??e Brenna Buller), Sarah (Tom) Euwema, Nicholas Quinn, Nathan Fox and Meredith Quinn; four great-grandsons, Beckett Cael and Kellan Jace Martin, and Cole Allen and Lucas Alex Euwema; his sister-in-law, Marian Cox of Barboursville, WV, four cousins, and a number of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Lois, his daughter, Betsy, his parents, and brother, Joseph.Visitation will take place on Thursday, July 17 from 5:00-7:00 pm at Smith-Miner Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1310 Ashman, on Friday, July 18 at 11:00 am. The family will receive visitors from 10:15 am until the service starts.Those wishing to express their sympathy may consider the Scholarship Fund at Spring Hill Camps, PO Box 100, Evart MI 49631 or their favorite charity. The family would like to express their thanks to the staff of King?ÇÖs Daughters Home for their loving and compassionate care of J over the past four years.On line condolences can be given at smithminer.com.