Obituary: Laurel Beth VanHaitsma Kempkers, 71, of Hamilton, formerly of Scottville.

April 4, 2022

Laurel Beth VanHaitsma Kempkers

Obituary: Laurel Beth VanHaitsma Kempkers, 71, of Hamilton, formerly of Scottville.

After a four year battle with ALS, Laurel Beth VanHaitsma Kempkers, 71, of Hamilton, formerly of Scottville, entered into the presence of her Lord and Savior on Friday, April 1, 2022.  Laurel was born on August 28, 1950 in Chicago, the daughter of Eugene and Adriana (Cook) Dekker and graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School with the class of 1968.  Laurel continued her education at Hope College where she earned her Bbachelor of arts degree in Education in 1972.  On June 12, 1971, she married Ricky VanHaitsma in Homewood and they celebrated 42 years together before Rick preceded her in death on July 23, 2013.
Laurel supported Rick as he served in his first pastorate at Beechwood Reformed Church in Holland. Here they celebrated the birth of their sons Bryan and Jared.  The family moved to Mason County in 1987 when Rick became the pastor of Mason County Reformed Church in Scottville.  Along with her love of raising their sons, Laurel served as a teacher’s aide at Scottville Elementary School for several years before joining the teaching staff of the newly formed Covenant Christian School, where she taught for over 10 years. Along with teaching and supporting Rick in his ministry, Laurel served as a tutor/mentor for Kids Hope USA and was very active with the Hand2Hand ministry.  She was also a member of the church vocal choir and handbell choir, and loved to spend time reading, walking, and always looking for ways to grow her faith and serve others.

Early in her marriage, Laurel worked at Prince Corp. in Holland. One of her co-workers at that time was Gordon Kempkers. After the death of both of their spouses they reconnected through mutual friends and their friendship grew stronger leading to their marriage on October 2, 2015.  They celebrated six blessed years together and are faithful members of Overisel Reformed Church in Holland.

Laurel will be greatly missed by her husband Gordon Kempkers; her sons Bryan and Erika VanHaitsma of Ludington, and Jared and Lori VanHaitsma of Norwich, Conn.; Gord’s children Cobrun and Sarah Kempkers and Amber and Mitch Lohman all of Hamilton; their grandchildren Eben, Aliza, Rina, Nora, Micah, Zane, Aliyah, Declan, Natanyah, and Asher VanHaitsma, Nathan, Brenden, and Jesse Kempkers, and Azlan and McKoy Lohman; her sister Lynn and Edward Scheutzow of Homewood, Ill.; her brothers-in-law Dennis and Becky Kempkers of Hamilton, Larry and Sally VanHaitsma of Byron Center, and Dennis VanHaitsma of Holland; along with several nieces, nephews, cousins, and numerous great friends.
Along with her husband Rick, Laurel was preceded in death by her parents Eugene and Adriana, and her grandson Shiloh.
Services to celebrate Laurel’s life and love of her Lord and Savior will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 at Mason County Reformed Church in Scottville.  Friends may greet her family on Thursday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mason County Reformed Church.  Burial for Laurel will take place at Brookside Cemetery in Scottville.
Those who wish to remember Laurel with a memorial donation are asked to please consider the Hospice of Holland; Love Inc. or the Campus Ministries of Hope College.
Please visit Laurel’s memory page at to leave a tribute of Laurel for her family, or to light a candle in her memory.

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