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January 17, 2017

Harold Kalsbeek

Harold Kalsbeek was a man who liked to stay busy and enjoyed figuring out how things worked.

“He had a good work ethic,” said Harold’s daughter Jane Vogel. “He kept busy all the time. Even into his 90s he went out to his workshop every day and puttered.”

“He wouldn’t hesitate to tear things apart to see how they worked,” added Jane’s husband, George. “He would fix things I would never have thought to keep.”

Harold liked old cars, camping, travel, and reading National Geographic. He was part of a disaster relief team through his church and enjoyed building bird houses from leftover pieces of wood. He liked playing cards and looked forward to morning coffee club in town with friends.

He was 95 when he passed away in 2015, and aside from his travels, Harold spent his 95 years in Fremont.

“He liked the people and what the community had for families,” said Jane. “As he was reaching his later years, he started thinking about what he wanted to leave behind. I think he wanted to give back to the community because he enjoyed being here and he wanted to help out.”

In early 2015, Harold created the unrestricted Harold Kalsbeek Family Fund at the Community Foundation. It will be used to meet critical needs in Newaygo County, no matter how those needs change in the future.

“My hope is that it will help wherever it’s needed,” said Jane of her father’s fund. “He liked it here, and he wanted different programs to be able to continue. He just enjoyed helping.”