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Another child of the depression era and a veteran of World War II, “The Greatest Generation,” has passed on to higher Glory to be with his Lord. Mr. Jacob “Jake” Louis Westra, age 99 of Grand Haven Passed away on Thursday, August 2, 2018 in Grandville. He was born in Kalamazoo, MI on November 18, 1918 to the late Jacob and Louise (Grams) Westra.
Jake went to school in Kalamazoo until he was 17 years old and had to withdraw from school to help support the family. During the depression, he was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp. in Michigan. He also took a 16 week course at Michigan State College just before the war. Jake left for World War II in 1941 from Grand Haven, and served in the US Army for four and a half years in Europe with the 185th Ordinance Co. and with the 310th Regiment Co. of the 78th Infantry Division, coming home in 1945. He was a member of Co. E 126th Infantry, MI National Guard for eight years. Jake went to work at Challenge Machinery and married the former Nancy A. Strong on October 16, 1954 in Grand Haven. She passed away on July 6, 2014, after 59 years of marriage. Jake retired from Challenge Machinery in 1983 after 38 years of service. He was a member of the American Legion Charles A. Conklin Post #28 and the American Legion Honor Guard. He was also a member of the Grand Haven VFW Post #2326 and the 78th Infantry Division Association.
Jake leaves behind two children from a previous marriage, Chie Chie K. (Anthony) Worsham of Irvine, KY and Clyde J. (Jan) Westra of Walker, MI; seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 20 great-great grandchildren; two sisters, Henrietta Johnson and Lena Westra; two brothers, Fred (Sylvia) Westra and Martin (Rose) Westra all of Kalamazoo, MI; half-brother, Mike Westra; two half- sisters, Lena Roberts and Margie Thomas; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; brothers, Frederick Paul Westra, Paul Frederick Westra, and Albert Westra; and two sisters, Gertrude Reinbold and Jennie Rooseboon.
The Funeral Service for Jake will be held on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at United Methodist Church of the Dunes with Pastor Lou Grettenberger officiating. Visitation will be Monday, August 6th from 3 to 6 p.m. at Klaassen Family Funeral Home. Full military rites will be performed by the American Legion Post #28. Interment will be at Lake Forest Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to the Wounded Warrior Fund c/o the American Legion.
American Legion Dept. of Michigan - Wounded Warriors of Michigan
212 N. Verlinden Avenue, Attn: Gary Tanner, Lansing MI 48915