Boats 08


Kenneth P. Achterhof

October 16, 1932 ~ January 25, 2019 (age 86)
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Ken Achterhof, age 86, of Grand Haven, passed away Friday, January 25, 2019 at home surrounded by his loving family. He fought a courageous battle of almost 2 years with leukemia.  He was born October 16, 1932 in Grand Haven to the late Jacob and Henrietta (Bus) Achterhof.

Ken was a lifetime resident of Grand Haven and attended Grand Haven High School and Western Michigan University. He proudly served his country in the Korean War in the United States Army. Ken married Shirlee Bruhn on July 19, 1957 in Grand Haven and they were happily married for 61 years. He was co-founder of Great Lakes Design, an engineering and design firm.  He was a faithful member of Second Christian Reformed Church, where he served for many years as Elder, Deacon, and Sunday School teacher. He served on the Grand Haven Christian School, Western Michigan Christian School, and Tri-Cities Ministry Boards. He was also a long-time member and former Commodore of the Spring Lake Yacht Club and loved being out on the open water, sailing, and jet skiing up through age 85.

Ken enjoyed working in his apple orchard and his friends and family were beneficiaries of his apples and cider for years.  He also enjoyed snow skiing with his family, having been a mentor on the slopes to his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed his friends in the “Monday Morning Coffee” and “Decision Makers Lunch” groups. He loved adventure, having sailed across the Atlantic following Christopher Columbus’ exploration route and traveled the world from the North Pole, Norway to Cape Town, Africa.

Ken will be lovingly remembered and missed by his wife, Shirlee; daughters, Kathleen (Augie) Fabela of Naples, FL, Nancy (David) Rasch of Grand Rapids, MI, and Jilaine Achterhof of Grand Haven, MI; grandchildren, Amanda and Mitchell Rasch and Alexander, Jacob, and Andrew Fabela. He is also survived by his brothers, Alvin (Effie) Achterhof and Jake (Janet) Achterhof, brothers-in-law, Fred Bruhn, Joe (Carole) Bruhn, Gary Verplank; and sister-in-law, Marilouise (Dennis Farmer) Reuterdahl. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Jean Prys, Joann Achterhof, and Katheryn VanOordt; his brother, Harold Achterhof; and sister-in-law, Vicki Verplank. 

The Funeral Service for Ken will be at 11:30 A.M. Saturday, February 2, 2019 at Second Christian Reformed Church with Pastor Laura de Jong officiating. Full Military Honors will be performed by the American Legion, Charles A. Conklin Post 28. Interment will be at Lake Forest Cemetery.  Friends may meet the family from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 1st at Klaassen Family Funeral Home, and at 10:30 am, one hour prior to the Second Christian Reformed Church Service on Saturday. 

Memorial Contributions may be given to Grand Haven Christian School at:

Donations may be made to:

Grand Haven Christian School
1102 Grant Avenue, Grand Haven MI 49417
Tel: 1-616-842-5420
Web: http://

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