Donald Arthur Verlinde March 23, 1942 – April 23, 2021
“Grandpa Don” of Adrian, MI, age 79, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born in St. Johns, Michigan the son of Emil and Winifred (Curtis) Verlinde. In 1966, he moved to Boise, ID after meeting his bride, Kathleen Merrigan of Boise while serving in the army. They moved back to Michigan in 1985 where he worked at the Bakerlads Dairy Farm in Clayton, MI. Don was a life-long, hard-working dairy farmer and herdsman. When he retired from milking cows, he drove tractor and worked the fields alongside the Oprsal brothers part-time on their farm. He did that until he was almost 70 because he loved farming so much. In his retirement, he and Kat thoroughly enjoyed being grandparents and spending their days with their grandchildren. They took great pride in all their kids and grandkids. Don enjoyed summer camping trips, gardening, family times playing card games, bowling and going to the Gospel Barn to hear live Christian music. He attended church faithfully and also found great joy in his friendships. He also loved going to football games and other sporting events to cheer on his grandkids. His sweet personality and kind heart were enjoyed by all who met him. He was a good cook and put those skills to use for his family, church potlucks and Sunday morning church breakfasts. Two of his specialties were the turkey at Thanksgiving and his delicious, homemade zucchini bread made from the zucchini he grew in his own garden. Thanks to his granddaughter, Taylor, there is a YouTube channel devoted to “Grumpa Don”. Be prepared to be amused by his quirky personality and his mostly pretend grumpiness. He regularly entertained his family with his silly antics, crazy eyes, and funny voices. Taylor lovingly cared for him with help from her mom Jen and other faithful caregivers so that he could remain in his home until he went to his heavenly home. Grandpa Don loved well. He loved his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He loved his family (and his little dog Bella), he loved and served his country and he loved working to support his family. He loved life, laughter and joy. He always had a smile ready to share with whomever he encountered. He was preceded by his beloved wife Kat, his parents, and two brothers, Johnny and Paul. Surviving him are brothers Thomas (Lorri) and Michael (Kathy); bonus daughter Sherry (Tom) Perrone, children Brian (Linda) Verlinde, Michael (Sarah) Verlinde, Mary (Sheldon) Lange; grandchildren David, Faith, John, Taylor, Mariah, Micah, Sydney, Caleb, Emma, Ethan, Levi, Lucas, Joel, Ivy, Grace, and Jenna. A Celebration of Life service will take place 4:00 PM April 30, 2021, Ogden Church 3201 US-223, Adrian, MI, with Pastor Brandon Rickard officiating. Military Honors will be performed by U.S. Army Honor Guard. A light dinner will follow. Arrangements are entrusted to J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home. www.PurseFuneralHome.com
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