At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Special Olympics Michigan
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859
Hope Reformed Church
1878 Evanston Avenue
Muskegon, MI 49442
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Nicholas Dykema lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. He was a hardworking man who was content in whatever life brought, even when the way before him wasn’t easy. Although he experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, there was nothing that was more near and dear to Nicholas’ heart than his family. A loving and devoted husband and father if ever there was one, he was filled with unspeakable joy to witness his family tree blossom to include grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Life will never be the same without Nicholas here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever cherish.
Nearly a century has passed since our nation dealt with unsafe working conditions, a lack of child labor laws, and a middle class that was becoming increasingly more discontent. Despite hopes of remaining neutral, the United States was left with no choice but to engage in WWI after repeated hostilities in the Pacific in 1917. This same year was met with great anticipation for John and Wilhelmina (VanderMolen) Dykema as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of May unfolded in Muskegon, Michigan. The big day finally arrived when the baby boy they named Nicholas Jurrien drew his first breath on May 24th. His birth was met with great concern as he was very ill, but despite a very bleak prognosis he thrived. The oldest of the Dykema children, he was later joined in his family by his siblings, Adrian, Andrew, Vivian, and Jim. Nicholas’ father was vice president at Lumbermans Bank while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home.
Growing up in Muskegon, Nicholas was a young boy of his generation. When he was very young he taught himself how to play the accordion and could often be found just playing for his siblings. In addition to holding down his studies at Muskegon Public Schools, he also worked on his grandfather’s celery farm. Nick and his parents enjoyed spending time at Elk Lake and also being with family. He and his family attended First Reformed Church where Nicholas was involved in the Christian Endeavor (C.E.) and choir. For the most part, Nicholas was very shy in school. After graduating from Muskegon High School in 1935. After graduating Nicholas attended Business College and worked at the Bank and Title Company. Nicholas served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII.
Life was forever changed for Nicholas when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Mary Buwalda, and they met after both being invited to dinner by Mary’s cousin, Marian Stevens and her husband. That evening led to a dating relationship, and one year later they were engaged on New Year’s Eve. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Nicholas and Mary were married on May 2, 1952. The newlyweds soon settled into the house they built on Oak Avenue in North Muskegon. Together Nick and Mary were blessed with the births of four children, Robert in 1953, Carol in 1955, Joan in 1959, and John in 1963. To support his family, Nick worked as an abstractor for Michigan Title, Landman, Hathaway, Latimer, Clink & Robb, and then Transamerica Title until retiring in his 80's.
Although he took great pride in his work, Nicholas loved nothing more than spending time with his family. Family meals were a priority every night as he enjoyed getting caught up on his children’s activities. Nick also loved hosting family get togethers. For years there were annual summer trips to Elk Lake. The family also took a spring break trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, and a camping trip to Niagara Falls and Ontario, Canada, taken in a rented mini motorhome. Even around the home the Dykemas enjoyed making the ordinary days extraordinary with things like popcorn after church on Sunday nights by the fire in the fireplace, birthday celebrations, wiener roasts in the fireplace, and large holiday gatherings with extended family. They were also members of First Reformed Church until it closed, which brought them to Hope Reformed. For years Nicholas served as an elder and also on the Consistory at First Reformed Church. He and Mary tenderly cared for their daughter, Carol, until she passed away on February 3, 2004. They were filled with unspeakable joy to become grandparents. In his free time, he enjoyed volleyball, tennis, fishing, boating, sailing, Carroms, golf, reading, and gardening.
Steady, reserved, and particular are just a few of the words that describe the extraordinary person that Nicholas Dykema was each and every day. It was easy to see that his life was deeply rooted in faith throughout his entire life, and his family was his most priceless treasure. Nicholas was such a blessing to everyone he met and will never be forgotten.
Nicholas J. Dykema passed away Tuesday, February 7, 2017. Nicholas’ family includes his children, Robert (Patricia) Dykema of N. Muskegon, Joan (Tom) Eikenberry of Grand Rapids, John (Lisa) Dykema of WI; grandchildren, Sarah (Scott) Dykman, Elizabeth (Phillip) Nicholson, Kimberly (Matthew) Dykstra, Stephanie Stover, David, Nicholas, Jack and Harry Dykema; great grandchildren, Emmalee & Ella Dykman, Michael & Gabriel Nicholson; brother, Adrian (Elizabeth) Dykema; sisters-in-law, Louise Dykema, Beverly Larson, Barbara (Bill) Rathbun, Cork Dykema; brother-in-law, Carl Krause; beloved care giver, Donna Eitniear; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Nicholas was preceded in death by wife, Mary in 2014; daughter, Carol Dykema; son-in-law, Michael Stover; brothers James & Andrew; sister, Vivian. Services will be held on Friday, February 10, 2017, 11:00 a.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Rev. Steve Hyma officiating and Military Honors under the Auspices of the Muskegon County Council of Veterans. Interment in Laketon Township Cemetery. MEMORIAL: Special Olympics or Hope Reformed Church. Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory or sign the online guest book.