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.
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, Sidney Hamstra, Jr. was a blessing to everyone he met. He was a man of great honor, courage, and strength who was well respected by all who knew and loved him. A more devoted family man would be hard to find, and there was nothing he wouldn’t do for others whether his family, his friends, or someone he came upon while he was out and about. No one could tell a story like Sid could, and his insatiable thirst to learn new things was his lifelong companion. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. Commonly recalled as the Roaring Twenties, this was a vibrant time when innovation was taking us places we had never been. Radios, washing machines, and cars that were mass produced on assembly lines nationwide were just a few of the advancements, and prosperity was widespread throughout the nation. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great celebration for Sidney and Eleanor (Liefer) Hamstra as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Sidney William on July 6, 1924, in Muskegon, Michigan. He was the oldest of three children in the Hamstra clan as he was joined in his family by his younger sisters, Carolyn and Mary. Sid’s father worked at Lakey Foundry while his mother was a busy homemaker.
As the 1930s set in, the Great Depression covered our nation and much of the world. Countless Americans felt the strain including the Hamstra family as Sid’s father was laid off work. This caused them to lose both their house and a small family farm to the bank. After that, the family lived in a small rented house with no running water or electricity and barely got by living on the small amount of public assistance that was available. Later in Life Sid would write an extensive article recalling the challenges of growing up during those times. He attended Oakview School and then went on to Muskegon Heights High School. From there Sid went on to Michigan State, and while taking classes there he also did some factory work in the auto industry to help pay for college. After one year, he left college to return home.
It was also as a young man that Sid met the woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Helen Hart, and they began dating. A bit later, Sid and Helen were married in 1943. Together they were blessed with the births of two children, Sidney “Butch” and Gladys. Sid found work at the A&P store and then later accepted a position at Farrview Dairy delivering milk to stores in the area. Although his marriage ended in divorce after 10 years, he was forever grateful for the children they shared.
Brighter days were on the horizon for Sid when he met the love of his life at a New Year’s party. She was a single mother named Bette Madison with a wonderful daughter named Karen. Sparks flew right from the start and they were married just a few months later on February 13, 1960. The new family lived in a few places in Muskegon Heights, and together they welcomed two sons, Jeffery in 1961 and Michael in 1964, into their hearts and home. The Hamstras eventually moved to Spring Lake where they built a new home on Glendale Circle with Sid helping with the construction. He also did all the landscaping and installed the irrigation system. as well. Over the years Sid meticulously maintained a perfect lawn and yard, and he enjoyed some gardening, too. As a family they enjoyed fun-filled vacations to Kentucky to visit relatives as well as trips to Cedar Point and the Upper Peninsula.
Always a bustle of activity, Sid was a man of many interests. He was quite the handyman who helped his kids with projects around their homes ones they were grown and living just a few blocks away. Sid also built playhouses, toy boxes, and swing sets for the grandkids. Of course, everything he built was well done and lasted a long time. Sid and Bette liked socializing with neighbors and relatives. After 40 years in their home in Spring Lake they moved to a home in Norton Shores since he needed a home that was without stairs and therefore easier on his knees. It was so many years of delivering milk that did so much damage to Sid’s knees, and it was also because of his knees that he retired after 28 years in 1979. He had his knees replaced several different times during his life, but each time he always worked hard to recover and remained very active.
Despite being someone limited by his knees, Sid continued his enriching life. He and Bette spent a month in March in either Texas or Florida during their retirement years. As an avid reader and someone who loved learning new things, Sid took over 40 different classes at Muskegon Community College in history, philosophy, science, and other subjects. He also became close friends with his instructors, which isn’t really all that surprising to those who know Sid. He could talk with anyone and was always looking for any opportunity to share a great story. Sid especially loved talking about life when he was growing up as well as what life was like for his father as he grew up in the Netherlands. He was a cat lover who had several cats throughout his life, and he even took them out for a walk on a leash. A football fan, Sid loved cheering on the University of Michigan football and the Detroit Lions. Always determined, he continued driving into his nineties before he needed to give it up. Sid’s mind always remained sharp, it was only his body that began failing him.
All who knew Sidney Hamstra would agree that he had such a personal way of making everyone feel so special. He worked hard and was fully devoted to the family he treasured, and a friend of Sid’s was a friend for life. A lifelong resident of the community he loved, Sid made such an impact in the lives of others. He will be forever missed.
Sidney William Hamstra Jr. passed away Wednesday, July 6, 2016. Sid’s family includes his wife, Bette; sons, Sidney "Butch" Hamstra of Muskegon, Jeffery (Christine) Hamstra of TX, Michael (Kathi Simpson) Hamstra of Spring Lake; daughters, Karen (Russ) Andreas of Nunica, Gladys Brott of FL, seven grand children and two great grand children; sister, Carolyn Colburn of Muskegon and special friend Blair Morrissey. Sid was preceded in death by sister, Mary Kessler. Services will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2016, 2:00 p.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Rev. Carlos Ramos officiating. Memorials can be made to Noah Project.