Kuyt, Thomas Wayne, aged 74, of Hudsonville, Michigan, went home to be with the Lord on April 4, 2022. Tom was a beloved father of eight, and grandfather of fifteen, and had been married to Sherry (Snider) for 47 years. The grandson of Dutch immigrants, Tom was the second son of Helen and Jack Kuyt, a WWII Army veteran, and he grew up in Wyoming, Michigan, hearing his dad’s war stories and enjoying his mother’s cooking.
While attending Wyoming High School, Tom became interested in technical subjects and also developed his lifelong love of music. He played clarinet and saxophone in band, and had a job copying blueprints before going to work for General Motors. Trusting in Christ as a teenager, Tom joined the Navy during the Vietnam War. He achieved the Sailor of the Quarter award and turned down an invitation to serve on the President’s yacht. Instead, he served as an air crewman aboard the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Intrepid and U.S.S. Saratoga. Before flights, he often had to climb out on the plane’s wings to perform safety checks, suspended hundreds of feet over the sea.
When his Navy service was complete, Tom and Sherry married and started a family in Grand Rapids. Re-joining General Motors, Tom advanced steadily, profiting from the technical classes he had taken in the Navy. He was eventually responsible for designing, programming, and servicing the robotic assembly line, and after work he could often be found seated with graph paper at the kitchen table.
Tom’s family grew along with his career, and he enjoyed living in the country, helping with his wife’s garden and rabbit business, and putting together numerous toys every Christmas Eve. He sought to instill the values of discipline, hard work, and love for the Lord in his children, but he also showed the importance of apologizing and forgiving. He jumped in wholeheartedly when his children needed him to fix a broken car or a broken heart, and he could always be counted on for a pun or dad joke.
After retiring from General Motors, Tom worked for ReSource Industries alongside his brother, Paul, and helped to train a new generation of professional employees. When not working, Tom enjoyed playing racquetball, taking motorcycle trips with his best friend, Wayne Holbrook, and sailing on Center Lake at his family’s cabin. He also served many years as a sound technician in church, and played bass guitar for the band Echo of Light.
Tom and Sherry saw their children marry and start their own careers and families, and their lives were filled with activity and service. They frequently hosted children and grandchildren for holidays, camps, and longer-term stays, and enjoyed taking a romantic cruise to the Caribbean.
In recent years, as they faced Tom’s cancer diagnosis and COVID restrictions, the couple found ways to keep enjoying life and ministry. They continued serving in church, making meals for others, holding family gatherings over Zoom, and taking trips as they were able.
Tom was blessed to have access to excellent care and state-of-the-art therapies during his cancer treatment. Although he did not enjoy being fussed over, he appreciated his wife’s constant attention and the prayers and support of numerous family and friends. As long as he was able, Tom served on the audio-visual committee and played bass in the worship team at Rosewood Church.
When he passed away at home, Tom was surrounded by his children as they prayed and sang hymns together, and there was nothing he would have liked better. He was at peace and ready for the Lord to take him.
Tom was preceded to Heaven by his parents, Jack and Helen Kuyt. He will be greatly missed by his three brothers, Timothy, Henry, and Paul; his wife, Sherry; and his children, Joanne Morris, Eileen King, Jonathan Kuyt, Loraine Hitt, Jason Kuyt, Alisa Nelson, Jennifer Kuyt, and Lindsey Burkey, along with their spouses.
Tom leaves behind a great example of godly manhood for his grandchildren: Brooke, Zoey, Faith and Charles Morris; Taylor and Hailey Bergakker; David and Kristi Kuyt; Samuel and Caleb Hitt; Kolton and Alexis Noble; and Juliette, Lillian, and Quintin Burkey.
Services will be arranged through Throop Funeral Home in Coopersville, with interment at Chapel Hill Cemetery. A public memorial service is planned for Saturday, April 9 at Rosewood Church, 2795 Rosewood St. in Jenison. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the service at 11:00 a.m. and a lunch at 12:00. Donations to Rosewood Church are encouraged to purchase a new keyboard for the church music team.