Apr 5, 2018
Robert Heeren, Michigan produce company operator, dies

West Michigan produce company operator Robert Eugene Heeren has died.

According to his obituary, Mr. Heeren was born on Feb. 9, 1931 to Elmer and Jean Heeren. Bob proudly served his country as a member of the United States Air Force during the Korean War. Bob married his wife, Marilyn, in 1954.

He went on to operate his own store, Bob’s Fruit Bowl, in the late 1950s. In 1962, Bob and his cousin, John Heeren Jr., joined with their fathers, Elmer and John, respectively, in operating Heeren Brothers Produce Inc., a wholesale produce company in Grand Rapids. During this time, the company also started an apple storage and packaging operation and expanded to a full-service line wholesale produce company.

Bob served as a board member on the International Apple Institute representing the Michigan apple industry.

Bob enjoyed playing golf and traveling along with getting to spend time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Jean Heeren, and his brother, Edwin Heeren. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Heeren; children, Bruce (Marilyn Redder) Heeren, Brenda (Richard) Versluis, William Heeren, Brian (Linda) Heeren, Mark (Terri) Heeren; grandchildren, Matthew (Maggie) Heeren, Jeremy (Jill) Heeren, Michael (Tori) Heeren, Jamie (Chris) Gehrke, Richard (Tristan) Versluis, Michelle (Pete) Beukema, Robert (Christine) Versluis, Jacquelyn (Ryan) Alt, Hillary (George) Harris, Emily (Andrew) Simms, Kyle Heeren, Hannah Heeren; great grandchildren, Declan Heeren, Mia Heeren, Tanner Heeren, Michael Gehrke, Richard and Andrew Versluis, Easton, Carson, Campbell, and Capri Beukema, Reid and Marley Versluis, Ryan, Nolan, and Alaina Alt, Wolfgang and Oriana Harris, plus 3 more on the way this year; sisters, Audrey (Phil) Wiltjer, Mary Stellema; sister-in-law, Pat Heeren; brother-in-law, Dean (Esther) Manni; several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 11. 2018 at Stegenga Funeral Chapel, 1601 Post Drive NE, Belmont.

His family will greet relatives and friends 5-8 p.m.  Tuesday and one hour prior to the service at the funeral chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the Juvenile Diabetes Association. To share a photo, memory, and sign the family’s online guestbook, please visit www.stegengafuneralchapel.com.

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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