Grand Haven Tribune: Donald Robert Benkert

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Donald Robert Benkert

• Jul 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Donald Robert Benkert, age 87, of Spring Lake passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019, surrounded by his family after a long battle with diabetes. He was born March 13, 1932, in Nunica, to Anton and Mary (Blindauer) Benkert; and he married the former Patricia Anne Donner on October 17, 1953, at St. Mary’s in Spring Lake. She preceded him in death on February 24, 2019.

Don was a student of Coopersville and a lifelong resident of the Tri-Cities. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Michael’s of Coopersville, Sacred Heart of Muskegon and St. Patrick’s of Grand Haven. Don was a self-employed house carpenter and mason worker, and was affiliated with Shoreline Homebuilders Association. He was also an owner and operator of the Grand Haven South Shore Motel for 13 years. He enjoyed crafting, traveling and winters in Arizona, and he was a very family-oriented man.

He will be forever loved and missed by his family: daughters, Loretta (Duane) Downer of Grand Rapids and Diane Kooi of Fruitport; sons: Paul Benkert of Muskegon, Bruce (Marie) Benkert of Fruitport, Bradley (Sue) Benkert of Grand Haven, Scott (Julie) Benkert of Spring Lake and Andrew (Anne) Benkert of Coloma, Mich.; 30 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; his sister, Margaret Langlois of Nunica; and many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by twin daughters, Sally and Shelley Benkert; and Janice Benkert; two sons, Lawrence and John Benkert; his sisters, Marcella Lasko and Dorothy David; grandchildren, Jennifer Benkert and Shawn Benkert; and brothers: Joe, Harold, Raymond, Eugene and Charlie Benkert.

The Mass of Christian Burial for Donald will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Coopersville, with the Rev. Ayub Francis Nasar as celebrant. Friends may meet the family from 4-7 p.m. Friday, July 12, at The VanZantwick Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 620 Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Interment will be in St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Coopersville. Memorial contributions to American Diabetes Association or National Kidney Foundation of Michigan are appreciated. Share memories with the family at their online guest book at

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