On Sunday, May 17, 2020, Cal De Groot, of Dutton, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, was called to see his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was 81.
"Calhoun" or "Jet" as his friends would call him was a loving husband to his wife, Deloris, for 56 years. He suffered over 25 years years with the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, the last three being most difficult.
Anyone who knew him knows what his love for cars was as he would haul out his favorite books filled with pictures of almost every car he ever owned beginning with his first Corvette in 1955. "Bought it off the showroom floor", he would say as he showed the receipt for $2300.
What people may not know about him is that he was the first artist I looked up to. He hand painted signs alongside Paul Collins in the late 50's and also painted murals inside homes, including one he did on the garage wall at a home I lived in on 23rd Avenue in Jenison.
He loved to tell stories of him cruising up and down Division Avenue in the 50's travelling back and forth from Home Acres to downtown Grand Rapids and ending up at Candy Anne's drive up restaurant. I always envisioned him being the Fonzie of GR with his leather jacket and greased back hair. American Graffiti in real life. He did have a group of racing friends he called "The Pandraggers".
He is survived by his wife Deloris; sons, Timothy DeGroot, Thomas DeGroot; daughters, Stacy Denison, Joni De Groot; grandsons, Jake DeGroot, Austin DeGroot, Grayson DeGroot; granddaughters, Cassandra DeGroot, Autumn Eirlsizer, Rebekah Ries, Eva DeGroot; great granddaughter, Adalyn DeGroot; brothers-in-law, Carl (Ruth) Esakson, Larry (Jeri) Esakson, Ed (Bev) Esakson, Lee Eggerding; sister-in-law, Jesse (Berkanpas) DeGroot; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. A service to celebrate Cal’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Parkinson’s Association of West Michigan.