Kooi, William Eugene Sr. (Bill), 89, of Edmond, Oklahoma, passed away on Friday, September 9, 2016.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 at The Edmond Church of Christ located at 801 S. Bryant Avenue in Edmond.
Mr. Kooi was born in Streator, Illinois to William and Anna Griede Kooi on October 15, 1926. He was the twelfth of fourteen children, and the youngest son (and the son who received his father’s name, “William”). He graduated from Streator High School in 1944, and married Shirley Jean Mitchell on February 14, 1954 in Streator. He worked as a Plant Manager for Skelly Oil Company for 11 years and a Sales Representative for Clow Corporation for 21 years. He was a veteran of the Korean War and served in the Army from 1950 to 1952. He was a faithful member of the Church of Christ and served as an elder in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Bill and Shirley retired in 1988 and traveled extensively across the United States for 20 years in a motor home. They often spent their winter months in Fort Myers, Florida. They also traveled to Australia, Spain, and Russia.
Bill was known for his humor and was well-loved by many people. Bill and Shirley were a wonderful influence on many people in the churches they served. Sunday dinners with many guests were regular events in the Kooi home, as were late-night youth-group gatherings. Young couples frequently received packages of diapers. Many people received regular rides to church. Thousands of young people continue to benefit from Beechwood Hills Christian Camp in western Michigan, which Bill and Shirley helped to establish in 1975, and of which Bill was the first President of the Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors of Michigan Christian College (now Rochester College) for many years, and on the Board of Directors of Schultz-Lewis Children’s Home in Indiana.
Mr. Kooi is preceded in death by his parents William and Anna, 6 brothers and 7 sisters and a granddaughter, Hannah Jane Kooi.
Mr. Kooi is survived by his wife, Shirley Kooi of Edmond, Oklahoma; 4 children: daughters Alison Hewitt and her husband Greg of Edmond, OK, Shelley Crews and her husband Phil of Longmont, CO, sons William E. Kooi Jr. (Chip) and his wife Mendy of Edmond, OK, and Mitchell Kooi and his wife Karen of East Quogue, NY; grandchildren Brandon Crews of Oklahoma City, Nola Hewitt Ledford and husband Thad of Tulsa, Beth Hewitt Gates and her husband Derek of Aurora, CO, Brady Crews of Longmont, CO, William E. Kooi III (Will) and his wife Holly of Vienna, Austria, Jillian Hewitt of Edmond, OK, Aaron Kooi of Edmond, OK, and Seth Kooi of Edmond, OK. He was also very proud of his four great-grandchildren, Elliott William Kooi, Jenna Michele Gates, Maddisen Rose Ledford and Lucy Jane Kooi.
Honorary pallbearers will be: Brandon and Brady Crews, Nola Hewitt Ledford, Beth Hewitt Gates, Jillian Hewitt, and Will, Aaron and Seth Kooi.
Memorials may be given to Mountain States Children’s Home in Longmont, Colorado (14780 N. 107th St, Longmont, CO 80504 – www.msch.org).
The family of William Kooi wishes to extend our sincere thanks to the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Oklahoma City for their care of him over the last several years.