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LaMar VanHaaften

• Dec 17, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Mrs. LaMar VanHaaften passed away peacefully Friday, December 14, 2018, at the age of 84.

She was born May 11, 1934, in Spring Lake, MI to Harold and Beverly (Mills) Dornbos. On June 20, 1957, she married Lee VanHaaften and he preceded her death on October 13, 1988.

LaMar lived life to the fullest. While growing up on Spring Lake she had a love for swimming, sailing and boating. During her college years at Stevens College in Missouri, for summer break she was a swimming instructor at her home and an activity director at the Bil Mar when it was once a dance hall which included well-known bands from around the country. She later graduated from Western University with a Master’s Degree in Education.

Lee and LaMar met in Kalamazoo, MI during their college years and moved back to Spring Lake after they married on the front lawn of her family home overlooking beautiful Spring Lake. Their love of the water continued throughout their marriage while later purchasing a home near Lake Michigan. Lee and LaMar loved having the summers off from teaching which led to many summer vacations in the Upper Peninsula along with their children. Lee and LaMar were known around town for the love of their Newfoundland and Scottish deerhounds where they entered them in dog shows. Their love for traveling also included many trips to Europe. Their last one was in Austria.

LaMar taught kindergarten and 2nd grade for almost 30 years at Grand Haven Public Schools, retiring from Robinson Elementary in 1992. But that never stopped her from volunteering at Peach Plains Public School where her granddaughter attended.

She loved her community and loved serving others. Her passions...which came from the heart, is what led her to the beginning of Kandu Inc, Suicide Prevention counselor and later a school teacher. She treasured her students. She had a heart that never stopped giving. LaMar enjoyed entertaining and would host many parties. Her many dear friends were a blessing to her, as well as her bridge group.

She will be greatly missed by all.

The family would like to send their sincere gratitude to their Robbinswood Angels and North Ottawa Community Hospital staff.

She is survived by her two children, Mark Van Haaften of Phoenix, AZ and Ginger (Brian) McDowell of Grand Haven; granddaughter, Ashley McDowell; and sister Virginia (David) Rolstone of the UK. She is also survived by several cousins and friends.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, December 20, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church in Grand Haven. Visitation will be after the service in the church lounge. Interment will take place in Lake Forest Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in memory of Lamar may be given to First Presbyterian Church, Grand Haven Public Schools – Robinson Elementary, and Robbinswood Assisted Living Community - Activities Fund.

Please sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.

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