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Harold Eugene Koats

• Jul 9, 2019 at 12:00 AM

Harold Eugene Koats passed away peacefully at the home he was born in at the age of 94. He was born October 12, 1924, in Spring Lake, Michigan, to Frederick A. and Adeline F. (Mergener) Koats. His ancestors have resided in the area for over 150 years. Harold’s only sister, Mary Lou (Koats) Zysk, preceded him in death on December 25, 2012.

Harold married the love of his life, the former Shirley Ann Veldman from Fruitport, on Sept. 14, 1959, and sadly she passed away October 6, 1968, at 32 years old; they had one child, Cynthia.

Harold drove a semi-truck for 48 years for Michigan Express of Muskegon and then Central Transport, and retired in 1984. Even at 94, he would enjoy talking about his past trucks, the people he would meet and his deliveries around Western Michigan. He met many people over the years and had a great sense of humor, and enjoyed telling stories and reminiscing on local history.

In his youth, Harold was also a skate boy at the Grand Haven Skate Barn and remembers delivering cookies on the Braaks Bakery wagon as a child in summers to the Eastmanville Poor Farm. One of his family chores as a child was getting the ice block from the Grand Haven Ice House for the refrigerator. The walk to the ice house was three blocks from his home on Jackson Street, and even at this short distance the ice block would be half-melted because he would play along the way. He also walked from Grand Haven to Muskegon at 12 years old to trade in tin foil he had collect in 1936 to buy his first bicycle.

Harold enjoyed visiting with friends at the Rendezvous Restaurant in Grand Haven and rarely missed a day over the last 50 years. In his younger days, he would buy a new Ford every three years and also owned several motorcycles. In retirement, he enjoyed watching baseball and football on TV, and every morning he would talk to one of the family cats while waiting for the Harbor Transit.

Harold is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Evelyn Schindlbeck; son-in-law, Troy M. Schindlbeck; and one grandson, Ian Sebastian Schindlbeck; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Arrangements by The Spring Lake Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 213 E. Savidge St., Spring Lake, MI 49456. Memorial contributions in Harold’s name may be directed to Harbor Hospice, 1050 West Western Ave., Suite 400, Muskegon, Michigan. Please feel free to sign the family’s online guestbook at www.sytsemafh.com.

A private graveside ceremony honoring Harold’s wishes will take place at a later date.


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