Obituaries » William Fred Lightvoet

William Fred Lightvoet

November 6, 1924 - February 22, 2018

Family will receive friends on Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 5:00-8:00 PM at Calvary Bible Church, 855 S. Drake Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49009. A service to celebrate his life will be held on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 10:00 AM at Calvary Bible Church. Interment with full military honors will take place at Ft. Custer National Cemetery on the same day at 2:00 PM.

William (“Bill”) Lightvoet went peacefully to be with his Lord on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at the age of 93. Born on November 6, 1924, Bill was preceded in death by his father and mother, Paulus and Mary (Doornbos) Ligtvoet; his brother, Marvin Lightvoet; and two of his three sisters, Mary Frances Ligtvoet and Dorothy Weeber. Bill was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is lovingly remembered by his wife of nearly 56 years, Phyllis (Fletcher) Lightvoet, whom he married on March 16, 1962; and also by 6 children, Thomas (Holly) Lightvoet, Shiara Lightfoot (Sharre Lightvoet), Stacey (Jeff) Williams, Stephanie (Doug) Gilcrease, Pamela Lightvoet, and Billee (Mac) Ward; 19 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; his sister, Janet McRoberts; and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Bill was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan where his family resided in the Westnedge Hill neighborhood and spent memorable summers at their family cottage on Gull Lake. In his youth, he attended Parkwood School, Kalamazoo Central High School and Western Michigan University. He was drafted into the Navy in 1944 at the age of 19. He served as a radioman on the USS Sculptor during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1946. Raised with a hammer in hand, Bill was born to a family of builders. His father, Paulus, founded Lake Street Lumber, and designed and built many beautiful homes in the Winchell and Westnedge Hill neighborhoods of Kalamazoo, including the first electric home in the city. Bill worked for his father at Lake Street and eventually took over the business. He went on to found his own truss company, Kalamazoo Roof Truss Mfg. Co., and become an active member of the Homebuilders Association. In his work and family life, Bill’s generosity and care for others was felt by many. His door was always open to those in need and he regularly provided employment opportunities to friends, family and strangers in times of struggle. Bill’s love of construction was matched only by his love for tennis and family. He was an avid tennis player and passed his love for tennis on to his children and many grandchildren. Over the years, Bill was actively involved in the USTA Nationals and coached many of his children to play tennis at the national and collegiate levels. For several years, he and Phyllis coached the Kalamazoo Christian High School girls’ tennis team who lovingly called him “Mr. Light.” A devoted Christian who accepted Jesus as his personal savior at the age of 12, Bill enjoyed lifelong worship at Calvary Bible Church and the Gull Lake Bible Conference. Bill loved and served his Lord, his family, his friends and his country.