Obituaries » William Sootsman Jr.
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A private graveside service will take place at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park. Memorial gifts can be made to North Park Reformed Church, Second Impressions and/or Loaves and Fishes, c/o the funeral home. (Hey, Grammy We know you are celebrating Papa … and ALL of us home.)
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William (Bill) Sootsman Jr. crossed home plate and was welcomed with a loud cheer when he joined His Lord and Savior on January 22, 2021. Bill was born in Kalamazoo, MI, on September 5, 1926, to William and Cornelia (Boodt) Sootsman. A lifelong athlete—he played softball until age 90—Bill attended Comstock High School, playing baseball and football. After graduating in 1945, Bill joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in post-war China aboard the USS Los Angeles. Returning to Kalamazoo, Bill studied Radiologic Technology and in 1947 began a 40-year work and 30-year volunteer career at Bronson Methodist Hospital. He had the privilege of becoming a father to two children in his marriage to the late Ruth Allen. In 1969, Bill was united in marriage with Norma Jean (Van Dyke-Chambers) and embraced her two children as his own. Soon, they excitedly added another child and embarked on 44 years of adventure. Bill retired from Bronson in 1986 as manager of Radiology. He continued teaching and tutoring X-ray students, playing softball, volunteering, and serving his church and local Christian ministries. He was a very proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and a faithful follower of Jesus. He is missed by many. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his dear wife of 44 years, Norma; his beloved daughter, Linda Sootsman; and sisters Dorothy (Carroll) Kindy, Ruth (John) VanderWeele, and Genevieve (Arvin) Geschwendt. Surviving are a sister, Henrietta (Gene) Rich of Zeeland; children Daniel Sootsman of Plainwell, Keith (Casey) Sootsman of Kalamazoo, Richard (Terri) Chambers of Portage, and Terri (Jack) Brogan of Kalamazoo; plus nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.