Thayer B. Hoekstra

Thayer B. Hoekstra (BS Mech Egr '48) of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Naples, Florida, died January 6, 2011, at age 84, while wintering in Naples. A life-long resident of Kalamazoo, Thayer was born on October 16, 1926 to Harold Hoekstra and Lucille Bishop Hoekstra, who preceded him in death. His studies at MSU were interrupted by service in the United States Navy at the end of WWII and the beginning of the Korean War. He remained a loyal Spartan fan throughout his life.

He was the second-generation owner of Hoekstra Roofing Company, founded in 1903 and still in operation today. Thayer was active in the operation of the company for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Kalamazoo Rotary Club and a life-long tennis player and golfer who pursued the games year round, both in Kalamazoo County and while wintering at his vacation home in Lake Worth, Florida. Hoekstra was proud of learning to fly at the Austin Lake, Michigan, airstrip when he was a young man and enjoyed many years of sailing with his father, brothers, and children on Austin Lake.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean Lundahl Hoekstra; children, Mark (Teri) Hoekstra, Steven (Linda) Hoekstra, and Holly Hoekstra (Phyllis King); grandchildren, Tiffany (Lance) Cornelius, Brandon (Angela) Hoekstra, Brett (Danielle) Hoekstra, Kendall (Ryan) Pipes, Jenna Hoekstra, Elyse Hoekstra, and Phylisia, Christina, and Trenton Winter; great grandchildren, Carter and Alexa Cornelius; and brother, Robert (Kay) Hoekstra. His brother George Hoekstra died in April 2001, but is survived by his wife Barbara Hoekstra.