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John Hoekstra was Mainstay of School Transportation in Michigan

John F. Hoekstra, president of Hoekstra Transportation, died on Jan. 26. 2011, He was 63.

He bought Hoekstra Truck Equipment from his father, Alfred, in 1981. Under his leadership, the enterprise grew substantially while upholding the highest standards in customer service. Eventually the family of companies grew to include Hoekstra Truck Equipment, Hoekstra Transportation, Hoekstra Specialty Vehicles, Hoekstra Leasing and C&H Leasing.

Approximately 250,000 students each school day ride a Thomas Built School Bus sold and serviced by Hoekstra Transportation, according to Karen Losch, executive director of the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation.

Hoekstra is survived by Louise, his wife of 40 years; son Tom and his wife Sunshine;  son Mark and his wife Beth; daughter Laura and her husband Brad; seven grandchildren: Taylor, William, Katherine, Jack, Charlie, Tripp and Allison; father Alfred;  brother Jimmy; and sister Mary. He was preceded in death by his mother, Elizabeth Hoekstra.

Visitation was scheduled for Jan. 30 from 2 to 4 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. Central Time at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home in Grand Rapids. A Memorial Service was scheduled for Jan. 31 at 11 a.m. Central Time at the Mayflower Congregational Church, also in Grand Rapids.

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