Clarence Robert “Bob” Van Strien



Memorial Contributions

Cascade Christian Church

Clarence Robert “Bob” Van Strien passed away at his home in Cascade on September 19th, 2023, surrounded by his children and loved ones. He was preceded in death by Pauline, his wife of 72 years and his brother, Dave Van Strien (Lois). He is survived by his three children, Greg Van Strien (Kim), Jeff Van Strien and Dianne Cusack; daughter-in-law and caretaker, Liz Filler; son-in-law, Mark Cusack; as well as 15 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; and brother, Don Van Strien (Margaret).

Bob was a profoundly devoted son, brother, husband, and father as well as one of our last remaining WWII Navy Veterans. After the war he bought a milk truck and married the farmer’s daughter, Pauline. His love of farms and the farming community remained throughout his life. He made his livelihood in the trucking business as an owner, operator, dispatcher, salesperson, and manager. His last business was C. R. Transport that moved sand, gravel, and rocks…hence, his love of gravel pits and construction sites.

Bob built the family’s first home along the Thornapple River and later purchased several tracts of land in Cascade township and divided them for homesites.   A sod farm along the Grand River became Van Strien Airport with the help of son Greg. Bob made it possible for Lowell Township to complete the development of Grand River Riverfront Park with a section of that land.

Bob loved to travel, and he and his wife Pauline journeyed all across North America in their private plane and RV (which they fondly referred to as “the box”). They visited all 50 states together and made many friends along the way. Bob was also an avid skier with the local Silver Streakers and others into his 90’s.

Giving back was a constant theme throughout Bob’s life. He was a fixture at Cascade Christian Church for 72 years, eventually becoming a lifetime elder. No service was beneath him; whether it was mowing lawns, fixing the steeple, driving kids to camp, steering the property committee, sitting on the board or many other unsung jobs that served the church. He also served as trustee on the Cascade Township Board, transported patients in need for Wings of Mercy, volunteered with Operation Santa Clause and delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.

Friends can greet the family at the Van Strien Airport, 12621 Grand River Drive in Lowell, Michigan on Thursday, September 28th from 4-7pm. Stories in Bob’s honor are welcome. An additional visitation will be held one hour before the funeral service from 10-11am at the church. The funeral will be held at Cascade Christian Church, 2829 Thornapple River Drive, Grand Rapids, MI 49546 at 11am on September 29th. Memorial contributions may be made to Cascade Christian Church (

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4 Responses

  1. Bob and Pauline were the first neighbors we met when David & I moved to Ada. He was a good friend always looking for ways to help. His door and his heart were always open and welcoming. His passing marks and end to an era.
    Condolences to his family. I know how much you will all miss him.

  2. Bob was a good friend and a Great American. Even though he is in a much better place than we are, I will miss him very much.

  3. Bob was a pillar of the Cascade Community. I will miss seeing him sitting in the front row at the 11:00 service at Cascade Christian.
    When my daughter Maddie had Heart issues at an early age, Bob came to us with an offer to fly us anywhere that she needed to go for care. I will never forget that offer of service. Service was a very big part of who he was. So sorry for his loss, but glad that his suffering is over and he is joining Pauline.

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