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Norman Henry Boike

09/23/1987
01/04/2010

BOIKE – Norman Henry Boike age 87 of Grand Rapids passed away January 4 2010. Many will miss this man of nearly nine decades who spent his life going and growing as he kept a mind of many seasons and found some passionate later years not seen by all. His driving curiosity became the compass for his life as he resettled in Grand Rapids to find new friends and avenues to explore. Anyone who knew this Norman knew he was a Marine in World War II and was one of those courageous Souls of Light who took the first steps in landing on foreign soil having traversed the Atlantic with a bravery that led to a Purple Heart. Sadly the war left him with deep internal battles from demons that often haunted him born from the strife of those painful years. If it is anything that can be shortly said of this rare Norman it is that he was authentic without measure and a someone without many phony bones at all. His speech was unafraid and built on a steely mind one crafted from a diversity rarely seen in our time. His literary pursuits came in a steady stream and at a rate marveled at by both family and friends alike. Often he sat with six or more books a week touring and turning pages as he drilled into current affairs to reach the bottom of whatever he wanted to know. Father of five grandfather of eleven and great-grandfather to eighteen Norman Henry began his walk through life in Detroit Michigan on April 9 1922 as the second son of Lydia and Carl Boike. The Great Depression quaked his world like so many others of that era and his efforts as a teenager included work at the Detroit Public Library so he could help his family make it through those often meager times. Years spent in the insurance claims industry found him a man known for his fairness with a penchant for detail and an acute ability to deal well with the legal establishment for both client and company alike. His perseverance was known by many and appreciated by some—depending on which side of an issue they stood. To enter a discussion with this Norman was akin to walking into an arena where scrupulous examination was a given and passionate expression expected. A critical thinker he came to value the viewpoints of one John Shelby Spong and read all of his books and loved talking about those teachings with friends. Excitement came to his speech and an enthusiasm carried his voice as he spoke often of Spongs messageone he found in his later years after most had stopped looking for philosophies at all. Though a city man by birth during his years he lived mostly in the country with a deep love for Nature that grew him into a tireless gardener with a proper eye for who should live where and whether in shade or by sun. It could be said that he found God in Nature and often marveled over the wonders of it all. He left quickly without goodbyes and now knows a Peace he sought since the wars aftermath that sent him searching for explanations he couldnt find. He is greatly missed by his family and friends but especially by his companion extraordinaire Sonya Evenson-Ford. Their journey together was a marvel to those that knew them and of special comfort in this chapter of their lives. He was the father of Creighton Boike Michael and Karen Fogarty Brian and Deborah McNamara Stephen and Valerie Seaburg Jerry and Kris Roth. His brother Donald and his parents preceded him in death. His wife Susan also preceded him in death on July 30 2004. Both parents are deeply missed by their children grandchildren and great-grandchildren with both being well remembered for the lessons they taught with their lives. There will be a memorial gathering facilitated by Rev. Paul Smith at 1:00pm on January 9 2009 at the Watermark Country Club. We will be celebrating remembering sharing grieving and healing together. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in Norm’s name to the Golden K Kiwanis of Grand Rapids Michigan c/o Rev. Harold Derks 64 South Park Lane NE Grand Rapids MI 49505.

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Born: September 23, 1923
Death: January 4, 2010

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FACTS

Born: September 23, 1923
Death: January 4, 2010