John Vanderzee, proprietor of one of the sheet metal and furnace companies in Grand Rapids, was born in the Netherlands, March 26, 1871, the son of Marten and Antje (Cuperus) Vanderzee, both natives of the Netherlands, where the former was born in 1844 and the latter in 1841. Marten Vanderzee was a farmer in the Netherlands, where he died in 1917, and his widow followed him in March 1925. John Vanderzee was educated in the Netherlands and came to the United States in 1893. In that year he took up the sheet metal trade and tinsmithing in Grand Rapids. Three years later, feeling that his experience justified his making the step, he opened a tin shop on West Leonard street. His venture met with such success that he was forced to enlarge the business to include contracting for sheet metal jobs and furnace work. His success along these lines continued unabated, and the expansion of his trade was such that he found it necessary to seek larger quarters, which he did, moving his business to its present location, 1002 Alpine avenue, northwest. His plant there is thoroughly equipped to handle all kinds of work in which he is engaged. The volume of his trade has undergone a steady and healthy growth since the inception of the company, and the firm is rated as one of the substantial businesses of the city in commercial circles. Mr. Vanderzee is well known throughout Grand Rapids, where he is regarded as an expert in his field. He was married on March 19, 1893 to Miss Neva DeBoer, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard DeBoer, the former of whom is dead and the latter living in Grand Rapids. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderzee are the parents of four children as follows: Janette, who married Harry Meyring, of Grand Rapids, and has two sons; Martin and Leonard, who are working for their father; and Andrew, who is attending school. Mr. and Mrs. Vanderzee were married in the Netherlands five days before they came to the United States. Since that time Mr. Vanderzee has made five trips to Holland to visit his parents. As an elder of the Alpine Christian Reformed church, Mr. Vanderzee has been actively interested in church work.
Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 24 March 2005