Gerrit Van Strien

Page 512-513 - Gerrit Van Strien, an undertaker of Grand Rapids, was born in Nieuwe Tonge, Netherlands, August 28, 1858, the son of Cornelius and Cordelia (De Geus) Van Strien, both natives of the Netherlands, where the former was born in 1836 and the latter in 1837. The family immigrated to the United States and settled at Grand Rapids, where Cornelius Van Strien entered the employ of the Comstock Saw Mill Company. After a time spent with the concern, he engaged in the lumber business for himself, work in which he continued until the time of his death, which was caused by a street railway accident in 1901. Gerrit Van Strien began his education in the public schools of the Netherlands, and after his trip to America continued his schooling in the Grand Rapids public schools. He then attended night school for three years at the Central school, gaining the equivalent of a high school education. He elected to follow the medical profession and toward this end he studied for three and a half years under the tutelage of a Doctor Benton. He realized, however, that he would not care to follow that profession, and accordingly gave it up to engage in the furniture business with the Berkey and Gay Furniture Company, of Grand Rapids, beginning with that concern in 1875. He continued in the in the employ of that firm until 1901, when he went into the undertaking business for himself, locating on the site of the present Regent theatre. In 1909 he became interested in the ministry and studied for that work. He has conducted services at Plainfield, his first charge, Lamont, Allegan, Ada, Berkeley, East Paris, Moline, and Muskegon. His interest in the work is purely altruistic, for he charges no fees for his preaching. His work along these lines has distinguished him as an ardent worker for the cause of modern religion. In 1919 Mr. Van Strien moved to his present fine location at 101 Michigan street, Grand Rapids. He is recognized as one of the leaders in his field. On August 28, 1878, he married Miss Kriena Klaassen, the daughter of Adrian Klaassen, of Grand Rapids. To Mr. And Mrs. Van Strien have been born five children, as follows: Cornelia, deceased; Anna, the wife of Claude W. Dodge; Cornelius, deceased; Cornelia; and Gerdina, the wife of Claude Wellman. Mr. Van Strien has been a member of the Consistory since 1883. He is an elder of the Fourth Reformed church, Grand Rapids, and has been a deacon for seventeen years. He is also a member of the Michigan State Embalmers’ Association.

Transcriber:  Nancy Myers
Created: 5 November 2002