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Juanita F. Zeinstra, age 84, of Grand Rapids, passed away Tuesday, August 29, 2017 surrounded by family.

 “For the Snark’s a peculiar creature, that won’t be caught in a commonplace way.  Do all that you know, and try all that you don’t, not a chance must be wasted to-day!” -L. Carroll was the inspiration behind Juanita’s life.  Juanita was first female in printed circuit board design, starting on a drafting board in 1957 at Lear Siegler, contracting throughout her career, and ultimately retiring from GE Avionics in 1998 as head of packaging and design.  Her professional accomplishments were numerous, but family took priority.  She and her husband Hank taught Cris and Michael old-fashioned family values – “please” and “thank you”, the value of hard work, honesty, integrity, truthfulness, and commitment, the wisdom to think through choices, the courage to try anything, the perseverance to work through challenges and adversity.  

Juanita and Hank opened their hearts and homes to Cris’s and Mike’s friends, including them in nightly family dinners or cottage weekends.  Juanita loved ballroom dancing and would break out into an impromptu cha-cha often to the embarrassment of her children.  Once she convinced Hank to square dance, they spent many nights dancing until late in the evening.  Juanita’s family wasn’t complete without a dog, but it wasn’t until Shadow, that a cat shared her life.  She and Hank shared a passion for all animals and they went on wildlife-centric vacations – standing on South Georgia Island among penguins, whale watching in the Bering Sea, photographing blue-footed boobies on the Galapagos island, and riding across the tundra in Churchill to see polar bears.  

Juanita was preceded in passing by her husband, Hank; and parents, Roy & Ann Brunson. She will be missed by her daughter, Cristine (Doug) Crew; son, Michael (Maria) Zeinstra; and three grand dogs, Titus, Farrah, and Jack.

Heartfelt thanks are extended to the amazing caregivers at Porter Hills and Emmanuel Hospice. 

A committal service for both Juanita & Hank will be held at 10:00 a.m., on Juanita’s birthday, Monday, September 25th, at Ft. Custer National Cemetery, 15501 Dickman Rd., Augusta. Following from 4:00-7:00 p.m. will be a celebration of Juanita’s life at Porter Hills Meeting Room, 3600 Fulton St. E., Grand Rapids. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the West Michigan Humane Society, Grand Traverse Conservancy, or a charity of your choice.


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4 Condolences

  1. Patricia Brakenridge on September 1, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    Juanita and Hank, I know you will be attending the service on September 25th. Regretfully, we cannot, but we will be thinking of you both in spirit and remembering the many wonderful years we spent up in Traverse City together as neighbors on beautiful Mickey Lake. The summer home you both painstakingly worked on was beautiful and your many talents were apparent everywhere throughout. I still enjoy making many of the recipes you shared with me, Juanita. It was a pleasure knowing you both because you were both so interesting. You were there for us, when Dick’s dad passed away and we will lovingly think of you in the coming years. God Bless. Rest peacefully. Until we meet again, Patti and Dick

  2. Angela Ives on September 6, 2017 at 6:42 am

    I have treasured memories of my dearest friend Juanita.

    I will miss you, and will never forget our enduring friendship over the past seventy two years.

    Love from Angela in Twickenham, U.K.


    You can shed tears that she is gone,
    Or you can smile because she has lived.

    You can close your eyes and pray that shell come back,
    Or you can open your eyes and see all that shes left.

    Your heart can be empty because you cant see her,
    Or you can be full of the love you shared.

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

    You can remember her and only that she is gone,
    Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

    You can cry and close your mind,
    Be empty and turn your back.

    Or you can do what shed want,
    Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

  3. Lori E Zufelt on September 17, 2017 at 10:35 am

    She was one of a kind. Hugs and prayers.

  4. Martha Brooks on September 19, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Dear Christine….I was a nurse in Dr. Pilling’s office and both your Dad and Mom as well as you were patients of his. Great picture of your Mom, exactly as I remember her. The fact that I remember all of you says a lot about you, always looked forward to seeing you and with each of these losses I lose a friend, but retain some wonderful memories. You have my sympathy, I feel blessed that I knew each of you.

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