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Jack Barton Leaver Sr., age 97, formerly of Fremont, MI passed away on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022, in Holland, MI. The son of Cecil and Gladys (Phelps) Leaver, Jack was born on September 20th, 1924, in Kent City, MI. For 64 years, he was married to the love of his life, Norma Leaver, who passed away in 2010. While still in high school, Jack’s interest in politics led to him serving as a Page Boy in the Michigan State Senate in both 1939 and 1941. He was a World War II Army Veteran, drafted in 1943, returning in 1946. Jack graduated from Michigan State University and continued his Master’s studies there.

He began his career at Gerber Baby Food in Fremont, MI in 1950 as Produce Buyer. In 1959, he moved his family to Hendersonville, NC for six years to be the Produce Manager of the new Gerber plant in nearby Asheville. Moving back to Fremont, he served as Corporate Director of Agriculture for Gerber Baby Food until retiring in 1987. Jack and Norma enjoyed retirement at their summer home on Hess Lake in Newaygo, MI and their winter home in Naples, Florida. They traveled extensively throughout the US, Australia, Europe and Scandinavia.

For 45 years Jack was involved with the National Junior Horticulture Association where he was the Treasurer and Convention Director for 25 years. He was on the Fremont Board of Education for 20 years and the President for 12. He was very active in the Fremont Methodist Church and was also involved with many other local, state, and national agricultural organizations. But Jack was the most active as a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Spending time with his family was what he loved most; supporting his children in all their interests and even teaching his grandchildren how to waterski when he was 70 years old. A loyal friend, active listener and a consummate storyteller with an infectious laugh, Jack Sr., the family patriarch, will be greatly missed.

He is survived by: daughter, Kathy (Roger) DeKuiper of Holland, MI; two sons, Jack Barton (Vonni) Leaver Jr. of Grand Haven, MI and Mike (Hank) Leaver of Grand Rapids, MI; five grandchildren, Abraham Leaver, Rylee (Jason) Beauvais, Kathryn (Mike) Ramey, Colin (Megan) DeKuiper, and Kendra (Michael) DeKuiper; four step-grandchildren, Anna (Paul) Papes, Mack (Suz) Adama, Emily (Terrence) Adama, and Tara (Kyle) McAlpine; four great-grandchildren, Madison Leaver, Peyton Leaver, Ella Beauvais, and Abby Beauvais; six step-great-grandchildren, Aaron, Eli, Milan, Therrian, Lucy and Henry; daughter-in-law, Jeanne Leaver; son-in-law, Jim Hoffman; sister-in-law, Imogene Clement; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Jack is preceded in death by wife, Norma Leaver; son, William Leaver; daughter, Jan Hoffman; brother, Dan (Nita) Leaver; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Edwin (Hazel) Johnson, Arnold (Ione) Johnson, Charles Clement, and Althea (Leon) Swift.

At his request, a private family service will be held. For anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution in his honor, the family suggests the Alzheimer’s Association, Fremont Area Community Foundation or

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jack’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jack’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006, exclusive providers of Veterans Funeral Care.


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1 Condolence

  1. Rev. Lynn A. DeMoss on July 1, 2022 at 9:52 am

    To the Jack B. Leaver family:

    I have been trying to reach Jack for some time, but learned just today of his death. I send condolences, love, and thoughts of all of you. Jack was a good friend whose wisdom and encouragement I treasured when I was his pastor in Fremont days.

    My son is no longer doctoring in Holland so I do not get there or I would have looked Jack up. I remember all of you with affection and share in your sorrow.
    I would love to hear from any of you.

    Lynn DeMoss 1520 Sherman St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506

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