Doreen Louise (Bonnema) Gunnink
|Visitation: Thursday, March 16, from 11 am - 2 pm and 5 - 8 pm at Friendship CRC, 190 100th St. SE, Byron Center, MI 49315
Service: 11 am Friday, March 17, at Madison Church, 1441 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Memorials: Christian Healthcare Centers, 3322 Beltline Ct, Grand Rapids, MI 59525 www.chcenters.org.
On March 12, 2023, Doreen Louise Gunnink (Bonnema) left her earthly home and went to her heavenly, eternal home with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was in the peace and comfort of her own home surrounded by family as she was worshipfully ushered into glory. We rejoice that she is now divinely healed and free from pain; however, we also mourn this immense loss. Doreen was known and loved deeply as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, aunt, sister, nurse, mentor, and much more.
Doreen fought Stage 4 pancreatic cancer with a rock-solid fervor that rivals none, determined to beat it and live to be with her family longer. She far outlived medical predictions, being told at appointment after appointment in recent months that she has already beaten the odds. Throughout the entire year from diagnosis to passing, she remained full of hope, faith and positivity in a way that inspired everyone. She firmly stood on the rock that is Christ and clung steadfastly to His Word every single minute of her journey. Although she did not beat the disease that took her earthly body, the fact that she lived for a full year after diagnosis, was in itself a gift, miracle, and blessing to her and her family. Also, since she chose a treatment path other than chemotherapy, a path that would give her a far superior quality of life, her final year was full of wonderful, meaningful time with family and friends that she loved and enjoyed!
Doreen lived her 64 earthly years as a faithful follower of Jesus, instilling bold family values, fiercely loving others, and leading a profound gospel-driven life. Doreen’s life absolutely reflected one of her favorite Bible verses, 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound-mind.” Doreen was a vibrant personality, full of joy, adventure, humor and drive to talk to and get to know anyone! She is described as beautifully loving, so very organized, always up for fun, the family gatherer, the best friend and confidant, and as having a contagious laugh. Her character reflected that of Jesus in her generosity, selflessness, love, and trustworthiness.
Doreen’s professional life as a Registered Nurse also demonstrated how much she loved people. After graduating from Blodgett School of Nursing in 1980, she began her nursing career working on 4E at Blodgett, a medical-surgical cardiology unit. She worked there until 1996 when she transitioned to Interventional Radiology. She was instrumental in growing and developing that department, serving as a charge nurse as well as a procedural nurse. Prior to her retirement in 2018, she worked a short time for Advanced Radiology Services and for Betty Ford Breast Care Services at Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion.
Doreen was not only a leader at work, but also at home. Her deepest desire and purpose in life was to love and lead her family, alongside her husband Loren. She did that with laser sharp focus, equipping her children and grandchildren to lead a life of integrity and love for the Lord. Doreen exuded pride in her children and grandchildren, always filling the role as their biggest cheerleader and champion in everything they did. One of Doreen’s favorite scriptures, Psalm 91:1-2 reminds us where our hope, comfort, and rest come from - “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Doreen and Loren’s children and grandchildren stand in the blessing of Doreen’s testimony and in the spiritual transformation her life brings to them and the generations to come after them.
Doreen was preceded in death by her father, Douglas Bonnema and by her mother-in-law, Wilma Gunnink.
Doreen’s love and legacy will carry on through her husband of 42 years, Loren, and her children, grandchildren, and the many others in her extended family and community who she poured into for many years. Her family will forever be enriched because of her presence, including her husband: Loren Gunnink; her children: Rachel and Reuben Sportel, Justin and Shawnna Gunnink, Jenna and Travis Slot; her grandchildren: Alena Rae Sportel, Nora Grace Sportel, Michael James Sportel, Mya Bexley Gunnink, Xavier James Gunnink, Evren Fox Gunnink, James Douglas Slot, Liam Josef Slot, Theodore Wilder Slot, and Lewis Finn Slot; her mother: Dorothy Bonnema and her father-in-law Ray Gunnink; her siblings: Duane and Nancy Bonnema, David and Marilyn Bonnema, and Dale and Jaynes Bonnema; her brothers and sisters-in-law: Jeri and Gary Owen, Dean and Jenifer Gunnink, Cheryl and Andy Cooper, and Shelly and Charles Slauer; other family members include many beloved cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and other relatives throughout the state and country.
There will be a graveside service and burial for the family only Wednesday, March 15.
Visitation for friends and family of Doreen Gunnink and her family will be held at Friendship Christian Reformed Church (190 100th St SE, Byron Center, MI 49315) on Thursday, March 16 from 11am - 2pm and 5pm - 8pm.
Celebration of Life and Memorial Service will be held at Madison Church (1441 Madison Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507) on Friday, March 17 at 11am. All are warmly welcomed to celebrate Doreen’s glorious life on Earth and in Heaven! Informal open-house style light food and beverages will be available immediately following.
Per Doreen’s request, please wear bright colors; she did not want everyone wearing black!
The Gunnink family is deeply grateful for the massive outpouring of love, prayers, support, and encouragement over the past days and even the past year! For those interested in making a donation in memory of Doreen, gifts can be sent in her honor to Christian Healthcare Centers at 3322 Beltline Ct, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 or you can donate on their website, www.chcenters.org.
STROO FUNERAL HOME
1095 68TH ST SE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49508
I was privileged to know Doreen for many years ag Blodgett. She was a gifted nurse and made s difference in many lives.
Praying that God's gracious hand will bless and comfort you.