Kennth Lee "Kenny" Mulder, 62, of Grand Haven, MI passed away, Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020 in Muskegon, MI. at Mercy Hospital. He was born on Dec 30, 1957 at Mercy Hospital in Muskegon, MI. He was the son on Ramon "Jack" and Jacqueline (Smith) Mulder.
He graduated from Spring Lake High School in the class of 1976 which in recent years helped in organizing several get togethers.
He met his wife at a party thrown by his neighbor, Jim Miller. He said it was love at first sight. Jim wouldn't tell him anything about her and he was a man on a mission. When he finally figured out who she was he showed up with roses in his hands and asked her out on a date. He arrived on day at her house and she was working on her lawn mower up on cement blocks. He said he was going to marry this woman. He did marry the love of his life Deborah Cybert daughter of the late Gene and Patricia (Purgiel) Cybert on 09 Sep 2000 on the Harbor Steamer in the middle of the Grand Haven channel. They just recently celebrated 20 years of marriage.
He had a passion for cars which he spent over 40 years as a part Tech. There wasn't a car he didn't know. He started out at Tri City Automotive in Grand Haven. He worked at several dealerships including parts manager at Toyota, GM, and Chevy. He was currently employed by Fox Nissan in Grand Rapids. He loved attending car shows and loved the Gilmore Car Museum. He had two project cars his first was a "Teddy" red S10 pickup which he changed all the "stickers and grill" over to make it a Buick which didn't exist. He was heartbroken when he had to sell it to keep the family afloat. He finally found himself a bright yellow S10. He was so proud of his truck. He would spend hours keeping it all shined up. He wanted new tires and rims for it but his wife said he didn't need any because it already had them. They had a relationship like that.
Another passion of his was genealogy. He discovered he was English, German, Norway, and Swedish, Scottish, and Irish. He and Deb would spend hours in museums, libraries, and cemeteries. They would clean family members headstones and walk the cemeteries looking for family connections. They spent many weekends doing this. He loved visiting the Hackley Genealogy Department and MI State Library. At Hackley, he discovered that his grandfather, Christian Schmidt and his grandmother, Sophia Foegen were one of the first married couples, 22 Jan 1864 in Muskegon. He never did file for the pioneering families. Christian was at one time the chief of police and his son, Chris Smith become fire chief for the city of Muskegon. On a visit to the Fort Wayne Genealogy Center he learned of another great man. He ran across the name of Patrick Conners. He became known as Brother Paul of the Cross. He was the father of sports at Notre Dame. He helped organize the first game between Notre Dame and the University of Michigan. In speeches from the famous Knute Rockne, he mentions his uncle. He was told by one of the Brothers that his portrait still hangs on the wall on campus.
He was a member of the Grand Haven Eagles and the Grand Haven American Legion.
The last three years of his life were an up and down battle. He was a strong resilient man surviving a car accident that would have killed most. He shattered his pelvis, broke his sternum and ribs. Then came kidney cancer and his other kidney which was operating at less then 10 percent. He started dialysis 3 days a week leaving the house every morning after 4. He did 4 hours of dialysis and then off to his job at Fox Nissan. They worked around his medical schedule. He developed diabetic retinopathy but he was a miracle man because he didn't require shots anymore. Apparantley not normal but he never was anywhere near normal. He went through triple bypass surgery, coratted artery in his neck, countless fistula surgeries, and 9 leg surgeries to save his legs. Arthritis has now set in and he needs a kidney transplant. He can't have the kidney transplant unless he can walk the length of a football field but he cant. So off to pretesting he goes and again he hits another hurdle. The other side of his neck has become plugged, the artery behind his heart his plugged, he has leaking values. Still he ready for the world. After those surgeries are done he can look into having a kidney transplant. 7 people stepped up and offered him a kidney sister Pam Mulder, cousins Mary Wood Mursch and Cindi Archer Mitchell, his sister in law Lori Neumann, his niece Olivia, and friends Missy Monarch and Jim Boyer. Your generosity will never be forgotten. Then, finally the day he couldn't breathe. He was taken to Mercy by ambulance and diagnosed with Covid. The next day he was gone.
He is survived by his wife, Deb, 2 sons and 1 daughter in law Scott Mulder of Alanson, MI and Brad and Tiffany (Dehan) Mulder of Grand Haven, one daughter and son in law Kerri and Ryan Brooks of Hillman, MI. 2 stepsons Colton and Jared Anderson of Grand Haven, MI. 2 sisters and brother in laws Pam and Tim Plamann of Grand Haven, MI and Karen and David Towery of Ackworth, GA. 3 sisters in laws and 3 brother in laws Lori and Joseph Neumann of Alanson, MI, Donna and Sean Taylor of Manistee, MI, and Becky and Tom Follette of Alanson, MI. One Uncle Leigh Smith of Muskegon, MI and one Aunt and Uncle Judy and Lou Visscher of Grand Rapids. His grandchildren Brianna Mulder, Star Brooks, and Hunter Brooks of Hillman, MI and Brennan and Ashlynn Mulder of Grand Haven, MI. Several special cousins Mary, Cindi, and Kari and nieces and nephews Shane, Rodney, Lindsey, Riley, Olivia, and Henry.
He is preceded in death by his parents and father in law and his best friend and "Toxic Twin" Ric DeYoung.
Ken wishes were to be cremated. There will be a Celebration of Life Party in the spring if the restrictions have been uplifted. The decision to choose a limited number of guests did not sit well with his wife. All family and friends will be welcomed with open arms and it will be posted on facebook at a later day.
Phoenix Crematorium is in charge of his cremation arrangements.
Sincere sympathy and prayers for Ken’s family. Dave and Barb Dornbos Klug.
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