Earl J. Gemmen, 65

Earl J. Gemmen, 65, succumbed to illness and returned to his heavenly Father on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife Jude; mother Gladys Gemmen; brother Dale (Marcia) Gemmen; stepdaughter Meagan (Travis) DeSplinter; grandchildren, Mason Williamson, Meara Williamson, Jaden Davis and Fisher De Splinter; an uncle Julius Meyer; an aunt Joanne (William) Vanderwal; God-daughter Lynn Coney-Essling; a special cousin Ron Meyer; and three nephews.
Sadly, Earl was preceded in death by his father P. Ray Gemmen.

Earl was born in Holland on March 9, 1949. He graduated from Holland Christian High School in 1967. After attending Muskegon Business College, he went on to graduate from Ferris State University with an accounting degree.

Earl attended Community Church of Douglas, was a member of Cow Hill Yacht Club, and National Society of Public Accountants. He was an enrolled agent with the IRS.
When Earl's father became ill, he took over his practice, P. Ray Gemmen and Associates in Holland. Earl loved his work (even during tax time). He took special interest in each of his clients and was always willing to take time to provide solutions to their problems.

Earl had a lifelong love of boating and the water, especially Lake Michigan. He spent his childhood summers living on the family's boat, "The Glad-Ray," and traveling the Great Lakes. He had many wonderful memories of summers with family and friends. Later, Earl bought his own powerboat, which he enjoyed for many years.

Earl lived his whole adult life in Saugatuck. He was a bachelor for many years, before he married the love of his life and soul mate Jude on June 29, 1996. Earl felt blessed to have gained a stepdaughter, and later, four adorable grandchildren. They had a special place in his heart and brought him great joy.

Earl treasured his friends and made new ones everywhere he went. He loved spending time with his lifelong friends in Durango, Colo., which he considered his second home.
He had special memories of sailing with his friends in Mexico and the Virgin Islands. In his later life, he enjoyed time in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he loved the ocean, Old Town, and more new friendships. Earl always enjoyed traveling with an entourage.

Earl had many "best friends" because they cherished his generous heart and fun-loving ways. He had a mischievous nature, which magically brought out the best in everyone.
"You will be truly missed by all who knew you, 'Earl the Pearl.' But you will live in our hearts forever.... You made the world a better place!"

A memorial service will be Saturday, April 26, at 12 noon at Community Church of Douglas, 6847 Wiley Road, Fennville, with a celebration of life to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Cow Hill Yacht Club (a local charitable organization) P.O. Box 554, Saugatuck, MI.  

Arrangements are being provided by the Saugatuck Chapel, Dykstra Funeral Homes.
For an online registry, visit www.dykstrafuneralhome.com.

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