Richard "Rick" D Westman
June 10, 1943 – January 1, 2021
Richard “Rick” D Westman, age 77, of Grand Rapids, Michigan passed away on Friday, January 1, 2021. Richard was born June 10, 1943.
He is preceded in death by his parents Richard H. and Myrtle (Loewe) Westman.
Rick is survived by his wife of 54 years Merry Ellen (Bean) Westman, sister Kathy (Westman) Figler, son Geoff and Carrie (Jarosch) and their children Lauren (with her fiancée Tyler), Matthew, Jacob and Meghan. Daughter Courtney (Westman) and Martin Suchor and their children Grace, Martin and Bennett. Numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and his dog, Charlie.
Rick was born in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Michigan as boy, first to Grand Junction and later to Grand Rapids. He was a 1961 graduate of Union High School. Rick received his BS from Western Michigan University and his MS from the University of Michigan and remained a lifelong fan of the Wolverines. While at Western Michigan, he met his wife, Merry Ellen Bean.
He taught science classes at Rockford Middle School and Northview High School where he was the chair of the science department. After teaching for 13 years, he began a 28 year career in sales and safety with Haviland Products. He retired as the Director of Safety and Compliance in 2008. Rick was a dedicated volunteer at Frederik Meijer Gardens, where he filled many roles including plant care, tram driver and narrator and gift shop clerk.
He was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church where he was an usher and was instrumental in the growth and expansion of the church building. Rick was a founding member of Men of God, an interdenominational bible study and volunteer group.
Rick was passionate about enthusiastically supporting his grandchildren in their athletic, academic and artistic pursuits. He enjoyed reading and encouraged his children and grandchildren’s love of reading by gifting books to them each Christmas.
Rick’s hobbies included fishing, golf, gardening, growing orchids, wildlife and camping. He also wrote a quarterly gardening newsletter for the residents of the Treemont condominium development. Above all else, Rick will be remembered for his unwavering love of his family and a strong faith in God that has guided his life.
Rick’s family will hold a celebration of his life at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Richard's memory may be made to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525 US, https://www.meijergardens.org/donate/.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.reyersnorthvalleychapel.com for the Westman family.
- Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Richard "Rick" D Westman
Diane Wells Legate
January 19, 2021
Mr Westman was my AP Instructor when I was a Senior at NHS. It was the toughest class in my 4 Years at Northview. When I took AP in Nursing School the following year, it was much easier than Mr Westman's Class. There was no way to bluff your way through his Class, you had to work hard every day. It ended up being my favorite Class and I respected Mr Westman very much. It was a great loss for Northview when Mr Westman left Teaching. I enjoyed reading the story of his life and that he was a Lutheran and enjoyed Fishing. God Bless Mr Westman and may his Family be comforted by Family and Friends.
January 12, 2021
Gayle and I always enjoyed Rick and Merry's company at church and our Senior group gatherings. Rick was always fun to be around and listen to his stories and advice.
We will miss him very much.
January 4, 2021
Great guy. Worked with Rick for many years and shared a huge interest in basketball with him. We also shared a lot of laughs.
When he retired from Haviland he passed his March Madness pool that he started on to me and I was very happy to keep it going to this day. I'll miss updating him on the results and sharing insults about our favorite teams.