Traverse City Record-Eagle


December 30, 2013

Kenneth H. Risselade

TRAVERSE CITY — Kenneth Harry Risselade, age 73, of Traverse City formerly of Grand Haven, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. He was born to the late Joseph and Myrtle Mae (Green) Risselade on March 10, 1940 in East Grand Rapids, Mich.

In 1958, Ken graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids. He graduated from Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) in Big Rapids, Mich. in 1960 with a degree in electrical engineering. In 1962, Ken married Marilyn Sytsma. In 1994 he married Suzanne Bradford.

Ken had a zest for life, filled with huge passion, especially for his job. He was a respected electrical engineer, recognized throughout our country. Ken developed an extraordinary relationship with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, where they acknowledged his excellence on every project.

The change of seasons always brought the excitement of the next event. Summers were filled with boating, biking our beautiful Tart Trails and traveling long distance with his Harley motorcycle friends. Fall brought his appreciation for the quiet in the woods, hunting with his dog Rennie. He was also an active skier, both downhill and cross-country.

In his final years Ken spent these wonderful times with his loving friend Rita Whaley. Ken is survived by his loving family; daughters, Margie (Dan) VanderMeer of Grand Haven, Mich., the Reverend Linda Johnson of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Amanda Risselade and Katelyn Risselade both of Traverse City; grandchildren, Lindsay and Brendan VanderMeer; sister-in-law, Judy DeWeerd of Norton Shores, Mich.; niece, Melissa (Mike) Puzan of Byron Center, Mich.; and nephew, Joe (Paula) Risselade of Spring Lake, Mich. Ken was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Risselade.

The family plans a private remembrance at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Tart Trail, Inc. (415 S. Union St., Traverse City, MI, 49684). Please visit to sign Ken’s on-line guestbook or share a memory with his family. Arrangements by Klaassen Family Funeral Home.

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