Cover photo for Joel D. Sietsema's Obituary
Joel D. Sietsema Profile Photo

Joel D. Sietsema

July 3, 1941 — December 23, 2022


Joel D. Sietsema


Joel David Sietsema, 81 of Gaylord, passed away Friday, December 23, 2022, at Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital. Born in Muskegon, Michigan on July 3, 1941, he was the son of Alfred and Nell Marie (Beck) Sietsema.

For over 30 years, Joel worked for General Telephone Company in management. Throughout the years his career took him, and his family, to several locations; including a two-year assignment in Tehran, Iran. In 1982, he was transferred to the Gaylord Area.  He was active in the communities he lived in, serving in Kiwanis (Owosso, MI), Gaylord Rotary, Alpenfest, RSVP and was president of the Gaylord Area Chamber. He and Joan are members of the First Congregational Church.

Joel cherished being together with his family. He enjoyed spending time at the lake house where he and Joan 1st visited when they were dating. They loved the lake so much that together, with his brother in law and sister in law, they created a lake house of their own.  The lake house was a place where so many wonderful memories were created and will be cherished by so many. 

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joan (VanDonkelaar) Sietsema; two daughters, Suzanne Sietsema-Hoefer (David Hoefer), and Sherri (Bill) O’Neil; a very special grandson, Joel (Ann) Quay; two bonus grandchildren, Kayla (David) Owens and Ali O’Neil; two bonus great-grandchildren, Emmett and Emilia Owens; a brother, Robert Sietsema; sister-in-law, Orma Moon; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and June VanDonkelaar and several cherished nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his in-laws (William and Muriel VanDoneklaar), his sister (Betty Ann Hansen), sister-in-law (Grace Sietsema) and brother-in-law (Dale Moon).

A gathering to celebrate Joel’s life will take place on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, with a closing prayer at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The First Congregational Church or to the American Cancer Society. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family on his guestbook below.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joel D. Sietsema, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Saturday, January 7, 2023

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service

850 N. Center Ave. / P.O. Box 249, Gaylord, MI 49734

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