BOOMGAARD – Philip Lawrence Boomgaard, age 77, of Sparta, passed away on Sunday, August 11, 2019. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on January 22, 1942 to Chester and Bernice Boomgaard. Philip grew up on the west side of Grand Rapids, attending Sacred Heart School and graduating from Catholic Central High School with the class of 1959. Although his gruff exterior at times shielded his greatest attribute, Philip had a heart of gold, and his unending generosity earned him a pack of lifelong friends. He was a fiercely loyal person, whether to his family and friends, the Sheet Metal Workers union where he worked for many years, the Democratic Party, or his mother's Polish cooking. His many passions included fishing hunting, motorcycle trail riding and anything outdoors, as well as tinkering in the garage on cars or his many projects. A consummate storyteller, Philip often regaled friends and strangers alike with tales of his many exploits and life experiences, often with a healthy dose of sarcasm and wit. He loved to laugh, and his booming roar will be missed on the riverbank, around the campfire and at family gatherings. Philip was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Deanne (Link) Boomgaard; son, Randall Christian Boomgaard; and grandson, Michael Wodarek. He is survived by his wife, Janice Uzarski; daughter, Jana (Randall) Wodarek; son, Joseph (Claire) Boomgaard; stepdaughter, Jaci (Morgan) Cole; stepson, Matt (Marylyn) Uzarski; brother, David (Lois) Boomgaard; uncle, Charles Waleszkiewicz; aunt, Dorothy Holst; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Family Catholic Church, 425 South State Street, on Friday, August 16, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, with Rev. Msgr. Terrance L. Stewart as celebrant. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Conservation Resource Alliance, an organization that protects and restores the rivers he loved to fish in northwest Michigan, or to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
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