Hardworking, generous, and kind, Enno Bolhuis lived a life rich in faith and family. Enno’s persevering spirit and unwavering faith inspired a life filled with warmth, service, and great love. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Enno always had a smile and embraced each day as a gift. An inspiration to all who were blessed to know him, Enno will long be remembered and ever so missed.
His hard-working parents, Daniel and Anna Catherine (Ouderkerk) Bolhuis, welcomed Enno into their family on December 26, 1924, in Aplington, Iowa. The ninth of the 12 Bolhuis children, Enno grew up in a busy home centered on the values of family and hard work. Immigrants from the Netherlands, who came to the United States through Ellis Island, his parents were celery farmers, and his dad later worked at Dutton Company. Enno’s 11 siblings; Lawrence, Harm, Henry, Anna, Trena, Grace, Rita, Gertrude, Catherine, Sam, and John were his first friends and good company.
The family moved to Vicksburg, Michigan where he attended school through the 8th grade when he stopped his schooling to help support his family. Enno later joined the Army Air Corp and served during WWII. A natural athlete, Enno played amateur community baseball in Hayes Center, Nebraska. While in the military, he boxed in exhibitions to entertain the troops. He was stationed in several locations, one of which was the McCook, Nebraska Army Airbase.
While stationed in Nebraska, Enno had the good fortune of meeting the love of his life, Mary Ruth. Ruth worked in the Army Airbase dining hall, where Enno flirted with her and soon earned her affections. The happy couple married on October 6, 1945, and were blessed to welcome three children to their family; Rick, Sharon Lynelle, and Nancy. Sadly, Sharon Lynelle died in infancy, but she always remained in her family’s heart.
In 1956, Enno and Ruth moved their family to Vicksburg, Michigan, Enno’s hometown. A master carpenter, Enno worked in construction and owned his own building business; E. Bolhuis Building Contractor. He later worked for Miller Davis Construction. Over his long career, he worked on many special projects, including the Kalamazoo Center, Bronson and Borgess Hospitals, and Eaton Corporation. Enno used his skills to build several homes for his family and made all of the cabinets in his home. He also built and remodeled churches on a voluntary basis. Enno enjoyed his work and the people he met and worked with along the way. After retiring at the age of 62, he worked at the Vicksburg Transfer Station to help his brother Harm and enjoyed his grandson working at his side.
A humble man, with a servant heart, he treasured his relationships with the Lord, his family and friends. He lived a life of service, always looking for ways to support others. He faithfully attended church every Sunday and was very involved in the Church community. He and his family traveled to Nebraska every summer to visit Ruth’s mother and other relatives. Enno also arranged several Bolhuis family reunions at Prairieview Park near their home on Portage Road. Enno enjoyed following sports, especially the Detroit Tigers and University of Michigan football, and looked forward to his annual yard sales. He also enjoyed golf with friends and family and was on a bowling league for years.
In 1995, Ruth and Enno decided to live part-time in Boise, Idaho, to be closer to their daughter and her family part of the year, and also to help build the church building for New Heights Christian Fellowship. In 2005, when Ruth's health began to fail, they sold their home in Michigan and moved to live full-time in Boise, Idaho. They soon made their home in the wonderful community of Granger Senior Mobile Home Park, where they made terrific friends and Enno enjoyed Tuesday morning men's coffee club. On June 3, 2011, Ruth passed away. Though Enno missed his wife of 66 years tremendously, he found comfort in his family, faith, and friendships. He also spent a lot of time with his canine companion Bo. Bo would alert him to a knock at the door or other sounds in the home. Bo never left Enno’s side. Bo was named after the legendary Michigan football Coach Bo Schembechler.
Without a doubt, the world feels less certain in the absence of Enno’s steadfast presence. May we find comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with his beloved, Ruth, and so many who have gone before him. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying his legacy forward. With each stranger we greet as a friend, moment we chose faith over fear, family gathering we partake, and talent we freely give in service of others, we celebrate the many ways Enno gifted our lives. In this way, we keep his spirit alive and inspiring others as he so inspired us.
God blessed Enno by providing him with life long work that he enjoyed. It says in Ecclesiastes 5:19b "to be happy in his work—this is the gift of God".
Enno Bolhuis, age 96, of Boise, ID, passed away into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior on September 29, 2021, after a brief illness. Enno’s family includes his children: Rick Bolhuis of Vicksburg, MI; Nancy (David) Hartman of Boise, ID.; five grandchildren: Tom (Cherish) Bolhuis, Lisa (Jeremiah) Montgomery, Sarah (Brett) Kent, Joseph Hartman, and Hannah Elizabeth Hartman; five great-grandchildren (with one on the way): Jarrett, Adrianna, Connor, Gavin, Hunter, and Gracelynn Jo due on November 5th. Enno was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 66 years, Ruth Bolhuis, infant daughter, Sharon Lynelle, and all of his siblings.
Visit with Enno’s family and friends on Tuesday, October 12, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Avink Funeral Home, 5975 Lover’s Lane, in Portage. A funeral service will follow at 1:00 p.m. at the same location followed by a procession to Mount Everest cemetery where the military honor guard will be present and taps will be played. A later celebration of life will take place in Boise Idaho probably in November.
While visiting Enno’s webpage at www.avinkcremation.com, please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle and/or share a memory with the family. In lieu of memorial donations, please do a random act of kindness in Enno’s memory.