GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A spokesperson for Davenport University has confirmed that longtime entrepreneur and Board of Trustee member Wilbur Lettinga has died. He was 86 years old.
Lettinga launched several businesses in West Michigan, including Lettinga & Associates, Laser Alignment, Kentwood Savings and Loan and Legacy Trust. He also found success in the home construction industry, founding Kentland Communities alongside his sons in 1971. The development company has built more than 20 managed communities in the region. The company’s latest project is the Orchard Hills Village in Fennville.
Wilbur eventually retired, leaving Kentland to his two sons, Bill Jr. and Michael. Bill Lettinga Jr. took over as company president while Michael Lettinga served as Chief Financial Officer until he passed away in 2011.
Lettinga was a proud leader of Davenport University for nearly 50 years and also served on the boards of several local organizations, including Hope Network and Spectrum Health.
Bill Lettinga Jr. said his dad “was a great example of a Christian entrepreneur.”
“He loved his Lord, his family, his many business ventures as well as the West Michigan community. Giving back to the community was a core belief,” he said in a statement to News 8. “He loved to help young entrepreneurs get their business off the ground. He will be greatly missed by not only his family but all of the charities and people that he has mentored over the years.”
The West Michigan native had ties to several schools. There is a scholarship in his name for students at South Christian High School who go on to attend Calvin University.
A memorial will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 10 and 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, August 11 at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4145 Chicago Dr. SW in Grandville.
A funeral service is set for 11 a.m. Friday, August 12 at Harderwyk Ministries, 1627 W. Lakewood Blvd. in Holland.