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Joseph Takens

Joseph J. Takens

Monday, January 13th, 1958 - Thursday, July 11th, 2019
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Obituary

Joe Takens was a wonderful father, husband and artist. He created blown glass art that is in many private collections throughout the world. He has exhibited his work in Michigan galleries as well as Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI. Joe often has referred to his work, jokingly, as the poor man’s Chihuly. When met with his smile, there simply was no other choice than for you to smile as well.

He was very proud of his father and took moments to tell the children about him. Joe’s father, Ludolf Takens, was an interpreter in the U.S. Navy and had a working knowledge of 7 European languages, speaking Dutch, English and German fluently. When the Netherlands was invaded in 1940, Joe’s grandfather Joseph, became a resistance leader for a section of north Holland. Joe’s father became a Dutch underground courier who helped smuggle messages and news reports across the Nazi border. The primary concern of the underground group was to aid Jewish refugees and downed allied flyers to escape into France.
Ludolf Takens received a commendation medal from Queen Wilhelmina for his outstanding work with the underground.

Joe took delight being in his hosta gardens. He sought out new and different varieties and was a natural gardener. I hope we can keep them all alive as most have survived with Joe through 4 marriages, having finally set their roots in Battle Creek.

Joe worked at Cascade Die Company in Grand Rapids, MI. He loved his job and the people he worked with. His main goal was to get back to work and giving everyone a hard time.

Joe passed away after a short, but fierce battle with lung cancer. He was 61. He is survived by his wife Jennie Hepler-Takens and their children, Bryer Hepler and Willow Takens of Battle Creek. He is also survived by his son, Joe Takens of Grand Rapids. Joe is survived by his sisters Ruth (Randy) Vellenga, Betty Holman, Wanda Wine, and Bruce (Cheryl) Takens. He was preceded in death by his parents, Pauline and Ludolf Takens, his mother in law, Tracy Pierce and his brother in law Michael Holman and many aunts and uncles, all of Grand Rapids.

Please join us for a memorial service on Friday, July 19th, 2019. From 12 -1pm we will have a small gallery of his work for you to see before the service. The service will begin at 1pm at Baxter Funeral Home, 375 W. Dickman Road, Battle Creek, MI 49037.

View the memorial video under the photos and videos tab.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, July 19th, 2019 | 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    When
    Friday, July 19th, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm
    Location
    Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service
    Address
    375 W. Dickman Road
    BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Friday, July 19th, 2019 | 1:00pm
    When
    Friday, July 19th, 2019 1:00pm
    Location
    Baxter Funeral & Cremation Service
    Address
    375 W. Dickman Road
    BATTLE CREEK, MI 49037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

Condolences

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Steven J Carpenter and Lourdes Matos have sent flowers to the family of Joseph J. Takens.
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Steven J Carpenter

Posted at 09:40am
With deepest sympathy,
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Steven J Carpenter purchased flowers for the family of Joseph Takens. Send Flowers

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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 08:02am
With deepest sympathy, Mike Mosey Pat Cell Reliance Finishing Company
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Flowers were purchased for the family of Joseph Takens. Send Flowers

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Marc Gilbert

Posted at 02:13pm
Joe was a true "renaissance man". He could handle any task that was thrown at him. From engineering to art, he knew it all (or learned it fast) and did it all. I worked with him at Progressive Surface Prep, which was acquired by CDC. He did a fine job managing the company and was well-respected by customers and the employees. His "secret" was that he genuinely cared about both. To Jennie (whom I've never had the privilege of meeting), you and the kids meant the world to him! You made a real difference in his life, smoothing out the rough spots and bringing him, at long last, true love. And to Joe's spirit "up there" I say: It was an absolute joy and honor knowing you and working with you. You made a real difference in my life. Fare well, my friend.
Marc Gilbert
LM

Lourdes Matos

Posted at 05:22pm
Joe, May you be at peace. It was a pleasure to meet during my visit a few years back. Lourdes Jazzy & Kristina Matos, CDC Atalntic/Division
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Lourdes Matos purchased flowers for the family of Joseph Takens. Send Flowers

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MELISSA DECKER

Posted at 04:16pm
I am so sorry for your loss, Jennie. I just saw Joe a few months ago and he looked good. He told me that he was sick but getting better. He told me about your success and was very proud of you and the kids. He was such a talented artist. I loved seeing him at the art shows. He would always surprise the kids, too. He was very kind and again I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for your family and the kids.
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