Obituary: Norman “Duke” Zuidema

Norman "Duke" Zuidema

On April 13, 2021, Norman (Duke) Zuidema passed away peacefully at home, less than a year after his beloved, Beverly. Born September 2, 1934 to George and Dora Zuidema, Duke lived most of his life in Highland, Indiana. However, since 1974, he spent summers with his family at their cottage on Pleasant Lake in Three Rivers golfing, skiing, taking slow rides in the pontoon, and making many dear friends. 

As owner of Zuidema Construction, Duke built hundreds of homes and commercial projects throughout his career. His motto “a deal is only fair if it’s fair for both parties” earned him respect from his many customers and vendors. 

Duke’s dominant features were his smile, kind spirit, and faith in Jesus. At home in Highland, he was very involved in his community and church. In Three Rivers, Duke and Beverly attended Three Rivers Church of the Nazarene before becoming founding members of Three Rivers Christian Reformed Church. 

Duke is survived by daughter Cyndy (Jack) Vander Giessen, son Don (Susan) Zuidema, and daughter Lisa (Chris) Thompson; grandchildren: Kirstin (Rob) Vander Giessen-Reitsma, Breanne (Charles) Mitchell, Alyssa (David) Palmer, Adam (Amber) Vander Giessen, Holly Zuidema, Nathan (fiancé Kayla Erffmeyer) Zuidema, Kyle Zuidema, Savannah Thompson, Skylar Thomson, Sutton Thompson, Quincy Thompson and nine great grandchildren. 

Memorials may be given to Highland Christian School, Illiana Christian High School, or *culture is not optional, in support of The Huss Project in Three Rivers. To learn more about Duke’s life and post a message for the family, visit