William (Bill) Post was raised on the south side of Grand Rapids, one of seven children of Dutch immigrants, and graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School. While in high school, at the age of 16, Bill held a part-time job washing trucks at Hekman Biscuit Company. After serving in the Army Air Corps in occupied Japan, he returned to the part-time job at Hekman and also attended Calvin College for 2 years. During that time, he married his high school sweetheart, Florence (Schut), and they began their incredible 72-year journey of love and devotion.
At the age of 21, Bill worked at Hekman full-time as the personnel manager, but assisted with sales, production, or anything else that he could learn. Fast forward 20 years, and Bill as the plant manager of Hekman (later known as the Keebler Company) welcomed some executives from Kellogg’s who asked if he thought it would be possible for Keebler to create a new product they had in mind. One of those executives was William LaMothe who soon became Bill’s close friend. It is at this juncture that Bill is often credited for having “invented” the Pop Tart. To be accurate, however, Bill would say, “I assembled an amazing team that developed Kellogg’s concept of a shelf-stable toaster pastry into a fine product that we could bring to market in the span of just four months”. The collaboration and growth of Kellogg’s and Keebler continued until Kellogg’s finally purchased the Keebler company.
In 1967, Bill moved his family to Elmhurst Illinois, to begin working at the corporate offices of the Keebler Company. As a senior vice president, at the age of 56, he left the company and retired to Glen Arbor Michigan and his beloved Glen Lake. However, he could not turn down Kellogg’s request to be their consultant and enjoyed that position for the next 20 years. Those years included worldwide travel and the forging of international friendships. In 2003, Bill and Florence came full circle, moving back to Grand Rapids to be near their family.
Over the years, Bill has been interviewed by newspaper reporters (including the New York Times), TV reporters (History Channel, CBS, etc.), and by radio hosts in this country and abroad. He was asked to tell the Pop Tart story to young people in countless classrooms and always enjoyed accommodating those requests, giving his testimony of God’s goodness to “the son of an immigrant”, and bringing some of his unending supply of Pop Tarts with him.
In spite of an extraordinary life and legendary accomplishments, Bill remained a humble man of God with a servant’s heart that seemed to overflow with generosity. He served the communities in which he lived as a board member for schools, churches, the YMCA, and was a member of Gideons International for 60 years. He was the first to bring comfort, read scripture and offer a prayer with any friend or family member in need. He continued to fill that role to the very end of his life and leaves a big void in a very large circle of treasured friends. Always crediting his wonderful life to “Christ who gives me strength”, he was such a positive force that after a conversation with Bill, you would leave with a lighter heart and a brighter smile.
Preceding him in death (in 2020) was Bill’s wife and best friend, Florence. Bill’s six siblings (and spouses) also preceded him in death: Henry, Richard, Margaret (Engbers), John, Gerrit, and Adrianna (Ophoff). Bill was loved and will be missed immensely by his children: Dan and Jackie Post and Rachel and John DeYoung. The lights of his life were his adoring grandchildren and great-grandchildren who visited him so often: Angie Terry (Erica and Alex), Adam and Amanda Post (Asher, Lilah and Rowan), John and Rhonda DeYoung (Kate and Jenna) and David and Jenny DeYoung (Will, Wyatt and Whitney). Bill’s immediate family also wishes to express their gratitude and thanks to his nieces and nephews who paid so much attention to him. He delighted in your company as you did in his!
A service to praise God for Bill’s life will be held at 2 pm on Thursday, March 7 at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church,107 LaGrave Ave. SE, Grand Rapids. Relatives and friends may meet the family on Wednesday, March 6 from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 4646 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill’s memory would be very much appreciated to Gideons International. Please send donations to The Gideons International, P.O. Box 140422, Grand Rapids, MI 49514.
Thursday, March 7
LaGrave Christian Reformed Church
107 LaGrave Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
- Dan Van Houzen
- Joy Offringa Boss
- Beverly Johnson Aman
- Joanna Matzinger Vanraaphorst
- Alexia Petrovic
- Candice Stoughton
- Sharri Neuman
- Michael J Vizard
- Terrell Broady Jr.
- Debra M. Jones
- raul sanchez
- Fran Housman
- James & Linda Schippers
- Raymond Dennis
- Kevin & Susan Post
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