Life Story / Obituary
Jean DeVries of Holland, Michigan passed into eternal glory on February 14, 2020 at the age of 91. She was the last of her family to die, being preceded in death by her father, mother, sister and brother. She was also the first of her family to be born in the United States as the others emigrated from Scotland in the early 1920’s. She was born Jean Raeside Heron on May 15, 1928 in Detroit and lived there throughout her childhood. She graduated from Detroit Eastern High School (now Martin Luther King High School) and Wayne State University. God blessed Jean with a beautiful singing voice which she frequently used at gatherings, weddings and in choirs throughout her life.
She met her future husband, John DeVries, at a church function while she was a teacher in the Detroit school system. They were married on June 19, 1953. She continued teaching in the Ann Arbor school system while her husband finished medical school at the University of Michigan. After graduation and a brief stint in the Air Force, they moved to Kalamazoo.
She spent the next 31 years raising four children and being very involved in many functions in and around Kalamazoo, including the Women’s Auxiliary and Second Reformed Church. Jean was a solid, intelligent Christian who knew her Bible well, enabling her to provide wise counsel to all her children. She was also very aware and adept of the inner workings of national and international geopolitics.
Jean knew God had blessed her and loved sharing those blessings with others. After her own children were grown, she and her husband opened their house to three Vietnamese refugee children which provided them a place of love and safety while they adjusted to this country.
When her husband retired from his medical practice, they moved to Holland, Michigan where they became active members of Christ Memorial Church. They spent the next several years traveling throughout the United States and Europe, as well as a great deal of time at their beloved cottage on Lake Michigan. After her husband’s death in 1996, Jean continued traveling, studying and being active in her church. She also took on the role of Grandma to seven grandchildren, including four who attended Hope College.
Jean is survived by four children; Jane (Michael Jones), John Jr. (Kristen), Anne and Mary Beth (Ted Campbell), seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Per her request, no formal funeral services will take place. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in the name of Jean DeVries to Samaritan’s Purse.
Jean was a blessed and loved woman who will be sorely missed. While we grieve her passing, we take refuge in 2 Corinthians 5:8, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord!”
Arrangements are by the Dykstra Funeral Home-Mulder Chapel.