Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Jeanette M. Schipper

January 25, 1977 - June 20, 2019
Holland, MI



Saturday, June 29, 2019
3:00 PM EDT
Calvary Reformed Church
995 East 8th Street
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


Jeanette Ramos Schipper, a candidate for Michigan's 30th District State Senate seat, and the administrative assistant in Western Theological Seminary's admissions office, passed away quite unexpectedly on June 20, 2019 at the age of 42. Jeanette was a mother, artist, wife, poet, sister, sculptor, dancer, bi-culturalist, mental health champion, LGBTQIA advocate, politician, prophet, agitator, empathizer, daughter, sympathizer, lover, history seeker and long time resident of Holland, MI

Jeanette was born in Lansing, MI on January 25, 1977. She graduated from Holland High School and was working on her Master of Arts degree at Western Theological Seminary. On June 29, 2009, she married Matt and they built a family. She held administrative jobs in the banking, medical and education industries where she could use her resourcefulness, ambition and determination.

Resilient would be a proper adjective to describe Jeanette’s childhood, which was wrought with opportunities to grow her family, friends and faith. The village, which nurtured her, was varied and would also come full circle. As her step father Burtram Henry Forist (aka Shorty), entered her life, the first twelve years were made stable by his presence. His death shook Jeanette to the core and signaled a shift in the village. Jack and Judy Faber were an extension of the village as legal guardians and remained cherished family members. Jeanette became an activist and social justice advocate. As a survivor of domestic abuse, she used the services of Center for Women in Transition (CWIT) to recover her soul, revive her strength and renew her commitment to championing herself and child. Ironically, Jeanette was becoming a member of the Board of Resilience, CWIT’s up cycled name at the upcoming October Board meeting.

Her eyes were opened and she found tools to put with her passions after taking

"Transforming Conflict From The Inside Out," a class at Western Theological Seminary. She learned non-violent communication skills and was inspired by Archbishop Oscar Ramaro & Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to speak up in the face of injustice as well as to speak truth to power. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Walter Wink were also inspirations as she sought to be more loving, understanding and self-aware.

Attending the Womans March on Washington 2017, with her “sister” Wendy, was a catalyst for Jeanette’s’ voice. Additionally, that same Summer, a trip to Spain transformed her life and connected her to her historical ancestors and is evident in her sculpting and painting following the trip. She was also a problem-solver who often took on difficult and unwanted projects. She was a spiritual woman, involved in Calvary Reformed Church, Maple Avenue Ministries, Holland UCC, and was a member of Faith Leaders for Justice. Her presence in thed universe was larger than life and she was often not fully aware of her influence. Scores of people, around the world, have been influenced by her warm hospitality, ability to see people where they are and engage them there, and by her unending ability to fight for the underdog. She will be deeply missed by friends, family, and all who knew her.

Jeanette is survived by her parents Estella Ramos Forist of Holland, Gary Tackett (West Virginia); “Parents” & life long friends Jack & Judy Faber of Holland MI; her husband, Matthew Schipper; her children, Marcella Soto Schipper, Austin Schipper, Liliana Faith Schipper; her siblings, Jessica Ramos (Ann Arbor, MI), Renee Thacker (Kentucky), Wendy & Kevin Rebhan, Jim Faber (Virginia), Dan & Jennifer Faber (New Jersey), Aaron Tackett, Angie Tackett; Maternal Grandparent, Anita Torres; Maternal Aunts and Uncles Mary (Ramos) & Gary (Lansing), Domingo A. Ramos, Jr. (Washington), Molley Ramos Anderson (Florida), Raymond T. Ramos (Lansing), Jane Monroe (Holland), Jessie Ramos (Lansing); She is predeceased by her stepfather Burtram Henry Forist aka Shorty; her Maternal Aunt Yolanda T. Ramos Anderson, and her grandfather Domingo A. Ramos

A Memorial Service celebrating her life and legacy will be held Saturday, June 29, at 3:00 pm at Calvary Reformed Church, 995 East 8th Street, Holland, MI. The Rev. Drs. Denise Kingdom-Grier & Blaine Newhouse will co-officiate the service.

Jeanette held a special place in so many spaces and touched the lives of so many people. Immediately following the service participants are invited to join the family in honoring her artistry, advocacy and Austin (her 2019 high school graduate).