Audrey Haadsma

February 23, 1923 - June 24, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, June 27, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613
Driving Directions


Tuesday, June 28, 2016
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Seventh Reformed Church
950 Leonard St. N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Tuesday, June 28, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Seventh Reformed Church
950 Leonard St. N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Pregnancy Resource Center
415 Cherry St. S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Forgotten Man Ministries
3940 Fruit Ridge N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the journey of Audrey Haadsma, it is clear to see that her life was deeply rooted in the faith that was her constant companion. She was gracious and genuine with a desire to bless all who were within her reach. Audrey was a loving and devoted wife and mother who was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she adored. Elegant yet strong, she faced whatever came her way with both grace and courage that were an inspiration to everyone who knew her. Life will never be the same without Audrey here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.

It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation led the way to conveniences such as the refrigerator, washing machines, and cars that were mass produced on assembly lines nationwide. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great joy in the lives of Morris and Lavina (DeMeester) Vander Jagt as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Audrey Ruth on February 23, 1923, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the older of two children to be raised in the family home on Davis Street on the West Side as she was joined in the family by her brother, Peter. Audrey's parents were members of the Netherlands Reformed Church in Grand Rapids and that is where she learned the fundamentals of her Christian faith that sustained her during her life.

In many ways Audrey was a young girl of her generation. She attended schools locally including Harrison Park Elementary School for a few years and then West Side Christian School. Audrey’s high school years found her at Grand Rapids Christian High. After graduating in 1941, Audrey wanted to continue her education, but since these were the years that were firmly gripped by the Great Depression there were no funds for further education. She did attended Davis Tech in Grand Rapids where she learned the fundamentals of doing office work and accounting. Audrey then worked for General Motors, possibly producing items that were needed to support the war effort during the early 1940s.

Not to be forgotten during her years as a young woman was Audrey’s blossoming romance with the young man of her dreams. His name was Arthur Haadsma, and he was a friend who also lived on the West Side. They began dating, and over time their love blossomed. Arthur was in the Army Air Force during that time, but he came home for a few weeks in August of 1944. They were married on August 9, 1944, at the Ladies Literary Club in Grand Rapids. Since Arthur was still in the military, the newlyweds started their life together at the military station where Arthur was assigned. While there they started their family with the birth of their fist daughter, Carol, in 1945.

With the end of the war, Audrey and her family moved back to Grand Rapids, settling into a home on Powers, N.W. Their family later grew to include four more daughters, Deborah, Beth, Kathy, and Lori. After moving back to Grand Rapids they joined Seventh Reformed Church where they remained active members the rest of their lives. Audrey was very actively involved there as she participated in woman’s groups, Bible studies, and as an active member of the choir. She and Arthur regularly attended services as well. In 1967, the family moved to a home on Perkins N.E. where they lived for the rest of their lives together.

Audrey focused the bulk of her time and attention on creating a wonderful home for her Husband and family although she did work outside the home at times as well. She did some seasonal work in various offices within City Hall for the City of Grand Rapids including the police department. Audrey also kept the books for Arthur’s appliance repair and refrigeration business.

She and Arthur took several bus trips to various places around the United States and also took two trips to Europe and to Hawaii. When at home she enjoyed gardening, and she was also an avid reader. Gifted artistically, she liked painting and writing. Audrey and Arthur were privileged to remain in their home together until Audrey had a stroke just a day prior to her passing.

All who knew Audrey Haadsma would agree that she was true blessing. She was kindhearted and caring with a heart that was as big as they come. Audrey found such joy in her family, and it will be her loved ones who proudly carry on her timeless legacy. Deeply loved, she will never be forgotten.

HAADSMA – Mrs. Audrey Ruth (Vander Jagt) Haadsma, aged 93, devoted wife, loving mother and caring grandmother, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday June 24, 2016. Audrey was born on February 23, 1923 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Morris and Levina (DeMeester) Vander Jagt. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her brother Peter G. Vander Jagt, her grandson Joel A. Bierens and son-in-law James M. Van Zweden. She is survived by her beloved Husband, of 71 years, Arthur, her precious children: Carol Haadsma and Harry Derks, Beth Van Zweden, Deborah and Anthony Bierens, Kathy Spalink and Lori and David Huber; her grandchildren: Cheryl and Bruce Takens, Holly and Jon Peterson, Steven and Kelli Van Zweden, Justin and Kari Bierens, Marissa and Joshua Pell, Nathan and Brooke Spalink, Megan and Joshua Herweyer and Matthew Huber as well as 20 great grandchildren; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Kay and Robert Faasse and Betty and Bill Vander Stel and many nieces and nephews. Most important in Audrey’s life was her faith and love for her Lord and Savior, Audrey has been a member of Seventh Reformed Church for almost seventy years taking in women’s meetings, Sunday School, Bible classes, singing in the choir and other activities and she treasured the love and fellowship of her church family. A funeral service will be held at Seventh Reformed Church, 950 Leonard St. N.W., Tuesday at 11 AM with Dr. Timothy Trumper officiating. Interment will be in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with her family on Monday from 6 -8 P.M. at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien – Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield N.E. and again on Tuesday at the church from 10 AM until the time of the funeral service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Pregnancy Resource Center or the Forgotten Man Ministries would be appreciated. To read more of Audrey’s life, share a memory or sign an online register book please visit