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.
West Side Christian School Foundation
955 Westend Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Sheldon Meadows Living Center
4482 Port Sheldon St
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
An energetic, generous, and compassionate woman, Barbara Rodenhouse devoted her life to serving others. She accomplished so many things of which to be proud, but her greatest source of pride and joy was found in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was an active member of the community and made many wonderful friendships over the years. Although she will be deeply missed, Barbara leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories that her loved ones will cherish forever.
Looking back on the 1930s, it is difficult to recall much of anything that wasn’t affected by the Great Depression. There were few jobs and a soaring unemployment rate that left countless American families without homes. Despite these tough times, Henry and Gertrude Morren celebrated with great joy the arrival of their newborn baby girl, Barbara born on October 29, 1930 in Holland, Michigan. Barbara’s father worked at the Holland Furnace Company and her mother was a homemaker. Her birth brought much happiness and promise to the family home.
Growing up on the southside of Holland, the oldest of three children, Barbara lived an active childhood. Regularly participating in the Tulip Time events and spending time at Holland State Park, Barbara loved her community. With many of her area relatives managing farms nearby, she was able to spend time with them during her growing years. Attending local schools, she enjoyed music and had mastered the piano, the organ, and the clarinet as a young adolescent. She proudly graduated with the Class of 1948 from Holland Christian High at the tender age of seventeen. Soon after high school, she enrolled at Wayne State University to pursue a degree in nursing. She later graduated from Butterworth School of Nursing in Grand Rapids. One of her proudest accomplishments was her nursing career.
Not to be forgotten, was the day she met her first husband, Don Goote! They had a special connection and were eager to start a life of their own. Marrying in 1951, they settled in Grand Rapids. A successful businessman, Don owned a local heating and cooling business with his brother and Barb worked as a registered nurse. Together, they had four wonderful sons; Steve, Jim, Tom, and Tim. The young family lived on Westend Avenue NW and spent nearly every day of the summer at Green Lake in Caledonia. The boys couldn’t wait until that last school bell rang in June to hit the docks with their fishing poles and swimming trunks, reluctantly returning by summer’s end. Sadly, after not much more than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer, Don passed away by 1974.
As a widow, Barb remained very active. Never slowing down, she picked up more hours at the skill center as a nurse and juggled her boys’ busy schedules. She never missed their special events and even managed to serve up a nightly dinner. Yet, at times, she’d either burn the rolls or forget to even put them in the oven! To manage her worries and for relaxation, she loved to knit. This time in her life didn’t last long as she was soon introduced to the brother of a friend of hers; Phil Rodenhouse. The two of them hit it off and with a desire to enjoy traveling together, they joined in marriage in July of 1976. Phil sold his farm and Barb sold her home so they could purchase a new family home on Lanco NW to share with the rest of their children who were still living at home. He had four daughters of his own, but only Joan was still at home at the time, along with Barb’s younger three sons; Jim, Tom, and Tim. Barb and Phil took day trips down to Amish Country where Phil was known to talk his way into sitting behind the team of horses!
She and Phil enjoyed many years as members of Highland Hills Christian Reformed Church, later known as Westend Christian Reformed. They created many friendships at church that extended to their social life. With her great sense of humor and quick wit, there was never a dull moment! She loved to entertain her grandchildren and they were blessed with an abundant family. As the family grew, so did the memories. They spent many moments at Green Lake over the years and enjoyed one significant trip to the beautiful island of Hawaii before Phil passed away in 2011. A compassionate nurse and caregiver her entire life, Barb’s family was happy to help her during the past ten years when she began to decline. No one deserved better care and better love than Barb. Her life held meaning and purpose and her rich memories and warm personality will be affectionately remembered for generations to come.
Mrs. Barbara (GOOTE) Rodenhouse, aged 86, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on April 11, 2017. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Don Goote and Phil Rodenhouse; and son, Steve Goote. Barb is survived by her sons, Jim and Judy Goote, Tom Goote, Tim and Dawn Goote; daughter-in-law, Patti and Randy Van Dam; stepchildren, Shirley and Bernard Dornbos, Cathy Lee, Judy and John Van Dyke, and Joan and Gerald Miller; 16 grandchildren; and 27 great-grandchildren. Also, surviving is her sister, Norma Kleinheksel; sisters-in-law, Ruth Morren and Maxine Rodenhouse; brother-in-law, Harold Rodenhouse; and several nieces and nephews. The funeral service will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Friends and family will meet on Friday from 5-8 PM and on Saturday for one hour prior to the service. Contributions in her memory may be made to West Side Christian School Foundation or Sheldon Meadows Living Center. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to archive a memory, photo, or sign the guestbook online.