Friday, October 30, 2015
11:00 AM EDT
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard NW
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.
Westview Christian Reformed Church
2929 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Truly beautiful on the inside and out, Betty Blouw Hoogerhyde was a blessing to everyone she met. She was deeply devoted to the people and things she loved, and her zest for life was contagious. Guided by an unwavering faith throughout her life, Betty faced whatever came her way with both a quiet strength and a graceful courage that were highly admired. A woman who was content in whatever life brought, she lived minimally, never focused on what she had, rather, her greatest desire was to give to others in whatever way she could. Deeply loved, Betty will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Jazz music was hot, Broadway experienced an all-time peak, and the silent film era came to an end. Amidst this colorful time was the year 1928 when Martin and Bessie (Fales) DeVries, Sr. were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Betty Jane on September 1st in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the youngest of four children and was raised in family homes along Alpine Avenue alongside her sisters, Evelyn and Josephine, and her brother, Martin. Betty was quite a bit younger than her other siblings, so she was raised as an only child with a father who was quite strict. To support their family, Betty’s father owned a grocery store near Hillcrest, and for awhile they lived upstairs. She enjoyed spending time with a nearby family, the Bennetts, who had several children as they were always a bustle of activity. Betty attended local schools including Union High School, and for a time she worked at her sister’s store, which was located on Bristol, NW.
New and exciting changes were in store for Betty when she met Robert “Bob” Blouw. They fell in love and were married on June 25, 1947. Bob’s friend, Don Hoogerhyde, later married Jean, and the two couples were best friends for numerous years. Betty and Bob were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Patricia, and since they were such good friend with Don and Jean, their two families were often together including on some vacations. Around the house Betty expected that her rules would be followed, and as someone who was highly organized, she kept a neat and tidy home.
In addition to her work inside the home, Betty always enjoyed working outside the home. For a while, she kept the books for Bob's trucking business, but in 1962 she began working in the corporate office for Meijer, which was located in the basement of the store on Michigan and Fuller. Betty remained with the company until 1986, retiring as the accounts payable supervisor.
Although she found great reward through her work, Betty treasured the time she had with her family. Together the Blouws enjoyed camping all over Michigan and usually with their longtime friends. Their camping adventures started in Allegan. They later rented cottages for a while before eventually buying trailers that they kept on Little Whitefish Lake. Betty always enjoyed swimming. In fact, she and Jean could float in the water for hours as the kids swam around them. Later on, they began spending a month in Florida each winter, renting a condo with the Hoogerhydes.
In 1980, Betty’s life was forever changed when Bob died unexpectedly. About three years later, her best friend, Jean Hoogerhyde, died. Because Betty and Don Hoogerhyde had spent so much of their lives together, they decided to marry on June 16, 1984. Since she knew his family including his children and grandchildren so well, Betty fit right into his family. Later, they welcomed great-grandchildren together as well. After retiring, Betty and Don moved to Florida for 14 years where they enjoyed regular visits from family and friends. She was a wonderful hostess who always catered to her guests such as the way she provided her family and friends with numerous breakfast selections to choose from. Over the years there were also plenty of visits to Disney World with their guests. In Don's last years, Betty cared for him as his health deteriorated, and they returned to Grand Rapids in 2001. If was just a few months later that he died.
During the days, weeks, and months that followed, Betty found comfort in many relationships that she had develped at Westview Christian Reformed Church. Over the years, her church family faithfully cared for her. Betty remained active, too, as she continued driving herself where she needed to go, and she also drove others to appointments as well. It has been said that when it came to her driving, Betty did it with a lead foot! In addition to the relationships with her church family, she enjoyed visiting with older friends from Meijer and also developed a strong friendship with Evelyn Baxter as they spoke at least once a night. She remained in touch with her daughter, even learning to text, too! As the end of her life neared, Betty’s mobility issues limited her activities, and just a few weeks ago her health began a steady decline. A few days later, she decided that she was ready for life eternal and took her last breath.
Described as a good woman with an open mind and an insatiable thirst for living life, Betty Blouw Hoogerhyde was an extraordinary woman to know and love. She fully embraced both the peaks and valleys along her life’s journey, and she never complained, even when the storms of life came her way. Betty had an amazing memory and remained sharp throughout her life, and she was genuine and gracious when it came to those around her. Although she could be stubborn at times, Betty was a woman who knew what she wanted when it came to the things she was passionate about.
Betty Jane Blouw Hoogerhyde age 87 of Grand Rapids and formerly of Oviedo, Florida passed away on October 24, 2015. She was preceded in death by her parents, Martin and Bessie De Vries; husbands, Robert Blouw , and Donald Hoogerhyde; sisters Evelyn Teisman and Josephine Bol; and brother, Martin De Vries Jr. Betty is survived by her daughter, Patricia Zender of Binghamton, NY; sons Larry (Mary) Hoogerhyde, Donald Jr (Lois) Hoogerhyde, Robert (Mary) Hoogerhyde; many grandchildren and great grandchildren; brother-in-law Jack (Marcia) Hoogerhyde; nieces Margaret (Robert) Danielson and Shirley (Raymond) Kuiper; and her good friend, Evelyn Baxter. Betty retired from Meijer Inc after working in the accounts payable department from 1962-1986. She was a member at Westview Christian Reformed Church, 2929 Leonard NW where the service to remember and celebrate her life will be held on Friday, October 30, 2015 at 11 AM. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Thursday from 5-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. For those who wish, her family suggests memorial contributions to Westview CRC. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. To read more about her life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com