Tuesday, September 8, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Deborah J. Hyde was a dynamic person who cared for her family and her community. Because of her fondness for animals, she was deeply invested in events that attracted equestrians from around the world. Because she was genuine and loving, she never met a stranger who didn’t become a friend. Her honesty was a quality others appreciated, and her persistence (even bullheadedness) was a trait that got things done. Her family meant the world to her, and the community was her lifeblood. Yet in her humility, she may not have understood how important she was to so many people. Deb was loved and loving.
Deborah was born August 25, 1952 in Kalamazoo, Michigan during a period of progress and optimism. War gave way to peace and civil rights became a dramatic force in U.S. history. Growing families launched the baby boom era and parents worked hard to make a better life for their children. This was true of James and Marie (Lang) Williams, raising a family of six children: Duane, Don, Deb, Dwight, Robin and Kim. James was a line worker for Fuller Transmissions (now Eaton Corporation) and Marie wore many hats as a business woman and homemaker.
Deb was a born animal-lover, relating to animals and children perhaps better than to adults. She cared for dogs, cats, birds and ferrets and was especially drawn to horses. In her early 20s, she became the owner of her first horse, and as time went on she involved herself in the events at Richland Park Horse Trials. It was a number #1 source of joy in her life.
Having graduated from Plainwell High School in 1970, Deb worked in several capacities over the years. Not surprisingly, she was a Veterinary Technician for more than eight years as well as the head waitress and manager of the Red Brick Inn for over 14 years. She also worked in the Climax-Scotts Elementary School library for nearly nine years. As an avid reader herself, it came naturally for her to read to students and get them excited about books. Kids and parents alike were thrilled to hear her read because of how animated she became. She made a story come alive! Deb was also a gifted artist and painted the murals that presently grace the front of Climax-Scotts Elementary School.
Deb had been well-established in Plainwell before she met Rick Hyde when they were both socializing at a night club. Though it wasn’t love at first sight for either of them, Rick was certain after a few weeks that he couldn’t lose her. His proposal led to marriage on June 19, 1982 in Plainwell. They had five years together before they welcomed their one and only daughter Lindsey into their lives. When the expectant parents first found out they were going to have a child, they sent out a quizzical announcement in a Christmas card by signing, “Love, Deb, Rick and ?.
Deb was an invested mother, having had practice as an aunt. She would often take her nieces and nephews to various places when they were young. She was a good cook--gaining a reputation for making deviled eggs and the best meatloaf—and she loved getting the family together. It was an understatement to say that Deb would have done anything for her daughter, and when Lindsey passed away in 2013 it was devastating for Deb. During a very difficult time, she relied on the people around her and a deep inner strength.
Having lived in the Climax area for the past 30 years, Deb was well known in the community. Though she loved to travel to Canada for family reunions, her work and involvements kept her close to home, especially when it came to events at Richland Park Horse Trials. Year after year she volunteered to set up and work the annual event that attracted hundreds of riders from around the world. Many Olympians knew Deb by name. In fact, the stadium jumping arena bears the name "The Deb Hyde Arena". Because of her illness, she didn’t get to work the 2015 show, but she was determined to attend. It’s what kept her going. She willed herself to see the horse event, which she did during the week of August 20-23.
Deb, the fighter, battled cancer for six years with a positive attitude. She once said, “Having cancer has taught me to take each new day with a smile.” That’s a lesson everyone can take away, including these words of encouragement from Deb: “Say nice things to people. It's how they will remember you. That is your legacy. Hurting others is not worth it. Getting upset over little things is not worth it. Laugh about it. Look at each new day as an opportunity to enjoy your life and help those around you enjoy theirs."
Deborah J. Hyde of Climax, Michigan passed away at her home surrounded by her family and animals, on Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at the age of 63. Deb is survived by her husband, Rick; four siblings: Duane (Sue) Williams of Pine Lake; Dwight (Doreen) Williams, of Jenison; Robin (Jeff Bishop) Williams, of Pine Lake; Kim Cooper, of Plainwell; Tony Mitchell of Kalamazoo; sister in law, Cindy (Tom) Storey; brother in law, Larry Hyde. She is also survived by her nieces and nephews: Nate (fiancée: Melissa) Williams, Jon (Carrie) Williams, Steve (Tammy) Williams, Jesse (Erica) Williams, Mandi (Ron) Bagley, Brendan (Brooke) Timmons, Shane (Ryan) Beebe, Stephanie Cooper, Cody (Katie) Williams, Samantha (Steve) Weaver, Miranda Williams, Alec and Kate Mitchell, Brad (Laurie) Langford, Alysson (Dan Davidson) Storey, Meghan Storey; great nieces and nephews: Alice and Ayla Williams; Drew and Mikayla Williams; Nella Williams; Oliver and London Bagley; Alex, Odin, and Fallon Timmons; Jake Beebe and a brand new baby boy; Miley Cooper; Jaxton Weaver; Monty and Charles Langford and Chandler Mitchell. She is preceded in death by her daughter Lindsey Hyde-Bly, and her parents James Williams and Marie Meyers; and one brother Don Williams.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4 to 7pm, Life Story Funeral Home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell (269-685-5881). The funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11 AM at the funeral home.
Please visit Deb’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can read her life story, sign the guestbook, share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center and/or Pine Rest Grand Rapids.