January "Jan" Lapp

April 11, 1963 - December 30, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, January 3, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM EST
Ada Bible Church Cascade Campus
8899 Cascade Road SE
Ada, MI 49301
(616) 868-7005
Web Site


Tuesday, January 3, 2017
11:30 AM EST
Ada Bible Church Cascade Campus
8899 Cascade Road SE
Ada, MI 49301


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.

American Cancer Society, W. Michigan Area Service Ctr.
129 Jefferson Avenue SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 364-6121
Driving Directions
Web Site

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Michigan Chapter
1471 East 12 Mile Road
Madison Heights, MI 48071
(248) 582-2900
Driving Directions
Web Site

Unity Bike Tour - GR Police Benefit


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


Some people come into our lives and we are never the same, and Jan Lapp had that very effect on those who came to know and love her. A loving and vibrant woman, Jan touched everyone who came her way with unending generosity, compassion, and understanding. She always tried to look on the bright side, and was glad to offer her loving advice, whether we wanted it or not! Jan was wise through her many life experiences, and with faith as her guide, she never ceased in being there for her family and friends who were her very heart. Gone but never to be forgotten are the numerous memories she leaves behind as a loving reminder of her steadfast spirit and love of life.

The year 1963 was a turning point in the history of America as the culture of the U.S. was moving along at a rapid pace. Fashions became more daring, and the introduction of “Beatlemania” forever changed the music scene. An age of innocence seemed lost with the assassination of President Kennedy while mounting trouble in Vietnam and the continued campaign for civil rights was news of the day. Yet in the lives of Jerrold and Nancy (Raifsnider) DePriester, there was hope for better tomorrows throughout these changing times when they welcomed the birth of their little girl, January “Jan” Jo DePriester on April 11, 1963.

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jan’s mother looked after their home and family as a homemaker while in the early years, her father worked in construction. The firstborn in her family, Jan later welcomed a baby sister, Jaye Marie who sadly died as an infant. Jan was a beautiful baby who enlightened the lives of her loving parents. She was very content, easy to please, and care for. Jan attended Oakwood Elementary School in Kalamazoo and from her earliest years, Jan possessed the gift for gab. She talked too much in school, and in fact, during the first week of school she was sent to sit in the hallway for talking which was only the beginning of her lifelong habit! A friend of many with her outgoing spirit, Jan was a cheerleader in junior high school.

When Jan’s father began working for Wendy’s Restaurants, their family moved often as he was integral in starting, building, and managing the fast-food chains From Kalamazoo they moved to Charlotte and then Greenville, finally settling in Grand Rapids where Jan came to consider it home. She began attending Kenowa Hills High School, and it didn’t take long for Jan to fit right in. Her fun-loving nature always drew others to her side, and this was especially true her freshman year when she caught the attention of Mike Lapp, a senior at Kenowa. Having known each other from riding the bus, the two soon began dating. Jan went on to graduate from Kenowa Hills High School in 1981 and worked at Wendy’s for her father where she always liked making the Frosty’s extra thick. She and Mike continued dating, and on October 20, 1984 they were happily married at Servants Community Church.

Jan and Mike spent their honeymoon in St. Ignace before settling into a home on Arianna Street NW in Grand Rapids where they raised their family. Tyler came along in 1991 and daughter, Hannah completed their household in 1993. Jan was a loving, caring and attentive mother who often times spoiled her kids and with many presents at Christmastime. She’d do anything for them and loved driving carpool, known as “Mom’s Taxi.”

Jan’s kids always got their favorite home cooked meal on their birthday as well as dinner out. Jan was a good cook and was famous for her delicious chicken spaghetti from her grandmother’s recipe, ribs, and shepherd’s pie. She personally loved anything with coconut, and a white mocha coconut frappuccino was her drink of choice. She loved anything sweet and salty, and one time, Tyler remembers coming out of his room at bedtime only to find Jan eating cantaloupe with ice cream and chocolate sauce! She especially liked making brownies for the kid’s school lunches, always freezing them first.

For many years, Jan and Mike ran Crystal Cleaners together on the NW side of Grand Rapids. As family they enjoyed camping at Munising every Fourth of July, yet Pictured Rocks was one of Jan’s favorite places. Through Hannah’s gymnastics endeavors, Jan traveled all over making priceless memories with her daughter. Jan loved music, especially listening to Casting Crowns and Mercy Me. When it came to reading, she liked Nora Roberts’ novels, and she particularly liked the book, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, written by Rebecca Wells.

Jan faithfully attended her weekly bible study where she received much encouragement, support, and the friendships of all. Jan’s numerous friendships were extremely important to her. She also served as a mentor and leader for the Grand Rapids Running Club, there to support the runners by sitting in her car with water and gummy bears to cheer them on. She always enjoyed “Girls Night” for food and good conversation every week which was very special to her.

In May of 2016, Jan was diagnosed with stage four cancer. Ever determined and with her usual, “can-do” nature, she set out to give it a good fight. Over the last months she went on a memorable trip to the Grand Canyon with her dear friend, Dorie and a big thanks to her sister, Dee for supporting them on their great adventure. The helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon was no less awe inspiring for Jan. They also spent great times in Sedona, Antelope Canyon, and some time in exciting Las Vegas.

With ways all her own, Jan Lapp lived her life with her unending strong and compassionate nature. One could never second guess her strong faith, strong heart, or her strong will. Although she was one stubborn lady, the amount of love she bestowed towards others was indescribable. We should all strive to be like her one day with her contagious smile, the many ways she showed love to others, and through her generosity. Selfless in all ways, Jan’s courage shown bright over the last several months as she continued to be loving, generous, and supportive of others. There was only one Jan Lapp in the lives of those who knew her, and for these things and so much more, she will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.

January “Jan” Lapp, aged 53, of Kentwood, went to be with her Lord on Friday morning, December 30, 2016 at home with her family at her side. She was preceded in death by her father, Jerrold DePriester and sister, Jaye Marie DePriester. Jan is survived by her husband, Michael; children, Tyler (fiancée Kayla Johnson) Lapp and Hannah (fiancé Ethan Benedict) Lapp; mother, Nancy DePriester; “adopted mom,” Barbara Gorman; “best little friend,” Mikayla Crosby; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. The Funeral Service will be held at 11:30 AM on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at Ada Bible – Cascade, 8899 Cascade Rd SE. Friends may visit with her family from 10:00 AM until the time of the service. Contributions in her memory may be made to American Cancer Society, Leukemia/Lymphoma Society or Unity Bike Tour. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Jan and to sign her guestbook online. Jan’s family is being served by Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, Grand Rapids.