Lucille Klaasen

March 21, 1924 - April 11, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, April 17, 2017
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
Holland Home Fulton Manor Chapel
1450 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Monday, April 17, 2017
1:00 PM EDT
Holland Home - Fulton Manor Chapel
1450 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


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.

Ronald McDonald House
1323 Cedar NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web Site

Holland Home - Fulton Manor Benevolent Fund
1450 East Fulton
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


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


Always one to forgive and accept forgiveness in her quiet but purposeful life, Lucille Klaasen appreciated the simple day to day living. She was a loving wife, a caring mother, and a cherished grandmother. It is difficult to say goodbye to Lou, but she will live on in our fond memories of her.

In the midst of the decade known as "The Roaring Twenties," 1941 was a continuation of America's youth embracing new styles and trends. Calvin Coolidge was elected president in this year and became the first president to make a national address over the radio. An estimated five million people tuned in to listen to his intentions during his full term in office. Dance marathons and the Chinese game 'mah-jongg' were all the rage. Close to home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, John and Alice (Emelander) were looking forward to the birth of their second child to complete their family. On March 21, 1924, Lucille Harriet Heim joined the world. She was named after her grandmother and was affectionately called 'Lou' for much of her life.

The Heim family lived in a home once located on 1062 Scribner NW during Lou's childhood; however, the home was eventually torn down to make way for the new expressway. Most of her memorable youth occurred during the hard times of the Great Depression. This early experience of frugal living became part of who Lou was throughout the rest of her life. Her family attended Coldbrook Christian Reformed Church and continued their membership when the congregation moved and became Beckwith Christian Reformed Church; she remained a member of this same congregation her entire life. As a young adult, Lou occasionally worked on her uncle's onion farm in Hudsonville, and this was just the first of nearly 50 jobs she would take before retiring from work in general. Eventually, she graduated from Union High School and started her adult life in the same way she approached her youth - she did not have much, but she did not need much to find peace and happiness.

Lou was not one for idle chit chat, in fact, she did not talk much; this characteristic was sometimes misunderstood as being short with others, but truly if Lou did not have anything to say, she would save her breath for times of useful conversation. Perhaps her silent observations of the world led her to find love. His name was Andrew Klaasen, and he would be the one with whom she would spend the rest of her life. The happy couple married in the late summer month of August on the 23rd, 1946 exchanging vows in her family church.

After returning from their honeymoon in Niagara Falls, the newlyweds settled in a house on Quimby NE. They began their family in this home, in the early years of their union, by welcoming three beautiful children. Bursting at the seams in their house, the family chose to build a home on Herrick NE, and finally, they added their fourth and final child to fulfill the family. For fifty years, this new house shared its shelter and warmth with the comings and goings of the young family all through to times of the inevitable empty nest.

Lou was a very devoted mother - ensuring that her children were well cared for and loved, but she did not shy away from also being a bit strict. She did the best she could for her family; she strove to lead by example. She always said devotions before dinner, and made every intention to teach them to live simply, for life has never been about the 'stuff.' Christian education was important to Andy and Lou, so they scrimped up the money to ensure their children received such an education. As a family, they would enjoy camping in Holland during the summer months. Florida was another destination the family experienced together while visiting relatives. Part of Lou's simplicity was naturally elicited from her keen ability to organize and document. She had a regular schedule of meals, so the family looked forward to big Sunday dinners, leftovers on Monday, Goulash on Wednesday and definitely hot dogs on Saturday. She took on the household chores in the same fashion. Lou was known to have a bit of a sweet tooth, so she would bake many treats for her family's enjoyment (participating in the indulgement equally as much!).

When she was not tending to her family and home, she did hold a great number of jobs throughout the years. Because of her fondness of record keeping (she kept notebooks and notes of all sorts of things in her life), an actual list exists of all the various jobs she worked. Lou was rather particular about the jobs, as they could not interfere with her family's schedule or involve weekend hours. Some of the jobs included Avon, various positions at retirement homes, and an office staff member at American Seating and Rapistan. She did not always seek pay in her work, for her altruistic nature placed her in volunteer positions with the American Red Cross, the Ronald McDonald House, and the Blood Bank. Though Lou was a hard worker, she also had labors of passion at home in her garden. She found great contentment planting and caring for her beautiful flowers. And true to her generation, she was quite frugal and never wanted to throw anything away, but amongst all of her treasures, she still kept the clutter organized.

Later in life, Andy and Lou shared in the joyful celebration of many grandchildren; in fact, she had 16 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter! Her legacy is safely tucked within the spirits of all these young lives. She thoroughly enjoyed seeing the grandchildren and would spoil them with sweets whenever she could!

A few years after Andy retired, they moved to the Fulton Manor of Holland Home, not wanting to be a burden to their children in later years. In their new home, Lou made a few special friendships, but she spent most of her social time with friends from her church. Sadly, Andy passed away in 2004, so Lou had to endure this period of time with the support of her family. As she carried her husband's memory close to her heart, she was able to find the goodness in life again. Lou had a wonderful memory and loved adorning her room with photos of family members.

After living at Fulton Manor for about 23 years, Lou's time with us in this life was complete. She passed away on April 11, 2017, at the age of 93. Though she was a soul with few words, her intentions were always kind. She lived life simply and admirably found that to be enough. She was always content, and that is a unique place to be in this world. Her place in our lives will never be forgotten, and we will miss her dearly.

She was also preceded in death by her sister Marion Vachon.

Lucille is survived by her children John and Joni Klaasen, Bob Klaasen, Bonnie Campbell and Linda and John Guzek; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great granddaughter as well as nieces and nephews.

Her funeral service will be held on Monday, April 17 at 1 PM in the chapel of Holland Home – Fulton Manor, 1450 East Fulton where friends may visit with her family from 12 Noon until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either Holland Home - Fulton Manor Benevolent Fund or the Ronald McDonald House are appreciated.