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Mary Lou LaHuis

April 7, 1934 - May 14, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Tuesday, May 15, 2018
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions

Visitation

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Orchard Hill Church
1465 Three Mile Rd. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Web Site

Service

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Orchard Hill Church
1465 Three Mile Rd. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544

Contributions


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.

Parkinson's Association of West Michigan
260 Jefferson #210
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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Mary Lou LaHuis was a compassionate and caring wife, mother, and friend to many. She lived her life putting others first and selflessly gave of her time and resources to help others in need. She held many special gifts and talents including sewing, baking, and playing the piano. Her rich legacy of sharing unconditional love for her family will be forever etched on their hearts and her presence will be deeply missed.

1934 saw the turning point in the Great Depression in America with unemployment decreasing. Born before one of the most severe droughts in our nation’s history, Gary and Hattie (Brouwer) VanDyke were elated with joy to welcome their newborn daughter Mary Lou to their home on April 7, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born the youngest of five children, her birth brought much happiness into their family home.

Mary Lou lived a typical childhood of the times where her father was the breadwinner through his hard work as a carpenter for Owen Ames as well as Kimble Construction and her mother worked as a homemaker who later ran a rest home in their home on Lake Drive in East Grand Rapids. Mary Lou learned from a young age the duties of a caregiver and enjoyed helping her mother prepare meals, clean, and do laundry. Graduating with the Class of 1951 from Ottawa Hills High School, Mary had her dreams set on becoming a nurse. She attended the Grand Rapids Junior College Nursing program where she was able to tap into her natural nurturing ways and earned her LPN license.

Mary Lou went on to work at Butterworth Hospital for a few years and during that time she was swept away by the man of her dreams, Fred LaHuis. Meeting through a blind date set up by Fred’s sister, the two of them shared an Easter Sunday service together at Bethany Reformed Church. Sharing a common faith as well as many common interests, they joined in marriage on December 9, 1955, at the same church where they had their first date. Niagara Falls was their desired honeymoon destination yet a Midwest snowstorm took them as far as Cleveland, Ohio before returning back home to their apartment on Hollister Street Southeast. Later they settled into a home in Jenison and by 1960 they bought their forever family home on Janes Ave. in Grand Rapids. Together they raised four wonderful children; Carol, Gary, Jenni, and Daniel. Fred worked as a plumber and Mary Lou was a homemaker until the children were grown and then she returned to work at Pilgrim Manor Nursing Home where she worked for seventeen years until she retired at the age of sixty-five.

During their child-rearing years, she and Fred continued to raise their young family with the rich faith life they had as children. They became members of Bethany Reformed Church, (the merger of Bethany Reformed, and Fairview Reformed church became Orchard Hill Reformed Church) into their later years. Mary Lou enjoyed keeping herself busy and active by sewing and mending for the kids as well as taking cake decorating classes. She made the most wonderful cakes for many special occasions over the years. In addition to her cakes, Mary Lou also liked to make pies and other desserts for family and friends. Her Sunday dinners of roast beef with potatoes and gravy were savored as they joined around the table. Mary Lou loved to have the family together and her cooking was always at the heart of any gathering. As a family, they took many memorable trips together. One year they took a cross-country train trip to Seattle, Washington to visit Fred’s sister and her family. They enjoyed years of traveling to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula as well as many camping trips. Most years they also visited the ever popular Cedar Point to take on the latest thrill rides of the season. Although Mary Lou headed back to work once the kids were grown, her heart remained tied to her mothering duties and she and Fred fostered many special children in their home over the course of fifteen years. She was most content in that role and never wanted anything in return just the satisfaction of knowing that she was helping a young person gain their roots in the world.

Nothing, however, would prepare her heart for her role as a grandmother. Mary Lou never missed a birthday or special event for her grandchildren. She enjoyed years of attending their sporting events, such as baseball games, swim meets, band concerts and marching band competitions. No special occasion went without one of her special cake or delicious pies! She was an exceptional grandmother who loved each and every one of them! Most of her time was spent attending to her family yet Fred convinced her to take a trip to Tampa, Florida even though she wasn’t fond of flying. For relaxation, she enjoyed playing wonderful hymns on the piano in addition to listening to Christian music on WFUR on the radio. As her Parkinson’s disease began to slow her down, she and Fred moved to Covenant Village of the Great Lakes where they met many special friends. She enjoyed her daily soap opera, As the World Turns, as well as her evening shows; Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. Mary Lou’s illness with pneumonia resulted in her going under Hospice care during her last days where her family remained at her side until she was reunited with her Lord and Savior on May 14, 2018. Described as a natural caregiver, friendly, and helpful, Mary Lou leaves behind a wonderful collection of memories for her loved ones to cherish forever.

Mary Lou LaHuis (VanDyke), aged 84 of Grand Rapids, passed away on Monday, May 14, 2018, at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes. She was preceded in death by her parents, Gary and Hattie VanDyke, her siblings; Evelyn (Russell) Schuling, Paul (Millie) VanDyke, Leona (Mike) Roersma, and her sister-in-law, Joan VanDyke. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Fred LaHuis, her children; Carol (Carl) Bos, Gary LaHuis, Jenni Grant LaHuis (Stuart) Biegler, Daniel LaHuis; grandchildren, Brian (Sarah) Bos, Michelle (TJ) Foote, David (Krystal) Bos, Scott (Sally) Bos, Nathan LaHuis, Christa Marie Kind, and 7 great-grandchildren; her brother, Howard Van Dyke; many nieces, nephews and friends. Mary was a loving and dedicated, wife, mother grandmother, great-grandmother and a friend to all who knew her. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered. She worked as an LPN at Butterworth Hospital and Pilgrim Manor. She also worked as a Foster Care Provider. A service to celebrate Mary’s life will be held on Wednesday, May 16 at 11:00 am at Orchard Hill Church, 1465 Three Mile Rd. NW. Burial in Georgetown Township Cemetery. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Friends and relatives may meet her family at Heritage Lifestory Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Tuesday, May 15, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and again at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. To sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com

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