Minnie DeYoung

September 9, 1915 - November 21, 2016
Grand Rapids, MI



Friday, November 25, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes Van't Hof Chapel
851 Leonard St., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Saturday, November 26, 2016
10:30 AM EST
Chapel at Fulton Manor of Holland Home
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.

Holland Home for Patient Assistance Fund


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


A faithful servant of God who marveled in the beauty of fall, Minnie DeYoung lived a long and fulfilling life. Hardworking, fun-loving, and active in her community, she was a gracious woman who touched the lives of those around her. Always thankful and quick with wit, Minnie relied on God to guide her through good times and bad. Living her faith throughout her entire life, Minnie was an exceptionally amazing woman.

It was 1915 and The Great War was unfolding. Millions of young men were fighting across Europe. Babe Ruth hit his first home run while playing for the Red Sox, Pluto was photographed for the first time, and the one millionth Ford car rolled off the assembly line. The Tramp and The Birth of a Nation were released on the big screen and The United States Coast Guard became part of the military service. The Roaring 20s are on the horizon and big change is coming to the United States, but Nanko and Grace Kuipers of Lucas, Michigan aren’t looking that far ahead. For on September 9, Minnie, their sixth child is born. Minnie joins siblings Tena, John, Ben, and Matt and Peter and younger sister Alice is born not long after Minnie. Not only was the Kuipers family complete, is was bustling.

Minnie grew up on the family farm, taking care of chores and attending school. By age 13, she was helping to provide for the family by working for local families. Minnie helped with local households with their chores, particularly after a new baby was born. The cooking and cleaning skills she learned from her mother made Minnie helpful and valuable. She once tried to broaden her abilities by learning how to drive, but it didn’t go well and Minnie did not pursue it. After her father passed away when she was 17, it became more important to help provide for her family. Moving to Grand Rapids a year later, Minnie found work as a maid and began earning $3.00 a week. Excited to earn a real working wage, Minnie used her earnings to buy a piano. Minnie worked as a maid in several houses until a carbon monoxide poisoning scare. Recognizing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning in the house she was cleaning, she was able to get the children out of the house and to safety and without harm. However, Minnie herself had to have a goiter removed from her thyroid as a result of her poisoning. She returned to the family farm after the incident.

Moving home and taking her place back on the farm, she met Vern DeYoung one day while walking home from church. Vern was driving his car as he came upon a lovely young woman in the road. They met, courted each other, and fell in love. Minnie wed Vern on April 24, 1942. The pair moved to his family farm for a bit before starting their own. Minnie was the homemaker: gardening, canning, cooking, cleaning, and baking. Canned vegetables filled the pantry and homemade pies cooled on the counter. She kept a clean home that soon grew to include three children: Bernie, Grace, and Maury. Minnie and Vern’s first house was a lot of work to keep it. It lacked a refrigerator, an indoor bathroom, and hot water. Minnie once again tried to learn how to drive a car, but she took the resulting engine fire as a sign from God that it simply wasn’t meant to be. A patient and steady mother, not much rattled Minnie. Not even the house fire that burned down their first house. Minnie simply picked up her family and made a new house their home. A home was made of those you loved, not walls and paint. Minnie and Vern were active members of Lucas Christian Reformed Church where they did bible study and she was head of The Ladies Aid Guild. Her faith in God helped her through difficult times when Vern had been injured and had to be hospitalized in Detroit and Ann Arbor. It was during those times that she made quilts and rugs and also cleaned houses in Cadillac. With an avid love for crochet she made afghans for each grandchild. Minnie also loved to bowl and play Scrabble. An honest woman, she wouldn’t play with someone after they cheated. Ever the loving daughter, Minnie took care of her mother for several years.

Eventually, Vern and Minnie sold the family farm and moved to Hudsonville to be closer to their children. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and often traveled to see family that didn’t live close. But soon after moving to Hudsonville, Vern entered the Christian Rest Home where Minnie visited him every day. Vern died in 1995, but she continued to volunteer there for ten years. She helped with bible study and ministry. Minnie herself moved to Holland Home Fulton Manor, where she lived for ten years. Staying sharp and active, Minnie participated in many of the home’s activities. Always a loving woman, she was grateful for those who helped care for her and knew them all by name. She continually thanked her caregivers, believing that God had sent them to her. Her belief in God as strong as ever, she would pray for every member of her family, by name, each day. She prayed that God would grant those in her family health, happiness, and salvation. Minnie was faithful to God her entire life, relying on him for strength and love and on November 21, God called her home.

Minnie DeYoung, age 101 of Grand Rapids, passed away November 21, 2016 and now rests in the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Vern in 1995, and by her grandson, Derrick DeYoung. Minnie is survived by her children Bernie & Kathy DeYoung, Grace & Ron DeVries, Maury & Cheryl DeYoung; grandchildren Deb & Carl Rozeveld, Laurie DeYoung, Brenda & Ken Dryfhout, Ken & Deb DeVries, Jim & Carol DeVries, Dan & Lisa DeVries, Chris & Arlene DeYoung, Michelle & Gene Kremer, Lisa & Tom DeMaagd, Tim DeYoung; 26 great grandchildren; brother-in-law and sisters-in-law Marvin & Jeanette DeYoung and Eldean Bouwman; as well and many nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Minnie's life will be held on Saturday, November 26, at 10:30 AM in the chapel at Holland Home - Fulton Manor, 1450 East Fulton. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 5-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van't Hof Chapel, 851 Leonard NW and on Saturday at Fulton Manor from 9:30 until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Holland Home Patient Assistance Fund are appreciated. To read more about Minnie's life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com