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Westside Christian School
955 Westend NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Allendale Christian School
3350 East Paris Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Grandville Calvin Christian School
3750 Ivenrest Ave. SW
Grandville, MI 49418
Life Story / Obituary
Throughout his long life, Bud DeVries enjoyed blessings too numerous to count, despite the many changes and challenges life brought his way. Through it all, Bud’s ever present compass was his unending faith. Blessed with awonderful family to love, good friends, and work on which he could depend, Bud was exceedingly thankful to his Lord. A generous, hard-working man, Bud was an example and inspiration to those who came to know and lovehim.
Monroe Theodore “Bud” DeVries, the son of John Andrew and Sylvia (Bouma) DeVries was born on December 27,1919 in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The end of World War I, in 1919, marked times of great change in America. Prohibition was established, the dial telephone was introduced, and the pogo stick was a favorite of neighborhood children everywhere.
A young boy typical of his generation, Bud was the fourth of five children in his household which included Josephine, a stillborn brother, Andrew and Leona. Bud’s father worked as a huckster of fruits and vegetables, driving his wagon by horse through the west side neighborhoods of Grand Rapids. In addition to being a busy homemaker, his mother ran the family grocery store from the front of their home at 860 10th Street NW. While Bud and Andrew helped their parents in their work, faith and studies always came first. They were faithful members of Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church where Bud’s strong, faith-filled roots began.
A Christian education was important to Bud’s parents and they sacrificed much to ensure their children received not only a good education but one based on a foundation of faith. Bud attended West Side Christian School where in his youth he played the drums and the violin. The onset of the Great Depression created financial difficulty for all, and Bud’s family was no exception. He witnessed the downfall of many throughout these devastating times. Everyone in his family did their part to help, and young Bud learned the ways of perseverance which served him well throughout life. Despite these troubling days, his family remained ever faithful and clung to the promises of God.
While many left their schooling behind during the Depression, Bud was able to continue with his education, attending Grand Rapids Christian High School. It was during high school when Bud met his future wife, Doris Mol. Bud left high school after his junior year and went to work for Riverside Gravel. He later took a job with Consumers Power Company as a meter reader.
Bud and Doris were married on September 19, 1941 at the home of Doris’ parent’s home. In June of 1942 Bud enlisted in the army. For the next two years, Bud was stationed in many places in the South, where Doris lived with him. In 1944 Bud was deployed to Europe. He appointed to the rank of First Lieutenant, serving as a combat liaison officer in the 87th Infantry Gold Acorn Division. He served in the Battle of the Bulge, Ardennes in southeast Belgium, Central Europe, and Rhineland prior to his honorable discharge on March 10, 1946. At the war’s end, Bud and his brother, Andy, also in the Army, were granted permission to travel to the Netherlands where they were received with a hero’s welcome from extended family, after which Bud returned home.
Following the war, Bud and Andrew purchased his father-in- law’s business, Mol and Devries Coal Company at 619 West Leonard Street NW. He and Doris rented an apartment on Widdicomb NW where they soon welcomed their daughter Joan in 1947. Anticipating birth of John, in 1948, Bud built his family a home on Westend NW where they later welcomed the births of Alice in 1950, Lois in 1954, and Joyce completed their family in 1956. Treasured memories were made and continued to be enjoyed in the place Bud and Doris called home until 1994.
To support his growing family, in 1959, Bud and his brother, Andy sold the coal company, and started DeVries Bros. Awning and Door Company where Bud worked until eventually retiring in 1989. He provided a good life for Doris and the kids, and together they enjoyed fun-filled times taking family vacations at Big Star Lake where they rented cottages for several years. Their family also took trips to historical sites in Boston, Philadelphia, Maine, Chicago, and Washington D.C.
Bud’s faith and devotion to his Lord remained the focal point of his life. As a couple, he and Doris were one of the founding members of the newly formed, Highland Hills Christian Reformed Church where their family was very involved. Over the years, Bud faithfully served as an elder and deacon. Bud and Doris later joined Seventh Reformed Church where they were quite active. Giving back to the Lord came first as Bud was certain to tithe no less than 15% faithfully.
Bud and Doris instilled Christian values in their children. They continually prayed for them, offering their loving support and encouragement. Like their parents before them, Bud and Doris made many sacrifices to put all five of their children through school, but a solid, Christian education was indeed a priority in their lives. Bud and Doris provided their children with a Christian education, sending them to West Side Christian School, Grand Rapids Christian High School, and Calvin College.
In 1970, and again in the 1980s and in 2001, Bud and Doris took the opportunity to visit extended family in the Netherlands. It the late 1980’s Bud and Doris took up golf, enjoying weekly outings at Little Acres or Gracewil Country Club. After retiring, he and Doris took a few winter trips to Florida, but Bud couldn’t sit still for long. Even when retired, he drove a school bus for several years for West Side Christian School. In his free time, Bud loved fishing the Muskegon River. He liked catching a few at Hardy Dam and the Pere Marquette River, too. An avid Detroit Tigers fan, he liked listening to their games on the radio. The family pool table in the basement also made some great games.
Bud loved listening to the Christian hymns that were broadcasted on WFUR. A creature of habit, he never missed reading the monthly Banner, and the daily Grand Rapids Press. He read many faith-filled Christian books and his Bible daily. Although never much of a cook, he had his Ralston cereal for breakfast every morning. Never too picky, Bud loved eating just about everything.
Bud always loved time spent with his family and grandkids; his family remained his delight. In 2004, when taking care of their home became too difficult, Bud and Doris moved to Raybrook Estates where they made many new friends. Bud and Doris continued driving across town for Sunday services, and it was always good to see many of their longtime friends there.
When Doris’s health deteriorated, she moved to the Raybrook nursing area until her death on May 11, 2009. Although very lonely without his dear wife, Bud’s strong faith and close family ties sustained him. He kept active and was an avid walker all over the grounds and halls of the Raybrook campus. As his health diminished and he began slowing down, Bud’s eyesight also began to fail. Last October, he was placed under the care of hospice, and his family visited him often which always brightened his days.
The life of Bud DeVries was surrounded by those he loved as he devoted his time and efforts to raising and loving his family. Dedicated in everything he did, Bud was a hard, independent worker who persevered through much, yet with faith as his guide, he sought his Lord in each of his endeavors. Bud’s kind and generous ways were a blessing to others. He was a man of faith who quietly helped those around him, and with a grateful heart, he never expected anything in return. Perhaps it was having lived through the Depression, but he was never wasteful of anything. He lived frugally, was never boastful, but most of all, Bud lived with thanksgiving, and devotion to his Lord.
Monroe Theodore “Bud” DeVries, aged 96 of Grand Rapids, went to be with his Lord on Tuesday morning, June 7, 2016 at Holland Home Raybrook Manor. He was preceded in death by his wife Doris (Mol) DeVries, his siblings, Josephine, Andy and his wife Jeanne, Leone, and infant brother, and his parents, John and Sylvia Devries, He is survived by his children, Joan Kelley and her son, David Kelley (Emma), son, John (Deanna) DeVries and their children, Chris (Beth) DeVries, Jeff (Kathy) DeVries, Steve DeVries, Chelsea DeVos, Brittany DeVos, daughter, Alice (Dan) Spaanstra and their children, Kate (Chris) Markey, Jessalynn (Jeff) Grysen, daughter, Lois (Lou) Knooihuizen and their children, Elizabeth (Chris) Ledtke, Becky Knooihuizen, Charlie (Carrie) Knooihuizen, and daughter, Joyce (Tim) Tomaselli; 9 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and friends. Bud honorably served his country during World War II in the US Army. He was a longtime West Side business owner. He was a longtime member of Highland Hills CRC and later, Seventh Reformed Church, where he was very active serving as both Elder and Deacon. His family would like to thank the staff of both Holland Home and Faith Hospice for the love and care given to Bud and his family these past years. A service to celebrate Bud’s life will be held on Saturday, June 11 at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of Raybrook Manor, 2120 Raybrook St. SE. Relatives and friends may meet his family on Saturday, June 11 at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of Raybrook Manor, 2120 Raybrook St. SE. Relatives and friends may meet his family on Friday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, and again at the Raybrook Chapel on Saturday from 12:00 noon until the service begins. Contributions in Bud’s memory may be made to Allendale Christian School, Grandville Calvin Christian School or to West Side Christian School. To read more about Bud’s life, to sign his online guest book and to leave your own memory of him, please visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com.