Thursday, October 20, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Richmond Reformed Church
1814 Walker Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Visitation will be held at the church from 10 AM until the service begins.
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Doris Riewald, words such as gracious, compassionate, and giving come to mind, but perhaps the word that paints the most accurate picture of her is faithful. Although she was known for her unwavering faith, she was never overbearing in her beliefs as it was through the life she lived each day that she exemplified what it means to be a woman after God’s own heart. Married to the love of her life, Doris was deeply devoted to her family that grew to include the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she adored. Always ready with an encouraging word, she blessed so many throughout her life. Deeply loved, Doris will be forever missed.
It was during the vibrant days of the Roaring Twenties that Doris began her life’s journey. Innovation fueled countless changes, and prosperity was largely felt nationwide. This was also an exciting time in the lives of Domis and Anna (Zylstra) Van’t Hof as they announced the birth of their daughter, Doris Maxine, on July 23, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was the third child in her family. Wilma came first and then Peter, although Peter died at just two weeks of age. Domis and Harold came after Doris. Life was difficult for Doris as her father became an alcoholic and then left the family when she was seven. At times there was no food or money to pay the rent for their home on Fremont Street. Doris was never bitter, however, and she was so thankful for her mother who gave her everything her father didn’t. During the hard times the Lord always provided.
From the time she was a young girl, Doris was a bustle of activity. She loved playing dolls using the doll bed she made out of a cardboard oatmeal box. Doris always felt the presence of God in her life, and she gave her heart to Him when she was very young. She also developed the discipline of having quiet time with God while growing up. Doris and her family were members of Seventh Reformed Church, and when she was 12 she attended the Salvation Army Sunday school with her friend, Blanche. There, they stressed a deeper relationship with the Lord, which Doris took to heart. She also learned to play the coronet and then played in band for many years. Doris attended Widdicomb School, Harrison Park School, and then Union High School. She became friends with Helen Schuka, and they were lifelong friends. Doris graduated from Union High in 1940. She started working at Interstate Motor Company, earning $12.77 for the week, and she also babysat at times. Doris gave $10 a week to her mom to help with expenses.
Not to be forgotten during her years in junior high was Doris’s blossoming relationship with a young man named Walter Riewald. They were friends who knew each other from church from the time she was 13 and he was 15. Friendship later gave way to love, and they shared summer night walks and winter fun skating at Richmond Park with friends. One of the things that attracted Doris to Walter was that he had a new blue Roadmaster bicycle with balloon tires. Walter gave her rides on the bike and shared ice cream with her. By the time Walter was drafted into the military, the couple was engaged. He was overseas for 38.5 months and only returned home for three days during that time. Doris wrote him every day and worked for GM.
Walter finally returned home in late August of 1945, and since Doris and her family were still coping with the death of her younger brother, Domis, on August 4th of that year, their wedding was delayed. Finally, on May 28, 1946, Doris and Walter were married at Klise Memorial Chapel with a reception in the basement of the old Seventh Reformed Church. They made their home on Jennette during their earliest years, and they later moved to a home on Fremont Street, NW, where they remained for 20 years. Together they welcomed five children including Beth, Ellen, Doug, Jayne, and David into their hearts and home. In 1986, they moved to the brand new home that Doris called her “sweet little home” on Remembrance Road.
Doris took her roles as a wife, mother, and homemaker to heart. She was always cooking and had piles of laundry around in various stages of completion. Sunday dinners were special times and usually boasted of her beef roast made on her brown stove with her old pan. Christmas was a big deal for Doris, probably because she didn’t have much growing up, and she liked buying presents for everyone. As a family they enjoyed vacations camping in Grand Haven or Interlochen. Later on, they had a travel trailer, the Happy Rover. Doris and her grown daughters, and their children, often camped on their own at Grand Haven until Father's Day when the husbands would come out for dinner. Later on they started camping at Wilderness State Park. An active part of her children’s lives, Doris was the longest active member of the Stocking School PTA.
In 2007, Doris was deeply saddened with Walter’s death. Although she was lonely, she continued to find joy in her life. Doris treasured spending time with her family, and she soon moved in with her son David and his wife Jodi and dog, Jemima. She lived with them for 7 years. Doris liked being part of a family again, and she continued having daily fellowship with them and taking part in several activities including regularly attending Bible study. After suffering a broken leg, Doris spent some time at Covenant Village and later moved to the Christian Rest Home in 2015 where she spent the remainder of her days.
Friendly, outgoing, and kindhearted, Doris Riewald was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was always available with a listening ear and a piece of encouragement, and her devotion to her Lord and Savior was unmatched. She will never be forgotten.
Doris Maxine (Van't Hof) Riewald, born July 23, 1922, to Domis and Anna (Zylstra) Van't Hof, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Saturday, October 15, 2016. She was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, her brothers and sisters in law and her beloved husband Walter. Surviving are her children Beth (Bruce) McGlincy, Ellen (Robert) Kruithof, Douglas (Diane) Riewald, Jayne (Jim) Grant, David (Jodi) Riewald and grandchildren Jenni (Robert) Smyth, Molly (Brad) Keen, Carrie (Justin) Bott, Tim McGlincy, Kimberly (Eric) Pepper, Laura Grant, Steve Grant and great grandchildren Jonathan, Benjamin and Alexander Keen and Michael McMahon and several nieces and nephews. Doris will be remembered as a woman of great faith. She had the gift of encouragement and was always ready to listen to friends and family. She had a sweet spirit. She will be missed by friends and family alike.
Doris was a long time active member of Richmond Reformed Church where she served wherever she could, including 32 years on the Mission Committee. The family wishes to thank the staff at the Christian Rest Home for their loving care for Doris for the past year and a half. The celebration of Doris' life will be held at 11 AM on Thursday, October 20, at Richmond Reformed Church, 1814 Walker NW with visitation one hour prior to the service. Memorial contributions in Doris's name may be made to Samaritan's Purse - U.S. Disaster Relief. To read more about Doris's life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.