Saturday, December 10, 2016
11:00 AM EST
Berkley Hills Church
1670 Ball Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Eunice Sweeris lived a life of purpose filled with endless amounts of love for her family and friends. Guided by an unwavering faith, she was never overbearing or boisterous in her beliefs, rather, she taught others what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved by the way she lived her life each day. An amazing mother who was devoted to her husband and children, Eunice was filled with great joy to welcome grandchildren and great-grandchildren into the family she treasured. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that is deeply rooted in faith, compassion, and sacrificial love that her loved ones will proudly carry on.
It was during the exciting decade of the Roaring Twenties that America led the way in innovation. Radios, washing machines, and cars that were mass produced on assembly lines were commonplace, and prosperity was widespread. There was also great excitement in the lives of Wilford and Ina Bell Heiss as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Eunice Myrtle on July 18, 1928, in Grant, Michigan. There would be nine children in the Heiss family, and she was one of the younger ones to be raised in their home on the farm. Because Eunice had chores out in the barn she wasn't required to do much of the housework inside the house. Their family was close, and although she always spoke of her childhood fondly she did look forward to leaving the farm for a city lifestyle as a young woman. Eunice often talked of being a “little devil,” but it was all innocent mischief that young children are so often known for. She and her siblings attended a one-room schoolhouse called Fry Elementary, and her high school years found her at Sand Lake High School. Times were difficult during the 1930s due to the Great Depression, but she was thrilled to receive her first new dress when she was about 14 years old. It was also while growing up that Eunice came to embrace the faith she held dear throughout her life as she and her family attended Ensley Center Baptist Church.
After high school, Eunice moved to Grand Rapids and started working at Pecks Drug Store. She later worked as a waitress at a restaurant on Division, which proved to be quite fateful as it was there that she met the man of her dreams. His name was Devere Sweeris, and he was a regular customer there. The two began a relationship and eventually married. To their marriage Dee brought his two daughters who were 11 and 12. They began living with them, growing up alongside their son, Larry.
The Sweeris family first lived on Foster, NE, later loved to a home on Dean Street, and finally settled into their longtime home on Swensberg. Eunice was a wonderful mother and stepmother who continually put the needs of her family ahead of her own. She was fun-loving, patient, and understanding when it came to her children. Every other Sunday, the entire family would gather at her parents’ farm for dinner, and while her children were growing up the family rented cottages on Chicagoan Lake in the Upper Peninsula for an annual vacation with the whole extended family. While there they spent much of their time fishing, although Eunice also did her fair share of cleaning. Later, she and Dee had a trailer near Lake City where they spent many weekends in the summer. Eunice had amazing skills in the kitchen with both her cooking and her baking. Her boiled dinner with dumplings, mushrooms with meatballs, peanut butter cookies, and date nut cake were among her family’s favorites. Around the home Eunice was neat and organized, even to the point of being meticulous as she was known to wash the baseboards throughout the house on a weekly basis.
Throughout her life Eunice was one to keep busy. She spent 32 years working for Lear Siegler, which later became Smith Aerospace. Eunice was known for her strong work ethic, and it didn’t go unnoticed as she became a supervisor. Much of her time was spent working on autopilot parts. As someone who enjoyed being social, this was always a primary reason that Eunice enjoyed her work. When working she usually got up at five in the morning, and it took her several years to learn to sleep in after retiring.
After retiring, Eunice and Dee began wintering in Florida. She retired in order to help care for her husband as his health declined, but she did have plenty of time to do the things she loved. Eunice loved walking the beach, looking for shark teeth along the way. Eunice also enjoyed swimming throughout her life, and she kept busy with social activities like shuffleboard. Back home they remained very social, and much of their social life revolved around family and church events as they were longtime members of Berkley Hills Church. Faith was a cornerstone in Eunice’s life, and she was deeply devoted to her Lord and Savior. Eunice was not shy to tell others about her faith, and she found such comfort in looking forward to heaven one day. She was a prayer warrior who faithfully prayed for each family member by name from an extensive and ongoing list of those in need of prayer.
For years Eunice cared for her husband. He eventually needed more care than she could provide and moved into a nursing home where Eunice faithfully visited him. In 1996 she was deeply saddened with his death. She found strength in others and made a point to get more socially involved again. Eunice frequently visited people, made meals for others, or found other ways to help those in need. She always had a way of finding people who needed help and would do her best to meet their needs. Later in life Eunice experienced declining health, and although it was difficult she learned to ask for help and to rely on others. Her final months were spent under hospice care.
Social, outgoing, and joy-filled are just a few of the words that are used to describe Eunice Sweeris. She had a great sense of humor and a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Known as a prayer warrior, Eunice gave her family the ultimate gift in the example she provided, and her devotion to her loved ones was unmatched. She will never be forgotten.
Eunice M. Sweeris, age 88 of Grand Rapids, was joyfully reunited with her family in the presence of her Lord and Savior on December 7, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Devere Sweeris, son, Larry Sweeris, as well as her 8 siblings. Eunice is survived by her daughters Linda (Dennis) Simmons, Joyce (Dave) Muilenburg; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law Arthur Sweeris and Cliff Johnson; and many nieces and nephews, including Jeanne Holwerda who cared for her in the last years. The service to remember and celebrate Eunice's life will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 11 AM at Berkley Hills Wesleyan Church, 1670 Ball Ave NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE or at church from 10 AM until the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Faith Hospice are appreciated. To read more about Eunice's life, to share a memory or photo or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com