Marian Veeneman

February 4, 1921 - September 4, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI



Thursday, September 14, 2017
7:00 PM to 9:00 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

Friday, September 15, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Seventh Reformed Church
950 Leonard St. N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Friday, September 15, 2017
11:00 AM EDT
Seventh Reformed Church
950 Leonard St. N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


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.

Christian Rest Home
1000 Edison Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49502
(616) 453-2475
Driving Directions
Web Site


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


In as much as she gave, Marian Veeneman was loved abundantly. She was a woman devoted to her faith, and she lived her life by way of example. Marian experienced much in her 96 years yet she never lost sight of the many blessings around her. Quite friendly, she had an outgoing nature and her genuine love shone bright through her kindness towards others. Gone but never to be forgotten are the wonderful memories Marian leaves behind.

As the Roaring Twenties ushered in new ways of thinking, by 1921 jazz was all the rage and Charlie Chaplin stared on the big screen. Prosperity and good fortune created a sense of exhilaration never before seen while baseball continued to be America’s favorite pastime. Yet in the close knit Michigan community of Coopersville, the birth of Marian on February 4, 1921, was truly a blessing in the lives of her parents, Neal and Margaret (Elbers) Doornbos. One of two children in the Doornbos household, Marian was joined about a year and a half later by her younger brother, Earl, who completed their family.

Marian enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation despite the sobering financial effects of the Great Depression during her youth. She and her brother often helped their grandparents snip beans for the cannery located in Coopersville. Raised in faith, Marian and her family were longtime members of the Reformed Church in Coopersville where Marian’s own foundation of faith began. She attended Coopersville Public Schools and as a child she won awards for her wonderful penmanship. Marian went on to attend Coopersville High School through the ninth grade at which time her family moved to the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Once in Grand Rapids, Marian’s family set-up house on the south side of the city where Marian attended Ottawa Hills High School before graduating with the Class of 1939.

Following high school, Marian landed a job working at the Corduroy Rubber Company. Yet it was while out with a few friends roller skating one evening when Marian’s life was forever changed. That very night Marian was introduced to a gentleman by the name of Ray Veeneman who was actually a Coopersville resident but a few years older than she was. The two hit it off remarkably well and in July of 1941 Ray proposed to Marian. They originally planned on getting married in 1942, yet with the news of impending war overseas, it simply made more sense for them to marry earlier. On November 20, 1941, Marian and Ray shared vows of marriage to the delight of their families and friends.

The newlyweds began their new life together as husband and wife. Seitse Harkema and his wife lived next door and the two couples soon became good friends. While Ray didn’t care much for his job at General Motors and Seitse not liking what he was doing, the two men decided to go into the grocery business together. They built the store building by themselves and the wives helped stock the shelves, readying the store for completion. What would become a mainstay in the area, they opened the Fuller Avenue IGA store where Seitse handled the grocery end of the store and Ray oversaw and worked the meat and butcher department. With an eye for detail and doing some of the books, Marian was an important part in the success of their business.

To be close to the store, Marian and Ray lived in a rented home on Malta St. NE. They began building a home to call their own on the city’s west side on Tamarack NW and during this time, their first son, Ronald, was born. They actually moved into their new home prior to it being completed and finished it up while living there. After moving to the west side, Marian and Ray became devoted members of Seventh Reformed Church where Marian remained active throughout the rest of her life. She selflessly gave of her time and talents at church, participating in many church activities and as a member of the choir for nearly 50 years.

After the birth of their son, Marian became a full-time homemaker. She loved nothing more than caring for her husband and their little boy, and making a good home for them. Later they also came to welcome the birth of their second son, Jim who added much to their family. Marian was a wonderful wife and mother. She loved cooking and was a very good baker making delectable treats for her family and friends to enjoy. Marian loved her dogs that were always a big part of their family, especially her last one. And when grandchildren came along, Marian could not have been happier as she absolutely adored them. In fact, Marian’s honorary casket bearers will include her grandchilden and great grandchildren, which meant so very much to her: Stephen Veeneman, Scott Veeneman, David Veeneman, Eric Schweitzer, Chris Walker, Hunter Veeneman, Anthony Whalen, Joseph Whalen, and Nicholas Schwietzer.

When she was able, Marian always took on little outside jobs. Through the years she worked at the Pantlind Hotel and later at Jacobson’s Department store. She also worked for a time at the Christian Rest Home. They’d save the earnings from her income to use for vacations and to purchase her clothes. A very stylish woman, Marian liked shopping for clothes and Jacobson’s was one of her favorite stores which had a wide variety of quality, woman’s clothing. Even though Ray was always quite busy with the store, they did take time to travel as a family. They began spending the summers camping in their travel trailer, most often at several of the West Michigan State Parks where numerous memories were made and enjoyed.

In 1967, Marian and Ray moved their family from their Tamarack home to a home on West Leonard where they lived until moving to a condo in the Grandville area in 1987. When Marian’s beloved Ray passed away in 1993, she continued living alone, living her life and helping her family when she could.

The time eventually came, however, when Marian needed more care. In 2016 she moved into the Edison Assisted Living at the Christian Rest Home. Both of Marian’s sons took her out each week for meals, and quite often had her over to one of their homes for Sunday dinner which she thoroughly enjoyed. While at Edison Assisted Living, Marian’s friendly and outgoing personality was well liked by all. She liked her time there and made several friends and had others to visit with.

Lovingly remembered as a devoted wife, dedicated mother and wonderful grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother, Marian’s strong faith was the cornerstone for which she lived. She served her Lord and family well, and for these things and so much more, she will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

Mrs. Marian R. Veeneman, aged 96 of Grand Rapids passed away Monday, September 4, 2017, and went to be with her Lord and Savior. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Veeneman. Surviving are her children: Ron and Alta Veeneman, Jim and Esther Veeneman; her grandchildren: Stephen and Alissa Veeneman, Scott and Cheri Veeneman, David Veeneman, Catherine and Eric Schweitzer, Elizabeth and Chris Walker, Sheryl Veeneman; several great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren; her sisters-in-law, Shirley Cunningham and Dorothy Veeneman; nephews and nieces. A funeral service will be held Friday, September 15, 2017, 11:00 AM at the Seventh Reformed Church, 950 Leonard St. NW. Interment will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with her family Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 7-9 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW and again Friday at the church from 10:00 AM until the time of the funeral service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Christian Rest Home Foundation are appreciated. To read more about of Marian’s life, share a memory or sign the online register book please visit www.lifestorynet.com.