Family will receive visitors for one hour prior to the service
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.
Benevolence Fund of Covenant Village of Great Lakes
2510 Lake Michigan Dr. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Eileen Stehouwer celebrated her 99th birthday on April 25, 2021, and peacefully joined her Savior Jesus Christ in heaven on May 29. She lived a long life full of faith, love and good work -- an example of Godly loving kindness to her family and all who knew her.
Eileen Van Houten was born in 1922, to William and Jenette Van Houten in Grand Rapids. After graduating from Union High School she worked in the office at Keeler-Brass until marrying Clarence (Bud) Stehouwer in 1941. Charles John (Chuck) was born in 1942, Jean Karen followed in 1943, Mary Ann in 1948, and Thomas Jay in 1953. Eileen’s life was full and productive.
While raising her children, Eileen volunteered at West Side Christian School and served as PTA president. She and Bud were founding members of Highland Hills CRC (now Westend CRC), and she was an active participant in the life of that church nearly until her death. She volunteered weekly at Butterworth Hospital for nearly 25 years (and confessed to her daughter that she loved the macaroni and cheese in the hospital cafeteria).
Eileen was a great cook and baker herself, but her real talent was sewing. When stressed for some reason, she would say, “Just give me an hour with my sewing machine.” Sewing was therapy for her, and it was a gift she passed on to her daughters.
When Bud retired in 1983 they began a whole new, happy phase of life. They traveled extensively together throughout Europe, Russia, the Holy Land and India with close friends from their church who named themselves “The Highland Hills Globetrotters.” As a couple, they traveled each year to Arizona to see Mary’s family and to Florida for winter. They played tennis until their knees gave out and then moved on to golf.
Bud died in 2016, just nine days after he and Eileen celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. Chuck, their eldest son, died in 2012, but the rest of their progeny feel blessed to have been part of Eileen’s long life: Marianne (Mulder) Stehouwer of Grand Rapids; Jean (Stehouwer) and Bob Freye of North Muskegon; Mary (Stehouwer) and Phil VanderMeer of Mesa, Arizona; Tom and Joyce (Hoekstra) Stehouwer of Shelbyville; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Eileen’s family is grateful to the care team at Covenant Living Assisted Living who nurtured her so unselfishly loved and for the years since Bud’s passing – especially her care givers Teri, Sarah, Kaleigh and Brenda. Their tenderness made a difference in Mom’s life and brought her so much joy.
Eileen’s memorial service will be held at 1PM on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, with Rev Henry Admiraal officiating. The family will gather with extended family and friends from 6-8 PM on Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Benevolence Fund of Covenant Living of the Great Lakes. Interment in Washington Park Memorial Garden. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook.