Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Gwen Bos

September 18, 1932 - September 22, 2017
Grand Rapids, MI



Monday, September 25, 2017
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613
Driving Directions


Tuesday, September 26, 2017
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Riverside Christian Reformed Church
604 Comstock Blvd. N.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49505


Tuesday, September 26, 2017
11:00 AM EDT
Riverside Christian Reformed Church
604 Comstock Blvd. N.E.
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.

Gideons International


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


When reflecting on the life of Gwendolyn Bos, words such as steadfast, gracious, and selfless come to mind, but perhaps the word that paints the most accurate picture of such an extraordinary woman is faith-filled. Her faith was the compass she used to direct her steps, and an unwavering faith is the greatest gift she gave to her children. Gwen’s love and devotion when it came to her family was easy to see, and it was when surrounded by their love that she experienced true joy. Life will never be the same without her here, but Gwen leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever treasure.

The 1930s were primarily defined by the harsh realities of the Great Depression that touched nearly every American family from coast to coast. Despite the circumstances around them, Lambert and Thressa (Baker) VanderWeide experienced great joy in their lives as they announced the birth of the baby girl they named Gwendolyn Madge on September 18, 1932. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she was the fourth of five children and spent her earliest days on the family farm in the Cascade area just outside of Grand Rapids. The VanderWeide family was deeply affected by the Great Depression, and in 1936 they moved to East Martin where her father took up farming on an established farm.

In many ways, Gwen was a typical young girl of her generation. She attended East Martin Christian School which was associated with the family church, East Martin Christian Reformed Church. They were active members there, and church was an important part of their life and social life. After completing the eighth grade, Gwen left school to care for her ill mother and help on the farm. A few years later she found work at the Heckman Bakery in Grand Rapids.

While growing up in the small community of East Martin, Gwen became acquainted with a young man by the name of Jerry Bos whose family settled there after moving from Chicago. They both attended East Martin School and attended the same church. In time they began dating. About this same time, the family moved from East Martin to a home in Cedar Springs where Gwen’s father continued to farm. She continued commuting to her job at Heckman Bakery, and Gwen and Jerry had a long distance courtship as he remained in East Martin. The family joined the Plainfield Christian Reformed Church, which is now the Blythefield Christian Reformed Church.

Although the love between Gwen and Jerry began to deepen, their love was soon tested when he was drafted into the United States Army. More in love than ever, the sweethearts were married a short time later on December 12, 1953, in the parsonage of the Plainfield Christian Reformed Church while Jerry was home on leave. Jerry had plans of taking his new bride back to his military station, but he was surprised to find that he had been assigned to a post in Germany. Gwen continued living with her parents and working at the bakery while he was overseas.

With his military duties fulfilled, Jerry returned home. The couple lived in an apartment on Spencer Street NE, which is where they welcomed their first two children, Carl and Elaine. With a need for more room, they purchased a home on Bowne St. NE where they raised their family and spent the remainder of their married life. In addition to Carl and Elaine, Gwen and Jerry were blessed with the births of Barb, Donna, Sandy, and Dan. They joined the Plainfield Christian Reformed Church upon moving to the Northeast side of town, but they soon discovered the newly founded Riverside Christian Reformed Church. Gwen and Jerry remained active members there for the rest of her life. Gwen made sure that her family was also very involved there as the children were part of the many youth programs.

Over the years, the Bos family loved being together. They spent time camping at various parks in Michigan during the summers. Gun Lake and Interlochen were among their favorites. With a more relaxed atmosphere while camping, Gwen usually spent time canning the vegetables and produce from Jerry’s family farm in the evenings. It was a wonderful time for the children who could vacation most of the day and perhaps help some with the canning in the evening. There was also a memorable family trip to Yellowstone where they pulled a trailer and set up a tent for the night. In later years, it was not uncommon for the entire family, many who were married and had children of their own, to all travel together and camp. They took some long trips and stayed in campgrounds throughout Michigan. All of their children and grandchildren have always been so close and supportive of one another, which they attribute to their mother.

Later in life Gwen continued to make the most of the days she was given. She and Jerry routinely took off in the fall to go camping with their trailer to enjoy the cool Michigan weather and vibrant fall colors. They also took their trailer to Florida every March for years. They were never gone longer than a month since that was the most time Gwen wanted to spend away from her children and grandchildren. She was very organized and made sure that each child, grandchild, and great-grandchild received a card in the mail on their birthday or anniversary, and she was known to get upset if it didn’t arrive on the exact date. The family continued to get together every Sunday for coffee at Gwen’s house after church. Although Gwen and Jerry had a few health issues, they remained at home and continued to care for themselves.

With unending love for those around her, Gwen Bos was a blessing to all who were near. She was so generous and giving as she was willing to help others in ways both great and small. A loving, nurturing, and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Gwen savored every moment her family was near. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

BOS – Mrs. Gwendolyn M. Bos, aged 85 of Grand Rapids passed away Friday September 22, 2017 and went to be with her Lord and savior. She is survived by her husband, of 63 years, Jerry Bos, her children: Carl and Carol Bos, Elaine and Tony Haan, Barb and Tom Rynbrandt, Donna and Bob Sevigny, Sandy and Dave Wilson, Dan Bos; 15 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, her sister and brother-in-law Joyce and Art Deemter, her brother-in-law and sisters-in-law, Alyce Huizenga, Bart and Dee Bos, Marlene Bos and several nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held Tuesday at 11 A.M. at Riverside Christian Reformed Church, 604 Comstock Blvd. N.E. with Rev. Benjamin Browneye officiating. Interment will be in Fairplains Cemetery. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family Monday from 6 to 9 P.M. at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien – Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield N.E. and again on Tuesday at the church from 10 AM until the time of the funeral service. For those who wish, memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, to Gideons International would be appreciated. To read more of Gwen’s life, leave a memory or sign her on line register book, please visit www.lifestorynet.com