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.
Heritage Reformed Congregation
540 Crescent Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Please specify the intended cause on the memo line, either "Youth Camp" or "Neighborhood Outreach"
Life Story / Obituary
On June 15, 1962, Reynaldo and Ruth (Emelander) Longoria were blessed to welcome their first child whom they named Linda Beth. Linda grew up on the Northwest side of Grand Rapids, and attended Harrison Park Elementary before graduating from Union High School. She then studied at Davenport College.
Not to be forgotten in her teenage years was her introduction to David Verhey. Once they met, they realized how often their paths had previously crossed. A romance developed and the couple married on August 29, 1981 at Fairview Reformed Church. They began their life together at their home on Alpine Avenue where the family began to grow. Before long, they needed more room and moved to their longtime home on Charlotte Avenue where they raised their four children.
This is what Linda wrote a few years ago about her life:
I have seen God’s hand so wonderfully in my life time and time again. I had stage 4 cancer 24 years ago. They didn’t expect me to live a year. I underwent surgery and chemo for a year. They removed 7/8 of my stomach and took 10% of my liver. I had 4 small children at the time 10,9,5 and 8 months old. My youngest son is now 25. God is good and His mercy endures forever. I worried a little at first how my husband would care for our children if I did die. God spoke to my heart and assured me they were his children and he would take care of them. God gave me so much peace I went into surgery unfearful. I knew if I did die, I would be in Heaven with my Savior. God also gave me Philippians 4:13 for my comfort on this journey, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
Family Happiness Vs.4 Lo on him that fears Jehovah shall this blessedness attend. For Jehovah out of Zion, shall to thee His blessings send. Vs. 5 Thou shalt see Gods kingdom prosper, all thy days till life shall cease. Thou shalt see thy childrens children on thy people, Lord, be peace.
I had just started home schooling my oldest children that fall. I had many dear friends and family who for months helped carry me through this journey. Many meals were brought in from church, homeschool group and family. Two friends from church came in and cleaned my house once a week, my grandparents did all my laundry (a lot for a family of 6) and did all my grocery shopping. I was able to focus on homeschooling my children and recovering.
My older children had gone to school for a couple of years so they were already very disciplined in studying. They also did many chores to help out. I think this helped them build a strong work ethic. If I didn’t need them to help out it would have been so much easier to just do it myself than to teach them to do it.
Seven years later the cancer in my stomach came back. They did surgery again and removed the rest of my stomach. It had not metastasized so I didn’t need to have chemo this time around. They attached my esophagus to my large intestines. I went home with a feeding tube till they could make sure I could get enough nutrition from my food. That was 17 years ago and I have been cancer free since. Praise God from whom all Blessing flow. I shortly after got the feeding tube out and can now eat pretty normally.
Sometime after this I was once again in the hospital with pneumonia and they couldn’t get my fever down so they called in an infectious disease doctor. He did some tests and found my immune system was compromised and I needed to get an IVIG infusion each month for the rest of my life. I probably had this my whole life because I always got everything worse than others. God used my pneumonia to find this diagnosis.
About 10 years ago, I went on a mission trip to Mexico (not my first or last). I lost a considerable amount of weight while I was there. I went to the Dr. and she thought maybe I caught something in Mexico. When she checked my urine she said I was dropping sugar. She had me do the fasting glucose test and sent me to an Endocrinologist. I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. God was with me again; this time he had to teach me to think like a pancreas. I also had to quickly figure out how to give myself shots and count carbohydrates. God continued to see me through.
Today I use all of these times and trials to share with others how God has worked in my life. I never used to be able to really witness to others but I can now easily share how God has been with me. I don’t feel like I’m preaching or judging just sharing.
Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
Lo, on him that fears Jehovah,
shall this blessedness attend
Praise God from whom all blessings flow
God spoke to me and gave me peace
My children were his children
(And I am his child)
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
I always returned so thankful
God’s grace through trials and triumph
He uses me to share His gift of Grace.
On May 8, 2019, Linda B. Verhey, age 56 of Grand Rapids, left this world of suffering for her eternal home and is now with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Linda is survived by her husband, David; children Rachel & Brett Smith, Brad & Lisa Verhey, Melissa & Andrew Euker, Daniel Verhey; grandchildren Kaylin, Ethan and Dillan Smith, Benjamin, Austin and Savanna Verhey, Tyson, Andrew and Jameson Euker; her mother, Ruth (Mort) Zylstra; father Reynaldo Longoria; brother, David (Lisa) Longoria; sister, Reyna (Joe) Zimmer; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law Mary (Dave) Bazen and John Verhey; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Her funeral service will be held on Monday, May 13 at 11 AM at Heritage Reformed Congregation, 540 Crescent Street NE with Dr. Joel R. Beeke officiating. Interment to follow in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. Friends are invited to visit with Linda’s family on Sunday from 2-4 and 6-9 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Heritage Reformed Congregation to be used for either their Youth Camp or Neighborhood Outreach. Linda passed away during National Nurses Week and her family wants to express their sincere thanks to the Spectrum Health East Critical Care team for their compassion and professional care. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com