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.
Rest Haven Homes
1424 Union NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
In every corner of her life, Margaret DeWitt lived with a kind and humble heart. Her patient and pleasant personality was only unmatched by her gentle spirit as she walked through life with a loving and gracious heart. Margaret lived by her faith and set a beautiful example of unending love and graciousness to those around her. A true blessing, she will be deeply missed.
The year 1928 was an exciting time in our nation’s history. The Roaring 20s redefined the culture of America and the discovery of Penicillin forever changed the field of medicine. Although the U.S. was unknowingly on the brink of the Great Depression, a most welcome event for Martin and Lucille (Schouwenaar) VanHoutum of Grand Rapids, Michigan took place on November 7, 1928 when they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Margaret.
The youngest of four children, Margaret grew up alongside her older sister and two brothers. A close knit family, they were faithful members of Calvary Reformed Church which shaped Margaret’s young heart. Her entire family was actively involved at church and Margaret made lasting friendships within its doors. Her father owned and operated Folgers Bottling Company while her mother was a homemaker. During her formative years, Margaret grew up witnessing the desperate times of the Great Depression. Like many, it forever left a lasting impact on her life.
As a young girl Margaret enjoyed roller skating and activities at church. She was quite artistic and musically inclined, often putting forth her musical talent at church. In fact, in Margaret’s earlier years she played the accordion at weddings. Having learned to play the piano and organ, she was never fond of practicing her scales. Upon improving, she found it was well worth the effort as she truly enjoyed playing, especially at church where she worshiped with a resounding singing voice as well.
After graduating from Central High School, Margaret agreed to a double date with friends and met the love of her life. David DeWitt was a handsome young man who stole Margaret’s heart. The feeling was mutual, and following a yearlong courtship the two exchanged vows of marriage on October 7, 1948. The young couple spent a memorable honeymoon in Niagara Falls and lived with Margaret’s parents before affording a house of their own. In time they enjoyed the blessing of children in their lives. After living in homes on Jerome and Mayfield, in 1966 the family moved to a home on Maryland NE where they lived for many years. Marty, Mary Lou, Wayne and Keith were a delightful joy in Margaret’s life. Predominately a homemaker, she made a wonderful home for her family.
A perfectionist when it came to her appearance, Margaret also kept an impeccable home and was highly organized. She loved to bake, particularly family favorites like her pies and cheesecakes and did a fair amount of canning. Margaret welcomed all into her home with open arms. It boasted a large pool, perfect for having friends over which became a favorite gathering place for the kid’s friends as well. Margaret enjoyed entertaining and was a gracious host. Holidays were forever a special time. The entire family celebrated the holidays at David and Margaret’s house but for many years they spent Christmas at Margaret’s parents until it became too much for them. As always, Margaret loved entertaining and hosting a variety of food including many holiday specialties.
The DeWitt family enjoyed many things together, especially times of laughter. Every Sunday afternoon was spent in their own “amateur hour” together where they each took part in a performance. Margaret and her family remained faithful members at Calvary Reformed Church where each took part in many activities. As a family they enjoyed trips to Florida, often to see David’s parents along with a love for camping, albeit camping in David‘s Hostess Delivery Truck they used as a motor home. Margaret loved traveling and in retirement she and David went on several cruises. David liked that Margaret didn’t have to cook or plan things while traveling. They loved the Caribbean and some of her favorite places included Cozumel and the Grand Cayman. Of course, they always returned home with a souvenir or two for their grandchildren.
Whether at home around the pool or in her travels, Margaret loved the sun and enjoyed taking in sun kissed rays. Even though she often had a tanned, healthy glow, it never deterred her from getting up before anyone to begin the day with her make-up on. A true perfectionist, Margaret took care with her appearance. She had a standing appointment with her hairdresser every Saturday, and it was always well done. Margaret loved clothes and was a tasteful dresser. She had a large wardrobe, and because she remained slim and trim, she never outgrew anything. A bit of a pack-rat, she kept everything she owned.
Much of Margaret’s social life revolved around friends from church and golfing. She loved Werther‘s butter rum candies and always found room for chocolate. A thrifty woman, Margaret bought Halloween candy on sale but because she ate so much, she usually had to buy more! She delighted in her grandchildren and loved each of them abundantly. Whether a family member or friend, it was a joy to be near Margaret with her giving heart and kind spirit. One to keep conversation flowing, her energetic and witty nature provided those in her presence with a welcomed sense of belonging. Margaret lived her faith in many ways. Never one to inconvenience others, she went out of her way to make others feel welcome, appreciated and loved. Her pleasant personality resonated her humble demeanor and with a gentle and gracious spirit, she never complained or placed judgment on others. Her consideration of others was significant to Margaret. She never forgot a birthday and was faithful in remembering others with a postcard or card.
Margaret and David had a wonderful relationship. Very much in love, he absolutely adored Margaret. Their beautiful marriage set a wonderful example not only to their family but to those around them. Most important to Margaret was her faith and family. Her faith was surely tested when in 1982 her daughter Mary Lou died in an auto accident. Margaret held fast to her faith while she and her family suffered through this tragic time. In time Margaret and Mary Lou’s daughter Angela came to have a very special relationship. Not only grandmother and granddaughter, they became kindred friends and spent much time together.
Above all, Margaret cherished her faith and family. She shared a lifetime of love with anyone who spent time in the warmth of her presence. Truly an example of a woman of faith, her own handwritten notation in her bible clearly reflects the heart of Margaret DeWitt: “ Others, Lord, yes others. Let this be my motto. Help me to live for others that I might live like Thee”. She will be forever missed and fondly remembered.
Mrs. Margaret L. DeWitt, age 81 of Grand Rapids, passed away on Friday, June 4, 2010. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Mary Lou Lammers and is survived by her husband, David De Witt; her sons and daughters-in-law: Marty (Sylvia) De Witt, Wayne (Wendy) De Witt, and Keith De Witt; grandchildren: Angela (Ron) Noble, Heather (Stephen) Darlow, Marty De Witt, Austin De Witt; sisters-in-law, Bea VanHoutum, Darla (Harvey) Fredricks; several nieces and nephews. A service to celebrate Margaret’s life will be held on Sunday, June 6, 3:00 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home–Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield NE where friends may visit with her family from 2:00 PM until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Rest Haven Homes are appreciated. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read, share a favorite memory, photo, or to sign her online register book.