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.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
4595 Broadmore Ave SE Suite 230
Kentwood, MI 49512
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A woman who embodied the principles of her faith, Shirley De Maagd lived a life rich in family and friends. Shirley was a powerful role model who focused on God, family, and putting others first. Never one to demand the spotlight, she embraced every moment as a gift. Loving, steadfast, and generous, she never hesitated to serve others and share the Gospel. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Shirley will long be remembered and so very missed.
Despite the obvious gloom of the Great Depression, the power of hope undulated in the hearts of many. With a natural drive to not just endure but thrive in the face of uncertainty, the nation continued to put one foot in front of the other to build a better future. Nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as Henry and Anna (Hoving) Batts welcomed their daughter Shirley Ann into their hearts and home on October 24, 1932.
The youngest of the four Batts children, Shirley grew up in a home centered on faith and family values. The family lived above a bakery at Eastern Ave and Sherman Street on the Southeast side of Grand Rapids. The family attended Third Reformed Church which was close enough to their home to walk comfortably, and Shirley attended Baxter Christian School and Central High School, where she took courses in bookkeeping. A studious student, Shirley also spent time at a home in the neighborhood with some spinster ladies who helped her and her sister memorize Bible verses.
Though her brother William was much older than her, they developed a wonderful, deep relationship they shared their entire lives. Sadly, tragedy struck when her brother Eugene passed away following a tonsillectomy. Not only did she lose her brother, but the family situation was forever unsettled after their loss. Fortunately, the community was very supportive of her mother, who cleaned houses in East Grand Rapids, including the home of future president Gerald Ford.
Shirley helped with household chores, including swatting playfully swatting frozen laundry in the backyard, carrying buckets of coal in the house, and sweeping. At the age of 12, she started working as a soda jerk at Roersma's Drug Store on Diamond and Wealthy. While working, she was gifted an important piece of advice from one of her patrons. He encouraged her to never change and always look people in the eye when talking to them, as it was a good way to read people. She later worked as a bookkeeper at Huizingh's Furniture until the store closed before working at Stiles Lumber for a few more years.
One fateful Sunday night, Shirley met Rich De Maagd while working at the drug store. He and his friends were regular customers who went to the store after church. With earnest flirtation, Rich pursued Shirley, whose mother was won over by his clean white shirts, which she believed was evidence that "he has a good mother." The pair began dating and were soon a steady couple. Shirley enjoyed spending time together at the beach in Holland. Though she wasn't fond of swimming, she simply enjoyed being on the beach and fishing.
In 1954, Shirley endured another loss when her mother died. With their hearts focused on building a life and family together, she and Rich married on February 3, 1956. After honeymooning at Niagara Falls and New York City, the newlyweds returned to West Michigan and settled into their new life. Shirley discovered Rich's shirts were so clean because he used a service.
In 1965, Shirley and Rich built a home on Worcester, NE, where they raised their family and lived their entire lives. Shirley and Rich were blessed to welcome four children to their family. Cheryl, David, Lori, and Barbara quickly became the centers of Shirley's world. Her children always came first, and she lovingly devoted herself to creating a loving and supportive home for them. She taught them by example the importance of balancing work and play. Chores were always tended to first before fun on Saturdays. Sheets were hung outside to dry, and she ironed everything. Shirley was a wonderful cook and baker. She ensured there were always fresh cookie bars, and it became a tradition to serve guests her signature Lemon Blitz dessert. Sunday roasts and calico baked beans were some of the family's favorites. Shirley also worked at the school serving lunches and made sure she was always home to welcome her children after school. When the children were growing up, the family enjoyed camping in their pop-up trailer with several families from church, often exploring the Lake Michigan shore in Holland, Pentwater, or at PJ Hoffmaster State Park.
Once her youngest was in junior high, Shirley returned to the workforce again, working at the Teachers Credit Union in customer service. A lifetime member of Third Reformed Church, Shirley and Rich helped fundraise for the new building. She also sang in the church choir for many years. Shirley always remembered the simple sign near the choir loft that said, "Others." It served as a reminder to always think of others first, something Shirley did her entire life. Whether her family, neighbors, fellowship friends, or strangers, Shirley always looked for ways to lighten others' burdens. Annual WinSome Womens retreats in Northern Michigan afforded the opportunity to gather with other Christian women and experience the joy, the peace, and the Love of God in one another's good company.
Shirley and Rich were part of a couples club with longtime friends. Though she could be quietly guarded, she was always involved and never hesitated to share the Gospel. She shared her family's good humor, and in later years, she enjoyed volunteering. She generously gave her time and talents to various community causes, including working the voting polls and helping fold clothing at the Christian Rest Home. Easily contented by caring for others, she was known to say that she was "storing treasures in heaven."
Without a doubt, children were one of Shirley's greatest joys. So, when grandchildren came, it was special. Shirley also enjoyed reading, quilting, and knitting. Christian books were her steady reads, and having taught herself to sew as a kid, she continued to sew her entire life. She especially enjoyed creating carefully designed quilts for her loved ones. Later, as reading became a challenge, she enjoyed working on jigsaw and sudoku puzzles.
After Rich passed away in 1992, Shirley was determined to stay in her home and live independently. Always driven by caring for others, she tried to plan in advance for her aging and end-of-life to make things easier on her family. Shirley's unwavering faith, steadfast love, charitable giving, and persevering spirit are the cornerstones of her beautiful legacy that her loved ones will carry forward, celebrating her wonderful life.
Shirley Ann De Maagd, age 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away in her longtime home and surrounded by family on August 26, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard, brothers and sister William DeGraaff, Evelynne Danowski, and Eugene Batts. Shirley is survived by her children Cheryl & Charlie Kuperus, David De Maagd, Lori & Jeffrey Van Antwerp, Barbara & Javon Kooi; grandchildren Amy (Stephen) Boyd, John (Jennifer) Kuperus, Michelle (Chad) Achterhof, Daniel (Laura) Kuperus, Benjamin Van Antwerp, Klayton (Keri) Van Antwerp, Jennifer (Ismail) Egilmez, Breanne (Jaymes) Wainright, Grant (Michelle) Kooi, and Garrett Kooi; 20 great-grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews. Shirley was a lifelong member of Third Reformed Church. The service to remember and celebrate Shirley's life will be held on Monday, September 19 at 11 AM at Third Reformed Church, 2060 Michigan Street NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Sunday from 5-7 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW, and at church on Monday beginning at 10 AM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation are appreciated. To read more about Shirley, to share a memory or photo, or sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.