Saturday, December 4, 2021
1:00 PM EST
Grace Bible Church
3715 Wilson Ave SW
Grandville, MI 49418
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.
Edison Christian Foundation
1000 Edison Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Amy Lynne VanderMale , impacted many lives in her 59 years on earth. As we reflect on the many memories we have of Amy, may we find comfort knowing that she was saved by the grace of God and having faithfully served him all her life her soul is now residing in heaven.
Amy was born on September 7th, 1962 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Norman and Lois (Wielhouwer) Mieras. Her little brother, David, was added to the family a few years later. They resided on the Northeast side while she was growing up. They had several dogs throughout her childhood that Amy became attached to. She enjoyed having many pets, but especially dogs, her whole life.
Amy attended Northview schools where she had a couple close friends. She took piano lessons and was a member of Campfire Girls. She filled her free time by reading books. Every summer the extended Wielhouwer family vacationed in cottages on Intermediate Lake, where Amy relished playing with her many cousins.
Amy figured out her calling in life quite young. She was gifted with a caring spirit and loads of patience, which led to her desire to become a nurse. She volunteered as a candy striper at a local hospital and then took a job at Porter Hills serving food. After graduating from high school, she attended Grand Rapids Junior College, where she earned her associate nursing degree. Upon graduating she found employment at Butterworth Hospital.
Her family belonged to the Netherlands Reformed Church. It was here that she met her future husband, Randy VanderMale. They fell in love when she was 16 and he was 19. They would tag along on ski outings with Amy’s uncle and Randy’s oldest sister (who got married). These older relatives helped the introverted Amy get a date with her clueless crush. After three years of dating, they got married. The happy couple honeymooned with a road trip to Yellowstone National Park and stayed at a Dude Ranch- marking the first of many adventurous trips together!
When the official honeymoon was over, life held lots of promise for a beautiful future. They settled into a house in the Northview area. Within two years they welcomed their first child Alicia, then two years later their son Nick, and two years after that their second daughter Kristine. They longed for more space inside and outside to raise their family, so they moved to their long-time home in the beautiful country setting of Tallmadge Township. This move also led them to seek out a new and closer proximity church, so they started attending Grace Bible Church.
Though nursing was always Amy’s career choice, her family was forever her priority. She decided to stay home to care for her children and also welcomed many neighbors’ kids by providing daycare. Amy was always a giver and her family was the first witness to this selfless trait. Amy loved them and spared nothing to make sure she met all of their needs. She would stay up late sewing clothes for them. Her and Randy grew a huge garden, from which she would can and freeze the harvest. They laid a spiritual foundation for their children by having family worship and devotion time every night before bed. Each of her children attended Christian schools at various times and she also homeschooled her daughter when it was requested of her. Amy attended her children’s various sporting events, was a Girl Scout troup leader, an AWANA leader at church, and volunteered in her children’s school classrooms.
The family of five made many great memories together. In the summer, when the children were younger, they headed up north to stay in cottages on Lime Lake and Lake Ann. They frequented Mackinaw Island because Amy’s father Norman worked there. As the kids grew older, they traveled farther, visiting the U.P. and Kentucky and Colorado. In the winter they vacationed at ski resorts in northern Michigan until their children got older and more proficient, then they headed to the mountains of Colorado. Amy preferred to take pictures of her family and watch from the lodge, due to a condition that made her hands and feet freeze. When all of their children reached adulthood, Amy and Randy resumed their adventures, traveling to many national parks in South Dakota, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Maine, and Florida.
Once all of her children reached driving age she returned to her nursing career, having kept up her license through continuing education credits. She worked part-time so she could still attend her children’s games, plays, and musical performances. She enjoyed working in nursing homes, the residents and their families all expressed appreciation for her patient and caring manner. Her former employer Edison Manor, was chosen to receive donations.
Planting and tending the flower gardens surrounding their house was therapeutic for Amy. She also enjoyed visiting Frederick Meijer Gardens and Blandford Nature Center, where she volunteered for a short time. Randy and Amy were thrilled to become grandparents. Nick and Jenica had Brynn (10) and Isla (7). Followed by Jason and Alicia having Joanna (5) and Adeline(4). Amy adored them and helped care for them by babysitting often.
Amy strove to live a healthy lifestyle. She took her dog for daily walks, took vitamins, ate healthy organic foods. It was quite a shock for everyone when she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor ten years ago. She underwent surgery twice, but because it was wrapped around her brain stem, the doctors couldn’t fully remove it. Each surgery left her with some lasting side effects, but she recovered quite well each time and was able to play with and care for her grandchildren again. However, the tumor grew back; she chose to enjoy however much time she had left while at the same time longing to escape her failing body for heaven.
Amy lived a fulfilled life, loving her family and friends, caring for so many throughout the years as she lived out her faith in all she did. Her selfless willingness to care for and comfort the elderly and sick is a part of her lasting legacy. The way she poured of herself into her children and grandchildren is the most significant part of her legacy, they will remember and be impacted by her guidance and prayers for the rest of their lives.
Amy Lynne Vander Male, age 59 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on November 30, 2021. She is survived by her husband, Randall; their children Alicia (Jason) Chaney, Nick (Jenica) Vander Male, Kristine (Michael) Scalici; grandchildren Brynn, Isla, Joanna, and Adeline; her father, Norman Mieras; mother, Lois Ripma; brother, Dave (Rianna) Mieras; sisters-in-law Julie (Jim) Wielhouwer, Becky (Jim) Engelsma, Heidi Vander Male; as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins. Amy was preceded in death by her stepfather, Russ Ripma; father-in-law and mother-in-law William and Dorothy Vander Male.
Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 4 at 1 PM at Grace Bible Church, 3715 Wilson Ave SW. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Friday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Edison Christian Foundation are appreciated. To read more about Amy, to share a memory, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com