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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Arelyne De Boer would agree that she was one of the sweetest people around. She had a genuine servant’s heart and exemplified what it means to be a woman of faith. Arelyne was deeply devoted to her family, and there was nothing she treasured more than witnessing her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones. Together with the love of her life she experienced so many of the best things that life has to offer, making priceless memories along the way. Deeply treasured by many, Arelyne will be forever missed.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation was leading the way to new technology that was transforming the way we lived our everyday lives. Prosperity was largely felt nationwide, and the American spirit was alive and well. Amidst this exciting time was the year 1925 when Frank and Dena (Aldrink) Visser were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as the beauty of fall began to appear on the horizon in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Arelyne Jane drew her first breath on September 28th. The younger of two, she was raised in the family home on Crosby Street, NW, alongside her brother, Edwin. Since her father’s parents were just down the road, Arelyne spent a lot of time with her grandparents. To support their family, her father worked as an electrician while her mother was a homemaker.
In many ways Arelyne was a typical young girl of her generation, and she always reflected on her childhood fondly. She attended West Side Christian School during her elementary years. From there, she went on to Grand Rapids Chrisitian High School and was ready for all that life had in store after graduating.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Arelyne’s introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was John De Boer, and he was one year older. They began dating, and after about a year he was drafted into the United States Army during the days of WWII. After graduating, Arelyne’s parents gave her a trip to Florida by train to spend some time with John before he was shipped out. She stayed with her cousin for six weeks during this time. Once John was overseas, they continued to correspond by letter, deepening their relationship. While he was gone, Arelyne worked as a bookkeeper at Woolworth’s in downtown Grand Rapids.
When John returned home, the sweethearts were married just 10 days later on November 17, 1945, at Richmond Reformed Church. Together they welcomed four children including Dianne, Lindy, Tom, and Pat into their hearts and home from 1947 through 1955. Arelyne was a great mother who loved nothing more than focusing her time and attention on caring for her home and family. She made their house a home, and her children loved how she was always singing whether they were leaving for school, coming home for lunch, or returning home at the end of their school day. Arelyne and John made many sacrifices so their children could attend Christian schools. They were resourceful, too, such as the time they went to Central Iron and Steel to sell scrap copper to buy Arelyne a birthday gift. As a family they made amazing memories while camping with Traverse City and Grand Haven being among their favorite places. They also traveled a bit further from home including trips to the Montreal Expo, the World’s Fair in New York, and the Wisconsin Dells.
One of the things Arelyne was best known for was her love and talent for crafts. She was active in the PTA at her kids’ school while they were growing up, and she often put her crafting skills to good use making pine cone wreaths for the bazaar. Arelyne also liked to sew. Once she had grandchildren, she loved helping them with crafts for school projects, and every year she made specialty birthday cakes for her grandchildren by request. When she wasn’t working on crafts, Arelyne could often be found reading in her free time, usually fiction. She and John did some traveling including various mission trips to places like Florida and Mississippi. From 1960 onward, Arelyne and John were members of West Leonard Christian Reformed Church where she was active in leading Calvinettes and helping with funeral luncheons. They were regulars at all the events that their grandchildren were involved in, and most times they went out to Kentucky Fried Chicken afterwards. Arelyne also enjoyed playing dominoes.
After John’s death in 2008, Arelyne did her best to continue moving forward. She enjoyed volunteering at Bibles for Missions Thrift Center, which was located across from her church. Even when she could no longer drive, she got a ride to volunteer since it was such a huge part of her life. In 2017, Arelyne moved to Edison Manor as she was suffering with dementia, and she later moved to Covenant of the Great Lakes.
Described as helpful, caring, and supportive of all who were near, Arelyne De Boer touched the lives of others in such a special way. She took nothing for granted and counted all that came her way as a gift from the Lord she loved. Blessed to share most of her life with her true love, her family was Arelyne’s greatest joy aside from her faith. The memories she leaves behind will be forever etched on the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Arelyne De Boer of Grand Rapids, MI, died on May 15, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, John. Arelyne’s family includes her children Dianne and Don Vander Boegh, Lindy and Bob Velderman, Tom and Linda De Boer, Pat and Ted Hall; grandchildren Tammie & Rick Otte, Laura & Drew Corell, Amy & David Porter, Todd & Elaine Vander Boegh, Kim & Kraig Vruggink, Jillyne & Kevin Wisdom, Dena & Tim Apotheker, Todd & Jennifer Velderman, Kristina & Andrew Meyer, Matthieu Kragt, Teddi Mc Eachern, Steve & Erin Hall, Scott & Trisha Hall; 34 great grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Frank De Boer and Marv (Merrie Lou) De Boer; and many nieces and nephews. A service to celebrate Arleyne’s life will be held at 2:30 pm on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at her church, West Leonard Christian Reformed Church, 1053 Leonard St. NW. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with her family on Saturday for one hour prior to the service. Interment in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. Please visit Arelyne’s memory page at www.heritagelifestory.com where you can leave a favorite memory or make a memorial contribution to either David’s House Ministries or World Renew.