Life Story / Obituary
Audrey Heyerman was a wonderful person to know and to love. She adored her family and enjoyed reminiscing about her growing years. Generous, compassionate, as well as a hard worker, Audrey lived her life giving so much of her time and resources to the family she loved. She will be lovingly remembered and greatly missed by her many special friends and family for generations to come.
Audrey Grace Reisedge was born on September 30, 1923, in the Motor City of Detroit, Michigan. She was born to loving parents the second daughter of four girls after they had lost two sons in infancy. Audrey looked up to her older sister, Leone, and was later followed by her younger sisters, Shirley and Diane. Living during tough economic times as a result of the Great Depression, there is no doubt that her birth brought them much joy and happiness!
Much of her early years were centered around change. Her father accepted work in Grand Rapids, which meant the family rented several houses and moved to different schools as a result. Audrey was resilient through the many disruptions, yet left school to make aircraft radios for Lear Siegler as a young adult. Like most young people growing up during these years, she loved to frequent the local roller skating rink. Downtown Grand Rapids had a rink known as the Coliseum where she met Fred “Fritz” Heyerman, the man of her dreams! They dated for some time before joining in marriage on February 22, 1941. Sharing many commonalities, they settled in Burton Heights and welcomed their firstborn son, Jerry. Audrey and Fritz also had a daughter who died shortly after birth before their son, Danny, and later their only daughter, Debbie, completed their family. They lived with Fritz’s mom and sister for a while before purchasing their own duplex on Packard Street.
Audrey relished in her role as a mother. She enjoyed her years staying home to raise them and taught them many life skills during that time. When Debbie was two years old, Audrey returned back to the world of work. She enjoyed working the second shift for General Motors at the Alpine plant, yet had to run a very organized home to juggle work and household routines. On most days, she would get the children off to school and then make time to prepare dinner before leaving for work! Saturdays were for cleaning and Sundays were for big afternoon family meals, often a savory pot roast with all the fixings. On many occasions, Fritz’s family joined them. Jerry often helped her prepare food in the kitchen. She taught him how to add love to every meal. Some of her favorite family meals were Kale and Mettwurst. Despite the challenges of her busy life, Audrey enjoyed her work with GM for a remarkable thirty years before she retired.
As a family, they created many special memories, including renting a cottage on Silver Lakeand Fallsburg Park was a favorite spot for summer afternoon picnics with extended family. She and Fritz often took the kids to Detroit to visit her parents. Later, the family had an Airstream trailer and enjoyed camping at Holland State Park in addition to renting a cottage on Gun Lake each summer. All in all, she and Fritz doted on their children and ensured they had everything they needed to be successful as adults.
She and Fritz shared a beautiful marriage together. They especially enjoyed traveling and took many trips out west. They also enjoyed several bus trips. Special highlights were their trips to Hawaii and Europe. Fritz and Audrey treasured attending their local grandkids’ special events over the years or traveling to visit those that lived farther away. They also took them on some of their trips. A caring grandmother, Audrey always sent them a personal note for their birthday and continued this tradition with her great-grandchildren. Fritz was very social, whereas, Audrey loved to be at home and talk on the phone. Her telephone was her social life! Once he passed in 2005, she had regular call times with her sister and her children to check in on one another. Although she missed Fritz dearly, she remained independent and with the help of her family lived her life to the fullest.
Audrey lived a wonderful life. She enjoyed her frequent trips to Shipshewana with dear friends, Jim and Pat Tuttle. Later, she moved to Marsh Ridge and enjoyed a few weeks each winter in Florida. As her health declined, she moved to Covenant Living of the Great Lakes where she enjoyed listening to her favorite ministers, Charles Stanley and David Jeremiah. Never one to complain, Audrey’s outlook was always filled with optimism. She was always there for her family. Known for her sincere compassion for others, her warm spirit, and her fun-loving ways Audrey will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all those who knew and loved her.
Audrey Grace Heyerman, age 99, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away peacefully in her sleep on November 8, 2022. She was preceded in death by her husband, Frederick “Fritz” in 2005; her son, Danny in 2007 and her infant daughter, Carol. Audrey is survived by her children; Jerry (Norma) Heyerman, Deb (Tim) Brown; grandchildren; Christine (Michael) Kleinheksel, John (Jennifer) Heyerman, Mike (Nicole) McNamara, Larry McNamara, and Jodi Heyerman; great-grandchildren; Garret, Kyle and Emma Heyerman, Abby (Max) Teener, Sophie and Alex Kleinheksel, Nick, Luke, Jake, and Kate McNamara, Caleigh Buckner; special niece, Sally Chatman as well as other nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Audrey’s life will be held on Saturday, November 12, 2022, at 2 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel where friends are invited to meet with her family beginning at 1 PM. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com