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.
3 Mile Project
3050 Walkent Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends would surely agree, Barb Wielhouwer truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she was always supportive of those around her. Nothing brought Barb greater joy than spending time with her family, even in the simplest of moments. She selflessly served others whenever she could, and she was well known for her hard work ethic and her unshakeable faith that formed the foundation of her life. Dearly loved, Barb will be forever missed.
While the eyes of our nation were focused overseas on WWII, the lives of Ray and Elizabeth (Voogt) Stip were filled with great anticipation as they eagerly awaited the birth of their third child as the heat of the summer blanketed the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June of 1940. Their wait was over on July 1st when their baby girl they named Barbara Corine made her arrival. Their third daughter!
Growing up, Barb was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in her family home on B Street off of Grandville Avenue alongside her two older sisters, June and Joyce. Barb enjoyed a childhood full of love and fun. She would travel out West to visit extended family, and she was an active member of Fifth Reformed Church, building the foundation of her faith. She was active in her church youth group. While pursuing her education, Barb attended local schools and was a graduate of South High School. She was a conscientious student with a quiet personality. While in high school, Barb also began working at a local bakery.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Barb as she was introduced to the man who would soon become the love of her life. His name was Jack Wielhouwer and the two first met at a youth event through church. Jack would often "visit" the bakery Barb worked at to buy a stick of banket and hopefully see her. They began dating and their relationship blossomed into something truly special. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Barb and Jack were married on November 15, 1958. The newlyweds then settled into an apartment on Grandville Avenue for five years before building their family home on Lamont Avenue with the help of Barb's parents.
All who knew Barb can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured Jesus and her family above all else. She and Jack were overjoyed to welcome their four children Jacob C. IV (J.C.), David, Michael and Joy into their hearts and home. Barb truly thrived in her role as a homemaker, dedicating herself to caring for her husband, four children, the family business and their household. She was busy each day with cleaning, laundry (like scrubbing football pants to bright white) and making meals for her family. She would volunteer as room mom in her children's classrooms. Barb taught her children the importance of hard work and she taught them all to help with tasks around the house. Later in life, she was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. Barb loved her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and prayed for each one daily. She always considered herself blessed with her special family.
Barb’s primary focus in life was serving her family and her community. She prided herself on cooking Sunday dinner each week after church (and her kids and Jack always enjoyed it!). Barb made the best chocolate malts for her kids and their friends as a special treat. Though she wasn’t a fancy chef, a few family favorites included her tater tot hotdish, layered jello, and oreo dessert. Barb often helped her husband with thier business in addition to keeping things running on the home front. She would set aside one day each month to prepare the “statements" and then on that work day would get a treat for dinner with Jack picking up food from a local restaurant and bringing it home. In addition to raising her own children, Barb shared her gifts outside of the home as well. She taught third grade Sunday School class for 35 years at Remembrance Reformed Church and shared the love of Jesus with the children she was privileged to teach. Barb poured her heart and soul into her teaching. She planned her lessons carefully throughout the week, making sure each lesson and craft was meaningful and special. She was a humble example of the hands and feet of Jesus.
Over the years, Barb enjoyed several memorable vacations with her loved ones. The family rented a cabin with brothers and sisters and cousins on Houghton Lake for one week each summer and they always left it cleaner than it had been when they had arrived. They also took many spring break trips to Florida. Barb and Jack were able to travel to Hawaii several times as well. Back home they enjoyed going out to dinner with Barb’s sister and brother-in-law, June and Jim, on Friday nights.
Never one to sit still for long, Barb pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She and Jack enjoyed vintage automobiles and would often swing by to pick up a grandchild to go for a short ride. Barb’s faith was of utmost importance to her. She demonstrated a life built on prayer for her children, creating a strong family foundation in the process. Barb and Jack would spend time at the snack bar each morning where they read devotions from Our Daily Bread and prayed together. They modeled what it means to walk by faith each day. Barb did her best to make mundane things meaningful or sentimental, even in everyday life. In later years, Jack’s health began to suffer. Barb was his tireless caregiver until he passed away. She leaned on her faith and her family for support and she remained very involved in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
When reflecting on the life of Barb Wielhouwer it is easy to see her unwavering, steady faith and her love for Jesus and her family. She was a shining example of faith, hard work and selflessness and nothing brought Barb greater joy than serving those around her. A loving wife, mother and grams she was overjoyed to watch her family grow and it made her so very proud. Though she will be deeply missed, Barb leaves behind a priceless legacy of servanthood and kindness that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps. As she would always say to her kids and grandkids when they would say "Goodbye Momma/Grammie, I love ya", it was always "I love you more".
Barbara Corine Wielhouwer age 82 of Grand Rapids, Michigan went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, December 15, 2022. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jacob C. “Jack” Wielhouwer III; her parents Ray and Elizabeth Stip; and by her sisters, Joyce Henline and Lillian (Jim) VanKalker.
Barb is survived by her children Jacob C. “J.C.” Wielhouwer IV and wife Mary, David and Renee Wielhouwer, Michael and Dede Wielhouwer, Joy and Joel Pyper; grandchildren (and great-grandchildren) Jacob C. “Jake” Wielhouwer V and his wife Tory (Tessa, Heidi, Jacob C. “Jack” VI), Jessica and Benjamin VanDrunen (Jaymin, Molly, Malachi, Taya), Melissa and Ryan Hatrick (Ella), D.J. and Ashley Wielhouwer, Olivia and Michael Boone (Creed, Mylah), Grace and Steven Reyes (Elianna, Jayden), Cassie, Joshua and Caleb Wielhouwer, E.J., Jace, and Liberty Pyper.
Family also includes her in-laws Karl and Jean Millard, Dolly Flynn, Dave and Jan Wielhouwer; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Barb will be held on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 11 AM at Remembrance Church, 4575 Remembrance NW, Grand Rapids. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Tuesday from 5-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Daily Bread or The 3 Mile Project. To read more about Barb, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com