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Rest Haven Homes
1424 Union Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Moody Bible Institute - Stewardship Office
820 N. LaSalle Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60610
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Life Story / Obituary
There is no doubt that Betty Roloff-Stimers lived a life richly blessed with many cherished memories. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, her family meant the world to her and there simply wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for each and every one of them. She will be deeply missed and warmly remembered by all who knew and loved her.
The Roaring Twenties was an era of jazz music, the automobile boom, and many significant changes. During a time in history that was filled with feelings of freedom and independence, H Emil and Berendena (Edema) Williams welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Betty Ruth, on April 1, 1925, in Lansing, Michigan. Born the oldest of four children, Betty had two brothers and a baby sister with a span of ten years between them. She enjoyed celebrating her special April Fool’s birthday each year looking forward to the pranks and attention she received over the years.
Much of her growing years were affected by the Great Depression including her early years in school. Although she grew up in the Lansing area, she started school at a one-room schoolhouse in Byron Center. During these two years, she lived on her Grandpa and Grandma Edema’s farm. Later, she and her family moved to Holt and continued to meet the challenges of the times. Returning to the farm during many summer visits as a child always warmed her heart. She remembered that her family was never fond of receiving anything for free and they ate a lot of rabbit when times were tough. If they had cottage cheese, it took the place of the meat at the dinner table. Despite these difficult economic times, they never went without a Christmas and always had at least one gift under the tree! She enjoyed the simple toys of the times such as a bike, jacks, and a jump rope. As a result of these years, Betty always found joy in people, not things.
Being the oldest, she had many responsibilities as a young adolescent. She was often a helper to her mother with the younger children and pitched in with the chores around the family home. Faith was an important part of her life and she accepted the Lord as her Savior around the tender age of five. Many years later, she met the man who would steal her heart forever, Ralph Roloff while attending youth group at the Miller Road Baptist Church. He enlisted in the United States Army and they kept in touch by writing letters to one another. Betty kept busy issuing sales tax licenses for the State of Michigan until he finally returned home and they were engaged. Eager to spend their lives together, they married on June 14, 1947. As newlyweds, they lived a year in an apartment before moving to their first home on Lasalle Blvd. Together they raised two wonderful children, Ronald and Kevin.
Betty treasured her role as a mother and remained home with the children. She cared for her family and also helped Ralph with the laundromat business they had started. By 1957, Ralph transitioned to the insurance business and took a job in Grand Rapids moving the family to Cascade. Active as a mother, Betty was a member of the PTA, a room mother, served hot lunch, and accompanied them on many field trips. Always up for a challenge, Betty was proud of the two years she even served as a Cub Scout leader! Just as they were raised, she and Ralph made faith a priority in their home and became members at Calvary Church. Betty made many special friendships at the church with the Christian Women's Club. She also enjoyed teaching Sunday school and volunteering at the Wedgewood Acre Guild. As the kids grew older, Betty and Ralph had a summer home at Maranatha Bible Conference in Muskegon and enjoyed many beautiful sunsets together. Throughout their lives, the children never doubted her love and support. She was always their number one cheerleader and very encouraging throughout the years.
Social by nature, Betty’s warm smile made it easy for her to make friends wherever she went. She loved talking on the phone, going out to lunch, as well as working with the clients in the bridal registry department at Hudson’s for many years. She loved to help the excited brides-to-be, but she likely spent more of her earnings shopping at the store than what she actually made! Over the years, Betty loved taking special trips with her grandchildren to the Dollar Store, mini-golf, Frederik Meijer Gardens, or the Tigers ballpark! Betty loved to host and entertain and guests always looked forward to her twice-baked potatoes, chocolate rum pies, and deviled eggs. Everyone was always made to feel special and she pulled out all the stops to ensure a good time and a full belly were had by all! She and Ralph were fond of travel and remarkably visited nearly every state and took many international trips. They were lucky to winter in Destin, Florida, and enjoyed treating the grandchildren to Disney World for their first visits! Betty loved to see the wonder in their eyes!
After Ralph passed in 2006, Betty was very lonely. Thankfully, the Lord blessed her with the meeting of Doug Stimers. Having both lost their precious first spouses, they made an instant connection and wasted no time in joining in marriage. They enjoyed traveling as well as serving with the shut-in ministry and the caregiver’s ministry at Calvary Church. Doug passed away in November 2020 and Betty leaned on her special friends and family to see her through. She never took a single day for granted. Betty’s personal relationship with her Lord and Savior was her greatest legacy. She modeled her faith by always being encouraging and praying for others to find His love. May her life be a reminder of living life selflessly and may her memories live on in the hearts of her loved ones forevermore.
Betty Ruth Roloff -Stimers, age 96, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, stepped into eternity on July 13, 2021. Our precious Mom and Grandma longed for heaven and is rejoicing with her Savior. While we shed tears as we celebrate her life, we also realize the amazing joy she is experiencing as she meets the Lord and her loved ones who went before her.
Betty was preceded in death exactly 15 years ago by her first husband of 59 years, Ralph Roloff; Rev. Douglas Stimers who she was married to for 13 years; her step-grandson Joshua Stimers; and brothers Richard and Charles Williams. Betty is survived by her children and step-children; Ron & Linda Roloff, Kevin & Debbie Roloff; Ruth & Roger Fortier, Paul & Marie Stimers, Tim & Sandy Stimers; grandchildren, step-grandchildren (and great-grandchildren), Jeff & Christy Roloff (Liam, Ella), Tim Roloff (Blake), Kara & Brad Deppe (Levi, Miles and Natalie), Danny Roloff, Jon and Becky Sherman (Alaina, Aadon, and Lorionnah), Jill Sullins (Ethan, Ella, Megan and Molly), Katie Lopez (Lucca, Asher), Joshua’s children Billy and Kayla, as well as Ruth’s other children and grandchildren and Paul’s children and grandchildren; her sister, Marilyn Rudd; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
The service to remember and celebrate Betty’s life will be held on Saturday, July 17 at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW where friends are invited to visit with her family beginning at 9:30 AM. Entombment in Graceland Memorial Park. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Rest Haven Homes, Faith Hospice, or Moody Bible Institute are appreciated. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com