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Rest Haven Homes
1424 Union Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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Life Story / Obituary
With a servant's heart, Carol Rykse devoted her life to the care of others. Content in caring for her family, friends, and community, Carol was well known for her warmth and kindness. She was slow to anger, peaceable, and a steadfast source of comfort to all who were blessed to know her. Never one to demand the spotlight, Carol's gentle and quiet companionship proved a safe harbor for many. Cherished wife, mother, grandmother, sister, cousin, and friend, Carol will long be remembered by those she so dearly loved.
Though the growing conflict in Europe inspired much concern, the nation found much to celebrate as 1939 began, including the end of the Great Depression, Seabiscuit's historic win, and Superman's first appearance. Hope for a brighter future burned brightly even as the U.S. prepared for war. For Jacob and Lazella (Boonstra) Andree, the promise of the new year came in the precious gift of their daughter, Carol Faye, who was born on January 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The youngest of the five Andree children, Carol grew up with three older brothers and an older sister. They lived on Valley Ave near Leonard Street on the NW side of Grand Rapids, in a close neighborhood filled with aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends from their nearby church, Broadway Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Like many families then, they didn't have much, but they had what they needed, especially deep connections with family and community. Carol enjoyed spending much time with her grandparents, who also lived nearby. Many of her extended family members attended the same church and made it a tradition to gather for coffee after services.
Carol helped her mom with chores, learning to cook and knit from her. She attended West Side Christian School and learned to play piano. As a teen, she worked her first job at Bylsma's Dairy and attended Grand Rapids Christian High School, where she met Ronald Rykse. She and Ron dated for a time and happily married on September 30, 1955.
The newlyweds settled into married life on the west side of Grand Rapids, near Carol's family. Soon after, they bought Carol's childhood home on Valley Avenue NW. Their family grew quickly with the births of five children over eight years, and they eventually moved farther west on Leonard to Clovercrest, where they spent many years.
Devoted to caring for her family, Carol worked to ensure her husband and children a loving and supportive home firmly rooted in family values. She kept a neat and well-organized house and continued with regular visits to see her parents. Though Carol didn't learn to drive until her oldest child was about to get their license, the family enjoyed piling into the family station wagon for fun-filled outings. They especially enjoyed time at the beach. For many years, the family enjoyed summer days at Silver Lake and Big Star Lake or trailering to Brower Park. Despite never feeling comfortable swimming, Carol was content to watch the kids play in the water. In later years, Carol would wear a life jacket and join Ron on their boat.
Easy to get along with, people often noted how consistently sweet Carol was. She was most content in her home or visiting family and close friends. Though she didn't require a lot of socialization, Ron was much more outgoing, and she was willing to join him. Over the years, they did some bowling and golfing and really enjoyed playing cards with friends. She and Ron also traveled some with friends, often to Branson, Missouri, Florida, or Mackinac Island. As their children grew older, she and Ron enjoyed visiting them in their homes, typically on Sunday evenings.
Once her kids left home, Carol struggled for a while to find her place. For a time, she did some housekeeping for relatives, cleaned a nearby salon, and worked at Ludwick's before managing an Oven Fresh Thrift store. After being robbed at gunpoint, she quit working for Oven Fresh.
Carol liked to shop and find treasures to add to her collections of salt and pepper shakers and Precious Moments figurines. She was always willing to help with her grandkids and great-grandkids. Many good times were spent with the kids and grandkids in the pool in Carol and Ron's backyard.
About a year ago, when Carol's health required more support, she moved to Rest Haven Homes. Ron joined her soon after, and they continued life together there, sharing a room and the gifts of one another's continued companionship until Ron passed away just a few short weeks ago, on June 14.
A woman who dedicated her life to loving and caring for others, Carol embodied her faith and showed us how to live a wholehearted life. Her unfailing kindness and unwavering commitment to family and friends are the cornerstones of her beautiful legacy. As we celebrate Carol's life and all the ways she gifted us, may we be comforted by treasured memories and inspired by the honor of carrying her legacy forward.
Carol F. Rykse, age 84, of Grand Rapids, passed away on June 30, 2023, joining her husband, Ronald Rykse, who passed away two weeks ago.
Surviving are their children Ronald & Liz Rykse, Randy & Joni Rykse, Pam Jackson, Scott & Kim Rykse; daughter-in-law, Annie (Larry) Schwartz; 15 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild; sisters-in-law, Irene Andree, Lois Rykse, and Peggy Rykse; as well as several nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Carol is preceded in death by her son, Mark; daughter-in-law, Allison Rykse; brothers, Harold, Calvin, and Jack Andree; and sister, Adeline Noordeloos.
The service to remember and celebrate Carol's life will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends are invited to visit with her family at the funeral home on Monday from 6-8 PM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Rest Haven Homes are appreciated. To read more about Carol, share a memory, or sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com