Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Chelsea Gorden

November 11, 1993 - June 29, 2024
Walker, MI



Saturday, July 6, 2024
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 453-8263
Driving Directions


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


With a ready smile and an infectious laugh, Chelsea Gorden lived a life rich in family and friends. Chelsea was a remarkable woman who led with her heart in all things. Her indomitable spirit, love for others, and gift for connection inspired all who were blessed to know her. Chelsea showed us how to embrace life's joy and bravely face life's adversities. A devoted daughter, sister, niece, aunt, and friend, Chelsea was cherished by many and will long be remembered by those she so dearly loved.

America at large was prospering in the '90s. During this final decade of the 20th Century, The United States economy grew by an average of 4 percent per year between 1992 and 1999, and the unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent. The median American household income grew by 10 percent. It was a decade of much good news and astounding new achievements, including the collapse of The Soviet Empire, the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, The civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, and China reformed its economy, tripling its gross domestic product and easing its way into the world order. The quality of entertainment dramatically improved, and creative brilliance shined in our homes in the likes of Harry Potter, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Friends, and NYPD Blue. Pixar resurrected animation with Toy Story while the digital age boomed with the mainstreaming of the Internet, digital phones, 3-D games, and affordable laptops. Peace and Prosperity were the order of the day as Julie DeWitt welcomed her daughter, Chelsea Gorden, to her family on November 11, 1993, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Growing up on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, Chelsea was raised with her older sister, Debra. They fought like sisters and loved one another deeply. Chelsea attended Riverside School before the family moved and she finished her education at Allendale. From an early age Chelsea's strong personality was very apparent. She knew her mind, what she wanted, and possessed unwavering determination, while also being very loving and caring.

Chelsea always loved animals, swimming, and people. The family always had dogs, and she liked all animals. She enjoyed her grandparents' pool very much. Even when the house changed hands a few times, she was able to continue to swim in the pool. There was not a shy bone in Chelsea's body; she talked to anybody and everybody. She was never afraid to communicate with others – whether by calling them on the phone, sending a snap or text, or sharing a conversation in person. She was very direct and didn't waste any time in communicating her wishes. While in high school, Chelsea became involved with Compassionate Heart Ministries in Zeeland, where she enjoyed the relationships and connections with others.

Music and coloring were also sources of joy for Chelsea. She loved music of every type. Whenever she was in the car, she was in control of the music; everyone knew it was her domain and let her have it. From childhood into adulthood, Chelsea enjoyed coloring, advancing to more complex adult coloring books. More recently, she loved playing video games, especially with her nephew Michael, who held a special place in her heart.

Chelsea liked to stay busy and was blessed by her family and all the wonderful times they shared. She spent a lot of time with her grandma, enjoying many local outings together. She also spent the daytime with her sister or whomever else was available. Travel proved a delight as well. From trips to Disney World and Disney Land to taking a cruise and traveling as far as Mexico and London, she loved every adventure.

Over the years, Chelsea went through stages of collecting things like Pokemon and Beanie Babies. She liked coloring her hair with bright colors and loved sweet treats. There was always room for more whipped cream! The Peppermill Grill was a favorite restaurant, and she couldn't resist advising the staff with her suggestions for daily specials. She carefully created holiday menus and texted everyone very specific instructions on what to bring to their gatherings. Chelsea also had a soft spot for babies and loved to hold them. People would readily let her hold their babies even if she didn't really know them.

Sadly, Chelsea started having health struggles around seven years ago. These challenges intensified in the last year, and she had many hospital visits. Despite her discomfort, she always tried to have a smile on her face and learned the names of the security dogs. When she went to the hospital on Monday, no one expected it would be her final trip.

Though our days with her were far too few, every moment shared with Chelsea is a gift we will long treasure. In Chelsea's good company, we experienced the joy of unconditional love, the power of determination, the value of authenticity, and the infinite ways to be kind and loving, especially in the face of hardship. As we celebrate Chelsea's life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying her big-hearted legacy of love and laughter forward, keeping her beautiful spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.

Chelsea Nicole Gorden, age 30, of Walker, passed away June 29, 2024. Chelsea is survived by her parents, Julie & Doug Lemmen; sister, Debra Gorden; nephew, Michael; step-brother, Jackson Lemmen; Grandma, Carol DeWitt; aunt, Michelle DeWitt and her daughter, Brittney; uncle, John (June) DeWitt and their children Ashley, Amber and Michael. Chelsea was preceded in death by her Grandpa, Michael DeWitt.

A gathering to remember and celebrate Chelsea will be held on Saturday, July 6, 2024 from 1-3 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. To read more about Chelsea, share a memory or sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.