Wednesday, October 30, 2019
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Richmonr Reformed Churcj
1814 Walker Ave. NW
Grand Raapids, MI 49504
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
Richmond Reformed Church
1814 Walker Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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.
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Eleanor Brummel brought such beauty to the world around her. She worked hard in everything she did, but her heart that was forever looking for opportunities to serve others, was the driving force behind her selfless acts of love. Eleanor was blessed to share most of her life with her true love, and together they were filled with unspeakable joy to welcome children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren into the family. Life will never be the same without her here, but she leaves behind a legacy of love that her family will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
It was great to be an American during the exciting decade of the Roaring Twenties. Technology brought us things like radios, refrigerators, and motion pictures in both color and sound while prosperity was largely felt nationwide. It was during this exciting time that Isaac and Tillie (Dykstra) VanMaldegen were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Eleanor Mae on July 16, 1928, at her Grandparent’s Dykstra farm on Richmond Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her father was a carpenter while her mother was a homemaker who cared for Eleanor and her three older siblings, Donald, Eugene, and Marjorie. She grew up in her family home on Remembrance Road, NW, where they raised goats, chickens.
In many ways Eleanor was a typical young girl of her generation. As a family, they were members of Richmond Reformed Church, and Eleanor sang in the choir there. She was also involved in sewing with the 4-H. Once, she was recognized for her sewing with a trip to Lansing. Her father, who was working on the east side of the state, surprised her by coming to her award ceremony. It meant so much to her to have him be there. Eleanor became friends with Charlene, and their friendship spanned throughout Eleanor’s entire lifetime. In fact, Charlene also lived at the Edison Manor with Eleanor. The two friends did many things together over the years. Charlene was a bridesmaid in her wedding. In addition to holding down her studies, she worked as a gift wrapper at Herpolsheimer’s downtown as a high school student and for a while after she was married.
Not to be forgotten during her years as a young woman was Eleanor’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Harry Brummel, and they had known each other for quite some time, as he was also a member of her church, They even made profession of faith together. Harry served in the United States Air Force, and when Eleanor noticed his picture and name on the bulletin board at church among the young men in the congregation who were serving in the military she decided that she had to get to know him. They became acquainted a bit later and began dating. In church, they made their profession of faith together. It didn’t take them long to fall in love, and three years later Eleanor and Harry were married on June 3, 1949. After a honeymoon in Niagara Falls, New York, the newlyweds returned home where they lived with her parents for a year while her father, brothers and Harry built a home not far from her parents at 1689 Maplerow, NW. Together Eleanor and Harry welcomed five children including Marilyn, Kathleen, David, Beth, and Carol into their hearts and home.
There was never anything of more importance to Eleanor than her roles as a wife and mother. She cherished the time spent with her children as she tended to their needs, supported and taught them in their faith, and was there to support them in their school, sporting, and the many family activities. Eleanor truly cherished her roles as a wife and mother, and later as a grandmother and great-grandmother, too. As a family they enjoyed many camping trips that included not only their family, but also her parents, parents-in-law, siblings and their families. It was quite something when 20 people all slept in a 10x20 tent together, but Harry made it work. He later built a pop-up camper, and even later they had a travel trailer. The family spent time during many a summer vacationing to many of Michigan campgrounds like Pioneer Park, Burt Lake, Wilderness State Park, and also in the UP. Wilderness State Park became their favorite, where they would camp each summer up until a few years ago. Eleanor was known to thoroughly enjoy a refreshing swim and a good sunset. Being able to camp with and walk over to visit with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren gave her great joy. In addition, the family went out West as well as to Florida, Washington D.C., and many other places. Eleanor once entered a contest at D&W Foods and ended up winning a telescope, a tent and a trip to Hawaii which she enjoyed with Harry. Eleanor’s parents also had a cottage on Crockery Lake. She cherished the time spent here. With a short drive, Harry, the kids and she could escape the summer heat to enjoy the company of her parents, siblings, nephews and nieces while swimming and boating.
Eleanor loved things of color and beauty. She was an avid rock collector all her life as well as a member of Indian Mounds Rock and Mineral Club. At club shows, she would make rings and gem trees to sell. Her father raised peonies. Later, she grew them at her home and even carried them on her wedding day. Eleanor loved her stunning forsythia bush, hollyhocks and maple trees in the fall. She also loved to cook for her family. Among the family favorites were her au gratin potatoes, chicken, Saturday night burgers, roasts, soups, apple crisp, and cherry pies. Eleanor and Harry loved breakfast on Saturday mornings at Mr. Burger, and sometimes Lanning’s Restaurant as well. She wasn’t much of a television watcher, but she loved Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons. For many years Eleanor and Harry traveled with other church members to see the Gaither’s Praise Gathering in Indianapolis. She loved reading her Bible every day as well as daily devotionals and the daily newspaper.
Later in life Eleanor continued to embrace the moments spent with loved ones. When grandchildren came along she was especially happy, and she often cared for many of them during the day for many years. Eleanor was always there for their sporting events and school activities, and she never forgot a birthday or special day. She and the family always got together for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, too. During their retirement years, Eleanor and Harry rented a condo in Gulf Shores, Alabama, where they would stay for a couple months in the winter at a time. There, they made many friends, and Eleanor loved walking the beach while Harry golfed. Eleanor and her husband also took two mission trips to Bolivia through the “With His Hands” organization. In 2015, they moved to Edison Manor of the Christian Rest Home where they made many new friends. As Eleanor’s health slowly diminished, she moved into nursing care. Last week she was placed under hospice care, and her family was at her side when she died on Saturday morning.
Friendly, outgoing, and selfless in everything she did, Eleanor Brummel was a blessing in the lives of so many around her. She was a “prayer warrior” with a strong heart for missions. She found great joy in serving others, and she was so proud of the family she shared with the love of her life. Accompanied by her unwavering faith, Eleanor exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. She will be forever missed.
Eleanor Mae Brummel, aged 91, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, October 26, 2019, at the Edison Christian Rest Home. She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Harry Brummel; her children; Marilyn (John) Kozminski, Kathleen (Jeffery) Holmes, David Robert (Susan Henning) Brummel, Beth (Michael) Reynolds, Carol Brummel Vega; 15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Lois VanMaldegen; many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Isaac and Tillie Van Maldegen, parents-in-law, Harry G. and Jennie Brummel, brothers and sister, Don (Virginia) VanMaldegen, Eugene VanMaldegen, Marjorie (Mike) Pennell; brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Bill and Bonnie Brummel, and Lowell Hilton. The family would like to thank the caring staff of Edison Christian Rest Home and Faith Hospice. Eleanor was a longtime member of Richmond Reformed Church, 1814 Walker Ave. NW, where the service to celebrate her life will be held on Wednesday, October 30, at 11:00 am. Burial in Greenwood Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Monday from 6:00 – 8:00 pm and again on Tuesday from 2:00 – 4:00 pm, and again at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Edison Christian Rest Home Foundation, Matthew’s House or Richmond Reformed Church. To read more about Eleanor’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web page at www.heritagelifestory.com