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Life Story / Obituary
Gladys Kathleen Versluis (DeHaan), was born in Grand Rapids on August 4, 1937, to Richard and Gertrude DeHaan, the oldest of four children. She and her siblings grew up in a happy home, with fond memories of summers spent working with their dad, uncles and cousins in the family greenhouse business, DeHaan Greenhouses on 28th Street. Though busy with the thriving business, their family always made time to spend at Lake Mitchell, enjoying the summer sun and water. Growing up she attended Seymour Christian School and Grand Rapids Christian School, furthering her education at Calvin College, receiving a degree in education. She taught in Chicago as well as a substitute teacher in Grand Rapids.
Gladys DeHaan and Warren H.Versluis were united in marriage on August 18, 1961, several months after being introduced to each other through a friend, who eventually became Gladys’s sister-in-law. Gladys and Warren raised five children together, building a home with a solid foundation in church life, farmwork, family get-togethers, and many road trips which sparked and encouraged an interest and appreciation in history. Warren and Gladys were blessed with eleven grandchildren, sweetly referred to as their “lollipops”. They loved being a part of their lives, whether they were babysitting, reading and telling them stories, playing games, or having sleepovers. After Warren’s death in 2011, Gladys became an even bigger part of their lives, going to their concerts, plays, athletic events, and graduations. Even in her later years, while struggling with various health issues including brain cancer, she saw to it that her grandchild whose birthday was soon approaching, was not forgotten. Her grandchildren will have lasting memories of their “Nana” as a generous, kind hearted, and fun loving person who was always ready to have a good time. The picnics she hosted at her house after the annual Standale Memorial Day Parade will always be remembered, not only for the good food and her world famous apple pie, but for the softball game which usually followed. Nana, at age 80, was still able to show off her hitting skills, making contact with the ball on the first pitch.
As Gladys’s health began to decline, she moved from her farmhouse into Edison Assisted Living on a cold snowy January night, waking up to a winter wonderland right outside her window. The beauty she saw
outside that window carried her through the almost two years she lived there. “There’s beauty in every season” she used to say, and she was true to those words, talking about the beautiful blue sky, the many shades of green she could see on the trees, and the changing colors of fall. She reconnected with old friends and made new friends while living at Edison, and talked continually of how wonderful the staff was that cared for her.
Gladys was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2018. She survived surgery and was symptom free until nine months later when the cancer returned. Radiation treatments were successful, and thankfully Gladys was given the gift of life even beyond her prognosis. In her final days, her faith was unwavering, she was at peace, and ready for God to receive her to glory. Gladys was a loving daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She lived her life as a humble and faithful servant of God, trusting in His love and guidance, and sharing her faith with those around her. She and Warren were an example to their family of how to love God above all, how to love each other, and how to go through life’s journey with trust, perseverance, and laughter.
Gladys Versluis, age 83, passed away peacefully on December 19, 2020.
She was preceded in death by her husband of fifty years, Warren H. Versluis.She will be remembered by her children, Amy and Matt Remelts, Nathan and Shari Versluis, Emily and Mark Sauer, Anne and James VanDyken, Ned and Karin Versluis; grandchildren, Harrison and Charles Remelts, Abbey, Kate, Jake and Molly Versluis, Annelise and Alex Holcomb, William and Jenn VanDyken, Peter VanDyken, Sydney and Greyson Versluis: siblings, Richard and Judy DeHaan, Priscilla and Andrew Tempelman, Jake and Ruth DeHaan; brothers and sisters-in law, Barbara Versluis, Joy Versluis, Ben Eisma, James Morren, David and Jan Versluis; many nieces,nephews and cousins, and many dear friends.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the dedicated staff at Edison Christian Assisted Living for the compassionate care Gladys received while living there. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Edison Christian Assisted Living or Faith Hospice.