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25200 Telegraph Rd #100
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Life Story / Obituary
Humble, honest, and good-hearted, Gloria Jean DeVries lived a life rich in family and friends. A woman who always found a way to make everything special, Gloria was well known for her generosity and love. She was a dependable and hard worker who never hesitated to lend a hand and who inspired joy at every turn. Her family was her heart's delight, and nothing made her happier than spending time in their good company. Gloria embraced every day and person as a gift to be treasured and relished sharing her grandkids' adventures, traveling, bowling, and canine companionship. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, Gloria will long be remembered by those she so dearly loved.
1944 marked a time when the war effort in Europe directly impacted all American lives. While countless young people actively served in the trenches of WWII, those who remained stateside poured their energies into supporting the war effort in any way they could. As Americans welcomed the end of meat rationing and began planting Victory Gardens, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill and soon became the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term. As the nation looked toward peace, William and Ruth (Calkins) Scheer celebrated their own hopes for the future as they welcomed their daughter Gloria into their hearts and home on May 11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up on Caledonia Street, NE, Gloria's childhood was rich in faith and family values. The family attended Wesleyan Methodist Church, and her father worked as a buffer for Doehler-Jarvis Company auto parts manufacturing. Gloria's mother was a homemaker while the kids were at home and later worked as a lunch lady for the school district. A Camp Fire Girl, Gloria enjoyed exploring the outdoors and playing bass drum in the drum and bugle corps. A special moment was traveling to New York City to march and play in Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Gloria was also a Camp Fire Girl leader when her younger sister Cindy was a Camp Fire Girl. Gloria always loved being in the sun, and her family's camping trips created a lifelong love for camping.
After attending Palmer Elementary and Riverside Middle schools, Gloria was a student at Creston High School and began working at Family Food. Upon graduating with the class of 1962, she took some clerical courses at Davenport College.
A year into working at Family Food, Gloria and her co-worker Ronald DeVries began dating. With their hearts set on sharing the future, the happy couple married on March 27, 1965. They celebrated with a cake reception at church and reception held later at a hall in Standale. Following a honeymoon in Chicago, the newlyweds returned to Grand Rapids and rented an upstairs apartment on Gold Street.
Ron was drafted soon after they married. After Ron finished basic training, the couple sold everything, and Gloria moved to his station in Panama. Once Ron completed his service, the couple returned to Grand Rapids and lived in Gloria's parents' house on Caledonia Street. Ron worked with his father and brothers at Russ and Ron’s auto repair shop on Alpine. Gloria and Ron were blessed to welcome two sons to their family and moved to their current home on Richmond St in Walker. Craig and Mark quickly became the centers of Gloria's world; she devoted herself to creating a loving home for them. An unwavering source of support, Gloria was always ready to listen and encourage her sons. Summer days were spent in the swimming pool with the neighbors who were always over, and the family went camping most every weekend. Grand Haven State Park, Ludington State Park, and Baldwin became some of their favorite places for camping adventures.
For over 34 years, Gloria bowled on various leagues, both ladies-only and mixed teams. She and Ron enjoyed cruising in their 1966 Chevy Impala convertible too. Gloria was quick to volunteer her time and energy in the service of others. She never hesitated to find creative ways to make the most ordinary days special. She graciously managed the work and preparations for get-togethers her mother hosted, ensuring that their guests thoroughly enjoyed many pig roasts, lobster boils, and birthdays. Her baked beans were the stuff of legend, as was Gloria's ability to ensure everyone felt welcome and had a good time.
As her family grew and she became a grandmother, so too did Gloria's joy. She cherished every moment spent with her grandsons, Bode and Cohen. When they were young, she watched them most days and kept them busy going places and doing fun things. She established a long tradition of giving them her deposit cans. As with her sons, Gloria was a steadfast source of love and support for her grandsons. She cheered on their every hope and dream and always reflected their worth and her unwavering faith in them.
Gloria's sense of adventure and determination to find the good in every moment proved an inspiration, as did her ability to inspire much-needed laughter in even the darkest times. She thoroughly enjoyed traveling and had many adventures camping, going to casinos, taking cruises, and exploring the world. Trips to Florida, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Poland, and Ireland, were just some of her favorites.
A powerful role model of how to live a wholehearted life, Gloria's legacy of love and generosity will be proudly carried forward by those who were blessed to know her. In each moment we confidently meet life's challenges, give of our talents and time, welcome others with a warm smile, walk along the shore, and cheer on our loved ones' endeavors, we celebrate the many ways Gloria gifted our lives. In this way, we keep her beautiful, hopeful spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired each of us.
Gloria Jean DeVries, age 78, passed away October 10, 2022, surrounded by her family. Gloria was born May 11, 1944, in Grand Rapids, MI, to the late William and Ruth (Calkins) Scheer. She was also preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Donald Welch. Her husband of 57 years survives, as do their sons, Craig DeVries and Mark (Heather) DeVries; grandsons, Bode DeVries and Cohen DeVries; siblings, William (Kathy) Scheer, Robert Scheer, Herbert (Nancy) Scheer, Cindy (David) Hammer; in-laws, Shirley Welch, Henry (Bobbi) DeVries, Russell (Linda) DeVries, Luann (David) Litman, Robert (Bonnie) DeVries; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. A funeral service will be held Thursday, October 13, 2022, at 1 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien-Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE. Friends may visit with family Wednesday from 5-7 PM and beginning at Noon on Thursday. Interment will be in Fairplains Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Alzheimer's Association.