Saturday, October 12, 2019
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Third Reformed Church
2060 Michigan Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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.
Forgotten Man Ministries
3940 Fruit Ridge NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
In service to her Savior, Grace Dyke lived a very active life well into her later years. She was a loving wife, sister, mother, and grandmother. Generous beyond measure, there simply wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for her family or a friend in need. She lived her life in service to others and delighted in supporting her community through her work with the church as well as her years at Michigan Bulb. Grace leaves behind a rich collection of warm memories for her special friends and loved ones to cherish forever.
Looking back on the 1920s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. By 1926, The Ford Motor Company announced the creation of the 40-hour work week! With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, Henry and Mary (VanDerVeen) Driesenga, welcomed their newborn daughter, Grace,at home on April 19, 1926, in North Blendon, Blendon Township in Ottawa County. Born the second youngest of six children, her birth brought great joy to the family home.
Grace lived a typical childhood of those who survived the Great Depression. Her father worked at Holland Furnace Company and luckily had recently purchased the McDonald Farm so he had his money safely invested when the stock market crashed. There was not a fence on the farm, so Grace watched the cows so they would not roam off while grazing. She often brought books to read and even played school all by herself. Raising chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, and a large garden meant work on the farm was never done, and work always came before pleasure. Yet having any type of work in those days was an incredible blessing and therefore at a very young age, she was meant to see work as pleasure and not a chore. The family relied on their chickens as well as their fresh fruits and vegetables for their daily meals and canned many items for use during the long winter seasons. Without running water or electricity, it was tremendous work for them to manage their daily living.
With both of her parents being brought up in the Dutch language and unable to read English, they could not help Grace with her school work, yet she managed to complete schooling through the eighth grade. She and her family were active members in their faith community at North Blendon Christian Reformed Church. They walked to school and to catechism on Saturday mornings. All three girls played the piano and Grace leaned on her musical talent well into her adult years. Christmases were meager in their household. Often money was spent on shoes and dresses for the Christmas program at church and stockings were filled with half cut bananas. Without toys, the children would skate and slide on the ice in the drain ditch. In the summertime, she and a neighbor friend would swim in the ditch in their bloomers and shirts and hide whenever the boys came around.
Grace also spent one month out of her summer at her Aunt Grace’s home playing Monopoly as well as weeding carrots and picking pickles for small wages from neighbors. The family spent much of their holidays with their extended relatives. Each birthday celebration the family gathered together. Grace shared the same birthdate with her Uncle Harry which made it extra special. Close with her Aunt Grace, whom she was named after, she treasured the special gift she gave her each year as it was normally the only gift she received. Throughout her teenage years, Graced worked on the farm driving horses, pulling mustard and dock out of the hay and setting corn upright. In addition to her daily chores, she was also the one to bring sandwiches, cake and coffee to the field for those who stayed there and loaded wagons. Their many years of hard labor bonded the family together. Grace was forever grateful for her strong Christian upbringing as well as having wonderful role models for parents.
By the age of seventeen, Grace went to work in the factory at Keeler Brass on a punch press for forty-five hours a week during World War II. While there, she helped make several war products in the press department which paid better than civilian products like stove handles and drawer pulls. By December of 1942, she met Lee Dyke on a double date. They joined his cousin, Harris Dyke and his date, Eilene Edema, for a pot of cold chicken at Eilene’s parent’s home. Six months later, they met again on July 4, 1943 when Grace and a girlfriend attended a local rally in Allendale. Lee, who was working in the concession stand, saw Grace and jumped over the counter to catch up to her and ask if he could drive her home. She agreed and the rest was history! Sharing so many commonalities, they dated for three years before Lee finally proposed. Joining in marriage on June 27, 1946, at the Zeeland City Hall, the happy couple honeymooned for two days on Mackinac Island. Once back in town, they settled into the two-stall garage of Lee’s brother who helped them convert it into a home.
After two years of living without indoor plumbing and doing laundry in a separate building, they bought a corner lot on the Scott farm. Lee, Grace, and their daughter, Louise, moved into the basement of the two story home they built there as the rest of the upstairs and main living areas remained without furniture. Sadly, their second baby, Marian Jean, was born with Spina bifida and died four days after she was born. After a miscarriage, their daughter, Joy Yvonne arrived. Over the years, she and Lee welcomed home seven wonderful children. Together they raised their children with the same Christian values that were instilled in them when they were young. After all the children were grown and away from home, Grace kept herself engaged by playing the piano, teaching Sunday School, as well as taking care of the Communion in her church community.
Grace and Lee enjoyed many pleasures in life. Fond of traveling together, they took a boat trip on the Lake of the Ozarks with Lee and Louise and their three children, and Kevin and Joy with their two children in 1991. Grace enjoyed gardening with both annuals as well as perennials allowing for full color and continuous blooming from early spring until late fall. She and her sister, Fannie, remained very close for all these years. Each Saturday morning they would visit over lunch at a restaurant during their regular stop to visit Fannie’s husband, Harold, at the nursing home. Even after he died, the two of them looked forward to their weekly lunch outings together. In July of 2000, Lee suffered a heart attack. After a second attack, his heart was inoperable. He passed away on July 16, 2000. His loss was a terrible shock for Grace. Only a month after her sweetheart had died, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After the lump was removed, she developed a painful bout of the shingles. Grace leaned on her resilient nature and fought the shingles as well as put the cancer into remission.
She continued her loving care for her sister, Fannie, faithfully visiting her in the nursing home before she passed away in 2004. During that time of healing, Grace became more involved in the historical society, joined a water aerobics class, and regularly attended senior citizens meetings. Always active, she never missed her bi-weekly Bible study. Over the years, Grace also continued her love of quilting and made a quilt for each of her grandchildren. By 2005, her daughter, Mardell, and son-in-law, Todd, invited her to live with them in their new home in Grand Rapids. Grace joined their home church, Third Reformed and continued her morning Bible Study, Senior Sunday School class, and joining the senior monthly luncheons. She was very happy in her new space where she enjoyed quilting, as well as watching the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds; especially the hummingbirds. A remarkable woman with an abundant life history, there is no doubt that Grace will be deeply missed and fondly remembered for generations to come.
Grace Dyke age 93, after faithful service to her Lord, passed peacefully into eternal life on October 7, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee (2000), daughter Marian Jean (1949) and great granddaughter Haven Leigh Johnson (2006). Grace was born in Blendon Township, Michigan to Henry and Mary VanderVeen - Driesenga. Grace is survived by her children, Louise & Dr. Lee Vander Lugt, Joy & Kevin Mc Mullin, Leona Dyke, Gordon & Judith Dyke, David & Deanna Dyke, Mardell & Todd Cooper, Roger & Lori Jo Dyke; 16 grandchildren; several great grandchildren; and sister-in-law Marilyn Overweg. Grace was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to all who knew her. She had a talent for baking, playing the piano and making beautiful quilts which are now family treasures. A service to remember her life will be held on Saturday, October 12, 10:00 AM at Third Reformed Church, 2060 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Relatives and friends may meet with her family on Friday, October 11, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Grand Rapids, MI 49504 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Memorials in her memory may be made to Forgotten Man Ministries, 3940 Fruit Ridge Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49544 Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to sign her guestbook or to leave a memory of Grace.