Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Irwin DeRuischer Sr

May 8, 1925 - August 27, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI



Tuesday, August 31, 2021
11:30 AM to 1:00 PM EDT
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504


Tuesday, August 31, 2021
1:00 PM EDT
Westend Christian Reformed Church
1015 Westend 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.

Concern International
6715 Pontaluna Road
Fruitport, MI 49415-9653
Web Site


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 life that spanned nearly a century, Irwin DeRuischer lived each and every day with purpose while holding his loved ones near. Guided by an unwavering faith, his life exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. The servant leader in his family, Irv treasured his roles as a husband and father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather. Life wasn’t without times of trial for Irv, but he counted it all as joy. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.

It was as the beauty of spring was in full swing in the town of Grand Rapids, Michigan, that Cornelius and Dora (Hulst) DeRuischer announced the birth of their son, Irwin John, on May 8, 1925. This was an exciting time in American history when we celebrated huge milestones like cars that were mass produced on assembly lines, motion pictures that were available in both color and sound, and the dawn of the world of flight.

Raised in the family home on the Northeast side of Grand Rapids alongside his older sister, Wilma, Irv was a typical young boy of his generation. As the prosperity of the 1920s collided with the crash of the stock market in 1929, the dark days of the Great Depression became a reality for the DeRuischer family. Things were simple in their lives as a result, and this was the way Irv preferred things for the rest of his life. He enjoyed things like hunting, fishing, and playing baseball with a broomstick and tennis ball in the street. As a family they attended Creston Christian Reformed Church, which is where the roots of Irv’s faith were established. As a student he attended Creston Christian School, where his father was the principal, and then went on to Grand Rapids Christian High School.

After graduating, Irwin was ready to hit the ground running. He found work driving a truck for Eerdmans Publishing. Irv then started a similar job at Zondervans, which proved to be quite fateful as it was there that he met the young woman with whom he would share a love story that spanned more than 75 years. Her name was Theresa Lachniet, and she worked in the office there. Although Irv was typically quiet, he found himself in the car with Theresa as they went to pick up hamburgers from Kewpee’s to share with their coworkers. That conversation was the beginning of a relationship that eventually led to marriage when they exchanged their vows at her parents’ home on October 12, 1945. The newlyweds initially rented space and later built a home on Collindale NW, which would remain their home for the rest of their lives. They did much of the work themselves with the help of friends and family. They also tried their hand at business for a time, running a five and dime store for a few years.

After a local grocery store chain put an end to their small store, Irv found work in the heating and cooling industry. He spent a short time working for Nydham and then many years for VanDyken Mechanical. Irwin started working in the field, but he later spent many years working as a manager for the service crews. He enjoyed his work and even continued to help after he retired.

There was no greater gift in Irv’s life than his family. He and Theresa welcomed five children, Irwin, Doris, Marge, Jim, and Dan, into their hearts and home. Irv was a strong leader in his home, and he cultivated his faith with his children. Irv prayed at each meal and read Scripture at the dinner table, and he also had each child read from their own Bible to keep them engaged. Although he wasn’t a man of many words, when he did speak his words were full of wisdom. The fear of disappointment was the best form of discipline, which was a good thing since Irv didn’t have the heart to spank his children. Together the family enjoyed camping, first in tents and later in trailers and campers. One of their favorite places was Andrus Lake in the U.P. When their kids were young they would sometimes rent cottages instead of camping, often on Benway Lake. Even in the simple things, Irv knew how to have fun and make them special. There were many lighthearted times at home including when he would let his girls play with his hair. When at home Irwin also enjoyed spending time in the gardens, caring for his flowers and vegetables. He was quite handy and said he could build anything with sheet metal and duct tape! When he didn’t have a project, Irv enjoyed reading.

Faith and family were always intertwined for Irv. As a family they were members of 12th Street CRC, which later became Westend Christian Reformed Church. Irv was devoted to both his Lord and his church congregation as he served as both an elder and deacon through the years. He wanted everyone to know his Lord and Savior, and that he was faithful to God. Family remained a vital piece of his life, and he always looked forward to the Christmas gathering every year as the whole family could be together. During recent years, the first Monday of every month was also a family favorite as they all came together and shared a meal. This was no small feat as the family had grown to include 32 grandchildren. Irv also poured into his grandchildren as he regularly shared his wisdom, his faith, and his love. He was a quiet example to them and always welcomed them in his gentle way. During their retirement years, Irv and Theresa stayed busy. They regularly volunteered with Gold Avenue Church, and he helped manage the pantry for about 17 years. Irv built strong friendships and strengthened his own faith along the way. Together, he and Theresa were able to remain living in their home.

All who knew Irwin DeRuischer would agree that he was a humble, loyal, and gentle example of someone who loved the Lord with his whole heart. He worked hard in everything he did, and he used his gifts and talents to bless others throughout his life. Irv’s family was his most priceless treasure, and he was happiest when surrounded by their love. He will never be forgotten.

Irwin John DeRuischer, age 96, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, August 27, 2021. “Home from the earthly journey, safe for eternity. All that the Savior promised, that is what Heaven will be.” Irwin is survived by his wife of 76 years, Theresa Nellie (Lachneit) DeRuischer. Together they raised five children, Irwin and Karen DeRuischer, Doris and Robert Nareabout, Marge Venema and the late Ralph Venema, Jim and Renee DeRuischer, Dan and Lisa DeRuischer, 33 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in glory by son-in-law Ralph Venema, and grandsons Jason and Nicholas DeRuischer. A funeral and visitation will be held at Westend Christian Reformed Church 1015 Westend Ave. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504 on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Visitation will take place from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm followed directly by a memorial service in the sanctuary at 1:00 pm. A light lunch will be provided in the fellowship hall prior to a private family graveside service. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Irwin’s memory can be given to Concern International 6715 East Pontaluna Rd. Fruitport, MI 49415. “God is our refuge and strength and ever-present help in trouble, Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord Almighty is with us the God of Jacob is our fortress.