Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Isabel Maltman

December 20, 1930 - November 26, 2023
Grand Rapids, MI


Life Story / Obituary


A woman who embodied the principles of her faith, Isabel Mae (McRuer) Maltman lived a life rich in family and service to others. A natural homebody, Isabel never required the spotlight. She was humble, kind, and loving and was happiest in the comforts of her family, sharing the simple wonders of life with grace and gratitude. A devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, Isabel will long be remembered and so very missed.

Isabel's parents immigrated to America from Scotland after they were married. Her father was an electrician, and her mother was a homemaker. The family lived in Detroit, later settling in Royal Oak. George and Davida (Lincoln) McRuer welcomed their daughter Isabel to their family on December 20 in Detroit, Michigan.

The third of the McRuers' four children, Isabel grew up in the good company of her siblings, Davida, Alexander, and Kenneth. She was especially close with her older brother Alex, who was her protector. Younger brother Kenneth was born when Isabel was 15.

Isabel attended Parker Elementary School and babysat for her older sister Davida's children. Her first job was working in a jewelry store. After graduating from Royal Oak High School, Isabel took a few college courses at a local Bible college.

While attending a Bible study with a male friend who was interested in her, Isabel met his friend, Edward Maltman, who had recently been discharged after three years in the Army. The three became friends, but soon Isabel took a romantic liking to Ed, who asked her out for a private lunch. Their first official date was to visit the fountain on Belle Isle. It was early on when Ed asked her to marry her, and she replied, "I'll think about it." Though she never gave a definitive answer, the couple happily married on May 23, 1953, at Maranatha Baptist Church in Detroit. After celebrating their nuptials with a reception at the local Y.M.C.A., the bride and groom were offered the use of a family friend’s weekend home, affectionately known as “The Farm” in Carsonville. They then finished out their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, a popular honeymoon destination.

The newlyweds settled into their home in Warren Township, and Ed went to work as a civilian for the Defense Department. Over nine years, Isabel and Ed were blessed to welcome three children. Cheryl, Kathryn, and Brian were the centers of Isabel's world, and she delighted in being their mother. The best mom, she was nurturing, silly, always there, supportive, and dedicated to her kids' well-being.

Isabel was a wonderful baker. Her Christmas cookies were always a treat, and one of her "family" recipes was even published. Her Sunday roast with all the fixings was always a hit for family dinners. Isabel was also a skilled seamstress who made many dresses for her daughters. The family enjoyed many vacations, generally focused on the Civil War battlefields Ed was interested in exploring.

In 1967, the family moved to Troy, and the house quickly became Isabel's special home. She loved living there. In 1984, after Ed retired, the couple moved to North Carolina, where they volunteered for the Wycliffe Bible Translators program, Jungle Aviation Radio Services (J.A.A.R.S.). In 1994, Isabel and Ed returned to the Metro Detroit area, living in Sterling Heights before making their final move to Rest Haven Home in Grand Rapids to be closer to family.

Always an active church member, Isabel was a member of Lakeside Bible Chapel and, most recently, Northwest Gospel Hall. Over the years, she served as a deaconess, supported mission work, and taught S.S., nursery, and bible studies. In addition to the Bible, she loved reading mysteries and other novels. Each week, she made the trip to her local library for a new stack of books.

A devoted grandma, Isabel's grandchildren were held especially close in her prayers and concerns. She prayed faithfully for each one and texted or called to learn what was happening in their lives and what type of support they needed. Isabel's greatest passion was to pass on her faith by prayer and example to those who meant the most to her, and she accomplished it!

As we gather to celebrate Isabel's beautiful life, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying her legacy forward. In each moment we choose faith over fear, give of ourselves in service of others, support our loved ones' endeavors, visit our local library, and gather with family, we share the many ways Isabel touched, moved, and inspired us. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.

Isabel Mae Maltman, age 92, went to be with her loving Lord and Savior Jesus November 26, 2023. Isabel was born December 20, 1930, in Detroit to the late George and Davida (Lincoln) McRuer. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Davida Loudon, and brother, Alexander McRuer. On May 23, 1953, she married Edward Maltman. Her husband of 70 years survives, as do their children, Cheryl (Michael) Perkins, Kathryn (Roger) Messick, Brian (Therese) Maltman; grandchildren, Andrew (Kelcy) Messick, Elisabeth (Matthew Garling) Messick, Quentin (Abbey) Maltman, Emily (Benjamin) Haddad, Claire Maltman, Sara Maltman; great-grandchildren, Jonas, Zane and Matthew. She is also survived by her brother, Kenneth McRuer; sister-in-law, Jean Pooley; and several nieces and nephews.