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401 Hall St. SW, Suite 263
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can attest, Joan Haight truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength for those around her, even in the most difficult of times. Joan was well known for her spirit of generosity, and she was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others whenever she could. Nothing brought her greater joy than spending time with her friends and family members no matter what they were doing. Deeply loved, Joan will be forever missed by those who knew her best.
With the end of WWII in 1945, there was much to celebrate as America and our allies were victorious in preserving the freedoms we still enjoy today. Countless young servicemen and women returned stateside, and the baby boom was underway. It was during this eventful time that Benedict and Marjorie Ruth (Dykstra) Dielean Sr. announced the birth of the baby girl they named Joan Ruth on March 26, 1947, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up, Joan was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Carol, James, Sally, Nancy, Benedict. Jr., Diana, Deborah, and Scott. Joan formed very close bonds with her siblings, and though the children may have disagreed at times they were always able to be there for each other when it truly mattered. Joan’s father supported the family by working as a salesman and for Kentwood Public Schools, and he owned a dry cleaner business as well. Her mother remained close to her family as a homemaker. Joan was also blessed to have her stepmother, Arlene Dieleman, become a valued part of her life, and Arlene also prided herself on being a homemaker.
Throughout her childhood, Joan may have been called a mischievous girl. At the age of three, she ran away with the neighbor boy only to be found three blocks away by the police! While growing up in Grand Rapids, Joan enjoyed taking family vacations to their cottage on Bostwick Lake, creating many priceless memories. She also liked staying active and playing Cowboys and Indians outdoors. While pursuing her education, Joan attended Baxter Christian School and Riverbend Elementary School. She also attended Grandville High School and graduated in 1965, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Joan as she met the man who would quickly become the love of her life. His name was Frank Haight, and the two first met through a mutual friend. They only dated for one year before deciding that they were truly made for each other. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Joan and Frank were married in the presence of family and friends at Faith Lutheran Church. The newlyweds then settled into their first home on Fountain Street to begin their future together.
All who knew Joan would agree that she treasured her family above all else. She worked as a deli manager at Family Fare Supermarket for over 20 years. Joan’s husband Frank worked in HVAC. Throughout their years together, they were overjoyed to welcome their beloved son, Dan, into their hearts and home. Joan took her role as a mother very seriously and did her best to raise her son into a kind and hardworking individual. Later in life, Joan was thrilled to become a grandmother to Meghan and Riley. She adored her grandchildren and doted on them whenever she could. Joan was always proud to watch her family tree blossom to include so many loved ones whom she adored.
Never one to sit still for long, Joan pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She enjoyed traveling all over the country, including to memorable locations such as Washington and San Diego. Over the years, Joan also vacationed in rented cottages at several lakes throughout Michigan with her family. She was a wonderful cook and baker who loved getting together with family and friends to enjoy great food. Joan liked rock ‘n roll and cross stitching. She enjoyed shopping and playing cards as well. She was an avid reader and would read anything and everything she could get her hands on. Joan’s favorite restaurant was On The Border. She was known to hold onto many cherished possessions that she considered personal treasures.
When reflecting on the life of Joan Haight, it is easy to see her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family. She truly loved serving people in whatever ways she could, and she was known to always have an encouraging or uplifting word to say. Joan was devoted to her family, and as a proud wife and mother she considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones. She was a shining example of kindness and charity. Though she will be deeply missed, Joan leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
Joan R. Haight [Dieleman], age 75, of Walker, MI, passed away on Monday, June 27, 2022, while in the comfort of her home and in the company of her family. She was born in Grand Rapids, MI, in the spring of 1947 to the late Benedict and Marjorie Dieleman. Along with her parents she is preceded in death by her brother Jim. She will be deeply missed by her husband of 52 years, Frank and their son Dan (Stephanie) Haight as well as by her granddaughters, Meghan Haight-Hill (Joseph) and their son, Ian and Riley Feenstra (Dakota). Also surviving are her siblings, Carol (Walt) Hudenko, Sally (Don) De Young, Ben (Ann) Dieleman, Scott Dieleman, Diana (John) Sweet, Deb Wiggin, Nancy (Tom) Carpenter. Joan was a very special lady and friend to many who will be remembered for her kindness and ability to make anyone she met feel special. Joan’s family will be visiting with friends and relatives at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, (2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504), on Friday, July 8, 2022, from 4 to 7 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials contributions may be made to Emmanuel Hospice, (401 Hall St SW #263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503).