Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Lisa Gort

September 16, 1965 - August 17, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI



Wednesday, August 22, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Riverside Christian Reformed Church


Wednesday, August 22, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Riverside Christian Reformed Church
602 Comstock Blvd NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Lisa Gort, words such as caring, compassionate, and loving come to mind, however, perhaps the word that paints the most vivid picture of her is selfless. She cherished giving her time and resources selflessly to others over the years. A longtime resident of the community she loved, Lisa was a stranger to none and a friend to all. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.

The 1960’s were characterized by great social changes. Known as the era of optimism, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. Midway through this promising decade in our nation’s history, Lisa Beth was welcomed home on September 16th, 1965 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to her loving parents, Vernon and Elaine (Tishler) Gort. Born the oldest daughter of three children, her birth brought great joy and happiness to the family home.

Growing up in the same house her mother was raised in on Guild NE, Lisa proved to be headstrong from the very start! She had a strong set of ideals and values and knew what she wanted and would see to it that she got it! In addition to her domineering side, she held the most compassionate heart especially for those in need. Lisa’s parents raised her with a strong Christian faith and they attended Riverside Christian Reformed church as a family for many years. A stellar student, Lisa attended Riverside Elementary, then went on to Riverside Middle, graduating from Creston High School. During her years as a student, she participated on the debate team where she could foster her love of sharing her opinion as well as helped out in the school musicals to kindle her love of music. As a family, they enjoyed vacationing to Mackinac Island as well as Sault Ste Marie in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Once in the summer and again for Christmas, they regularly traveled to visit her grandparents in Minnesota. These memories added to her rich childhood and taught her the value of family. Ambitious and focused, Lisa worked at a local clothing retail store while pursuing a degree from Calvin College. Before she finished, however, she left with a friend to Pennsylvania for a few years, was married for a short time there and then returned to the area she loved.

Settling back in Grand Rapids, Lisa set out to finish her schooling. She picked up classes with the University of Phoenix while working as a cook for the Al-Anon Club. She later worked as an instructor with ITT, while also writing curriculum for area schools, and eventually became the Dean of Students. She was loved by both the students and staff for her drive, her dedication, as well as her deep commitment to helping each and every student succeed. Easy to build a rapport with others, she became like a mother to a special young teenager, Kim Johns. With mutual love and respect for the other, they shared a rich relationship where Kim’s children became like grandchildren to Lisa! There wasn’t anything that she wouldn’t do for them! Lisa had a natural way of making each and every person she met feel special. Close with her nieces and nephew, she treated them like her own children. Lisa gave them advice, helped them with school work, supported them in their extracurricular activities as well as helped them obtain scholarships.

As much as Lisa loved her job, she always made time for her family. They came to rely on sharing Sunday meals after church where Lisa was known to put out quite a spread for all who gathered. Her home was welcoming as was her heart. Lisa’s most favorite time of year was Christmas where she enjoyed cooking traditional dishes as well as baking hundreds of cookies each season. Known for picking out the perfect gifts for her loved ones, she often got her start on Black Friday! Stoney Lake vacations were a highlight each July where the special kids in her life looked forward to her delicious chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast! Equal to those, they looked forward to the campfire smores. Lisa loved them as well as anything that included chocolate was her favorite!

Lisa’s life story includes a brave battle with cancer. Diagnosed twenty-three years ago, she was able to overcome it after enduring intense treatments. She remained in remission up until three years ago when a new tumor appeared in her brain. Although the tumor could not be removed, Lisa chose treatment in hopes of more time with those she loved. Steadily her health declined from the effects of the tumor over the last few years and she succumbed to her illness. There is no doubt that Lisa will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many special friends and loved ones. There wasn’t a single person who knew her that was not deeply touched by her genuine heart and unconditional love. May the countless lives she touched over the years be reminded of her bright light, her joyful ways, and her immense faith in her Christian community.

Lisa Gort, age 52 of Grand Rapids, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on August 17, 2018. She is survived by her "daughter," Kim Johns and boyfriend, Joshua Obetts; grandchildren; Sebastion and Maddison, parents, Vern and Elaine Gort; her sisters, Amy (Fred Jr.) Schweitzer, Sheri (Mark) Larva; nieces and nephew, Justin and Kirstin Schweitzer and Ella Larva; as well as several aunts, uncles, and cousins. The service to remember and celebrate Lisa's life will be held on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, at 11 AM at Riverside Christian Reformed Church, 602 Comstock Blvd NE where friends are invited to visit with her family from 10 AM until 11 AM. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Van Andel Institute (for Cancer Research) are appreciated. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com