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Fountain Street Church
24 Fountain Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Life Story / Obituary
With ways all her own, it was easy to love and admire Pat Anderson. A woman of substance, Pat filled the lives around her with a giving and generous heart. Never one to pass judgement, she was accepting of others. Foremost in Pat’s life was her faith and family. She was a dear friend of many and enlightened all with grace and kindness. Although she will be deeply missed, her legacy lives on in the wonderful memories she so lovingly leaves behind.
The Roaring Twenties was a decade to be reckoned with. A turning point in the culture of America, society was forever changed with Prohibition, big city gangsters and the onset of the Great Depression. Even so, the women’s movement made great strides, especially in 1928 when women were first allowed to participate in the Olympics and Amelia Earhart paved a way for women in flight. Yet for Harry and Christine (VandenBroek) VandenBos, the year had extra special meaning when on October 28, they welcomed the youngest of their four children, Patricia Ann into their hearts and home.
Pat was born and raised in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Although her brother, Harold sadly died before Pat’s birth, she eventually joined her older siblings, Don and Barbara, six years later in their family home on Elmwood NE. Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, Pat enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation. She was a good little girl and loved making paper dolls and clothing for them.
Having attended the local schools where she forged many lasting friendships, Pat graduated from Creston High School with the Class of 1946. She went on to enjoy numerous class reunions with her longtime school friends over the years. Following high school, Pat landed a job working in the office at Richards Manufacturing. It was while attending a fun-filled Halloween party, however, when Pat met the love of her life, Roger Anderson.
Roger was a young man from the West side of Grand Rapids who was attending Grand Rapids Junior College. Quite smitten, the two began a dating relationship and soon found themselves deeply in love. They were happily married on September 7, 1950, at Wallin Congregational Church and together enjoyed a honeymoon at Niagara Falls. When Roger began attending law school, they made their home in Ann Arbor for two years and truly came to love their time there. Returning to Grand Rapids, Pat found work at Alice Jane Dows clothing store where she developed a keen sense for style and fashion. She was always impeccably dressed whether going to church, the grocery store, or the post office.
During this time, Pat and Roger lived upstairs from her parents for five years before moving to their forever home on Coit Avenue NE where they would raise their family and live for the rest of their days together. Nothing brought Pat more joy than her family. A wonderful wife and loving mother, Pat remained at home to care for her family which came to include three children, Timothy, Steven, and Susan. Caring for her family was most important to Pat. She made a good home for Roger and their children and while she had a keen eye for detail and a few “perfectionist” tendencies, she was a fun mom, too. Pat was a good sport and her utmost focus was placed on her children. She did everything she could to ensure they experienced an enjoyable childhood and would often play right alongside them and was known to act quite goofy at times. She volunteered her time and talents at their schools helping as a room mother and serving as president of the PTA for a time.
Pat was a good cook, liked trying new recipes and came to acquire quite a collection of cookbooks over the years. Everyone loved her “Best Cake Ever” recipe and always looked forward to her Christmastime “Almond Bark” she so willingly made and gifted each year. Pat also put her cooking skills to good use as a volunteer at Blodgett Hospital for several years where she helped staff the hospital restaurant and was part of the hospital guild. Faith always played a large part of Pat’s life. She and Roger were active members at Fountain Street Church where she also was a member and past president of the Schweitzer Guild.
Pat loved vacationing in Leelanau County. She particularly adored Leland and the vistas on Grand Traverse Bay. Throughout the years they also took special trips around the country, most notably to Williamsburg VA for the 200-year anniversary. Another enjoyable pastime of Pat’s included her artistic talent for painting.
Pat had a love and special talent for the game of Bridge, initially as a social pastime with friends, although her competitive drive shortly sparked an interest in Duplicate Bridge, where she competed for many years in league play, regional and national tournaments. She went on to achieve the coveted designation of Silver Life Master. She and Rog traveled to tournament destinations in New York, California, and Illinois, and even if it wasn’t a trip specifically for “Bridge”, they’d usually find someplace to play a game or two. In fact, there were not too many places they traveled where they did not play Bridge. During their retirement years, Pat and Rog enjoyed traveling throughout the country. They even took a cross country trip from Grand Rapids to South Carolina and across the country to California before returning home.
Always a lady, Pat continued her flair for fashion well into her later years. She was always very well dressed and was sure to be lipstick ready! A fun-loving woman as well, once Pat got to know someone, she could be talkative and quite outgoing. She was eager to lend a helping hand when needed and her generosity was always giving. As a dear friend of others, it was Pat who considered herself blessed. She was very accepting of others no matter their circumstances. While the last few years found Pat experiencing some health challenges, life began changing for her. Since January she had been confined to her living room, yet with the loving care from her devoted family, she was able to remain in the comfort of the place she has called home for the last 53 years of her life.
Patricia “Pat” (VandenBos) Anderson, a lifelong resident of Grand Rapids, died Tuesday, August 25, 2020, at the age of 91. She was predeceased by her parents, brothers, Harold and Don and by her sister, Barbara. She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 70 years, Roger; her three children, Timothy (Karen), Steven, and Susan; and granddaughter, Perri Anderson.
A graveside service will be held Tuesday, September 8, 2020, 11:00 AM at Rosedale Memorial Park, 50 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Pat’s family suggests in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either Fountain Street Church or to Faith Hospice. To read more about Pat’s life, to share a favorite memory or to sign her guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com.