Friday, July 19, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
LaGrave Ave Christian Reformed Church
107 LaGrave Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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.
VanAndel Institute for Cancer Research
333 Bostwick Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Life Story / Obituary
In many ways, Renee’ Kuipers defined the meaning of a faith-filled and generous woman. Her servant’s heart was a blessing to many as Renee’s loving and caring nature was exemplified through her generous actions. Deeply loved by her family, Renee was truly a gift and inspiration to all who loved and cared for her.
Born in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 17, 1948, Renee’ Fay Kuipers was the daughter of Marvin John and Corrine (Kloote) Kuipers. The youngest of two children in the Kuipers household, Renee joined her older sister, Sharon, in their family home at 1135 Pine Street NW, one of the many neighborhoods on the city’s Westside. While the end of World War II brought much prosperity to the U.S., industry and manufacturing was at an all time high. This was especially so with the onset of the “baby boom” as prefabricated, postwar housing was cheap to build and for people to buy, and it solved many of the housing shortages taking place during this time.
To support their family, Renee’s father worked as a custodian while her mother, a homemaker, looked after their household. A lifelong Westsider, Renee enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation. She shared the friendships of many and attended the local schools. Having attended Stocking Elementary School, she went on to Union High School where she graduated with the Class of 1966. Following high school, Renee furthered her education by taking some secretarial classes which afforded her the opportunity to take a job with Merrill Lynch. She remained there for the next 30 years of her career until taking a position serving as the pastoral and church secretary at Seventh Reformed Church.
Renee and her family were members of Seventh Reformed Church. In fact, Renee was the third generation of her family to attend there and where she also served as a Sunday school teacher for 40 years. She also sang in the church choir and served on the missions committee. Six years ago Renee decided to join LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church where she continued to grow in her faith and served as a Sunday school teacher and deaconess.
In her free time, Renee loved to do needlework. She was quite talented when it came to crocheting, knitting and cross stitching, too. She belonged to three knitting groups over the years including those at Seventh Reformed Church, Gilda’s Club and at LaGrave Avenue CRC. She shared the fruits of her labor by making many baby items for newborns as well as gifts for family and friends which will continue to be treasured. Sewing was another gift Renee’ possessed and through the years she made much of her own clothing.
Renee may never have married or had a family of her own, yet it gave her the time and freedom to spend a good deal of time with her parents whom she dearly loved. She absolutely loved attending the Grand Rapids Pop’s Concerts, theatre productions, and movies with her friends.
Through the years Renee’ considered herself extremely blessed to have such a wonderful family and dear friends. She loved time spent with her family, especially during the holidays and for birthday celebrations where numerous memories were made and enjoyed.
Her love for travel found Renee traveling to over 48 states and to countries all over the world which included many cruises. Renee also loved a good mystery. At home she liked watching British crime dramas on TV and she loved reading mystery novels. Her loved of animals was unmatched and it brought Renee great joy to watch the many birds that came to her feeders.
Thanksgiving is a time each year when we count our blessings and the many people in our lives, past and present, with whom we are thankful. This was especially true for Renee and her family this past Thanksgiving when she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought bravely, yet as her health diminished three weeks ago, Renee moved to Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods, where she and her family received loving care from a kind and dedicated staff. With her loving nephew, Steve, by her side, Renee was greeted in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 16, 2019, by the tender arms of her Lord.
Loving and caring would not suffice in describing the heart of Renee Kuipers. Her fun loving and faith-filled nature, not to mention her curious and adventurous spirit, was truly remarkable at times as she was usually game for anything. Memories of her abound in the hearts of those she leaves behind as she will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered.
Renee’ Fay Kuipers, aged 70, of Grand Rapids, passed away on July 16, 2019 at Faith Hospice at Trillium Woods. She was the daughter of the late, Marvin and Corinne Kuipers and was also preceded in death by her sister, Sharon Vander Wall. She is survived by her brother-in-law, David A. Vander Wall; niece, Christine Wieberdink; nephew, Steven (Amy) Vander Wall; ten great-nieces and nephews and one great-grand niece. Renee’ was a member of LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 107 LaGrave Ave. SE, where the service to celebrate her life will be held on Friday, July 19, 2019, 11:00 AM. Relatives and friends may meet her family on Thursday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, and at the church on Friday from 10:00 AM until the service begins at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Van Andel Institute for Cancer Research. To read more about Renee’s life, to sign her online guest book and to leave your own memory of her, please visit her web page at www.heritagelifestory.com