This service is open to the public and will be held outdoors, under the tent. Please dress accordingly.
Livestream will start at 5 PM. You may have to refresh your screen once the broadcast begins. A recording will be posted to the site as well following the service.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
The visitation will be held outdoors under the tent. Please dress accordingly.
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.
West Side Christian School Foundation
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Ruth was born in 1938 to Henry and Anna (Ver Berkmoes) Kooi of Grand Rapids. Ruth also had a younger brother, Jerry, who passed away in 2004. She attended West Side Christian School and Grand Rapids Christian High School and had been a member of Alpine Ave. CRC (1938-1971), West Leonard CRC (1971-1981), and East Leonard CRC (1981-present). During her school years and shortly beyond, Ruth worked as a clerk at Ritzema’s Department Store and at Buttercup Bakery, in the office at Farmer Pete’s Meat Packing, and as a bookkeeper at Independent Distributors (now the BOB in downtown Grand Rapids). She also worked for a number of caterers until her children were in elementary school.
In 1957, Ruth married Cornelius (Neal) Van Houten, a fellow member of Alpine Ave. CRC. They are the parents of Beverly, Barbara, and Betty. Betty has two children - Bianca (& Eric) and Joshua (& Delia) and she is married to Robert Allen. Barb is married to Ed DeKorte and they have three children - Paul (& Rachael), Maris (& Marshall), and Jeanne. Beverly is married to David Weeks and they have three children – Rachel (& Brett), Nathan, and Judah (& Casey).
While their daughters were growing up, Ruth was a stay-at-home wife and mother. She volunteered with Calvinettes and the Tea Groups of West Side Christian School. Neal was an accountant for a road building firm. The family enjoyed camping and traveling. In 1977, tragedy struck when Neal was up on the roof of their home inspecting a leak. Somehow, he slipped and fell to the driveway, suffered severe head injuries, and died just a few hours later.
Larry was born in Grand Rapids in 1929 to Henry and Katherine (Gillesie) Dovekot. Over the years he was a member of Dennis Ave CRC (1929-1950), Alpine Ave CRC (1950-1958) and East Leonard CRC (1958-2012).
Larry married Joyce Ornee in 1950. Joyce died in 1977 after a 10 day battle with uterine cancer. They were the parents of Karen (1952-1984), Nancy, Laurie, Sheryl, and Linda. Linda is married to Michael Nearing and they have four children – Bryan, Brendan, Brett, and Katherine (born 2002, died at 2 weeks). Sheryl is married to Mark Warner and they have 2 children – Christa (& Ryan) and Aaron (& Audra). Laurie is married to Ron Melpolder and they have 2 children – Eric (& Kelly) and Jennifer (& Tim). Nancy is married to David Sturrus and they have 3 children – Mandy (& Mike), Amy, and Lucas (& Abby). Karen died after a three-year struggle with uterine cancer in 1984.
The buying and selling of flowers are what brought Larry and Ruth together. Ruth managed the springtime flower and vegetable site of Kingma Produce on Fuller at Leonard in Grand Rapids, and Larry was one of her customers. They were married in 1981 with eight daughters between the two of them – and no sons! At that time, each of them had two daughters living at home with them, so they moved into a five-bedroom home in northeast Grand Rapids. God blessed them with thirty years of marriage. Larry passed away in 2012. At the time of Ruth’s death, they had nineteen grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren!
Over the years, they enjoyed traveling to many spots in the US and Canada, on both bus trips and their own private road trips, as well a couple of overseas trips. They were volunteers for the West Michigan Blood Center on many mobile blood drives, for the Christian Rest Home to fold laundry, and for the food pantry of East Leonard CRC.
Ruth enjoyed a number of hand crafts, especially counted cross-stitching and she also liked to make puzzles. Larry found enjoyment in refinishing furniture and was an avid gardener. They experienced a few health challenges over the last few years – Larry had a permanent feeding tube for about 6 years and lived with the struggles of his asthma, and Ruth had Parkinson’s disease and related dementia and had multiple surgeries for fractured knees and hips. But they were blessed with the ability to live in the strength that God provided for each day. A cup of tea was always ready for any guests who stopped by to visit.
Ruth’s family is profoundly grateful to her many care-givers since 2013 at Holland Home-Raybrook on the first floor De Vos Assisted Living Unit and on the fourth floor Nursing Unit, as well as her team from Faith Hospice during the past year.
Ruth A. Dovekot (Van Houten), aged 82 of Grand Rapids, passed away September 26, 2020. Her funeral service will be held on Tuesday, September 29 at 5 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends are invited to also visit with her family and view Ruth following the service, from 6-8 PM. Interment in Washington Park Memorial Gardens. For those who wish, memorial contributions to West Side Christian School are appreciated. To read more about Ruth’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com