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Life Story / Obituary
Sally cared deeply for her friends, family, and loved ones. She also lived her life with strength and good humor. As a caring wife, a loving mother, and a kind grandmother and friend to many, Sally will never be forgotten.
Sally began her life in 1936. It was a year in which many firsts occurred. The helicopter took flight, and the development of the human artificial heart became a reality. President Roosevelt was serving his second term in office, and "Gone With the Wind" was published. Internationally, it was a tumultuous time, with many conflicts abroad and a lingering Great Depression.
In the city of Sparta, Michigan, a new life was about to begin, and the excitement of the occasion made Lawrence and Pauline (Eden) Devos focus on their growing family. On January 20, 1936, their precious daughter greeted the world. They named her Sally Mae, and she was one of the four children who completed the DeVos family. They made their home on the farm located on Peachridge NW in Sparta, Michigan.
Sally spent her childhood with Larry, Roger, and Nancy making memories that would last them all a lifetime. They shared adventures, a couple of fights here and there, and definitely kept their parents busy. Her father worked as a farmer, and her mother stayed home to keep the family home organized and happy.
Sally celebrated her high school graduation with the class of 1954 from Sparta High School. From there, she eventually took a job with Farmer Peet Packing Company. This job turned out to change the direction of the rest of her life. A gentleman named William Tetzlaff worked in the sales department at the same company. Before long, the two were dating and then planning a wedding.
Once Bill and Sally settled into married life, it was time to add to their family. They celebrated the births of their daughters: Bonnie in 1961 followed by Shari in 1966.
The family took lots of family vacations together. Some of their favorites included Mackinac Island, Soo Locks, Pictured Rocks, and here and there in the Upper Peninsula. They even ventured farther outside of the state when they traveled to Boston, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, and Hawaii.
Sally decided to earn some extra money for the family, driving a school bus for Kenowa Hills when the girls were both in school full time. She looked out for the safety of school-aged passengers from 1968 to 1996.
As the girls grew to be adults, Sally and Bill still hosted the family gatherings on holidays and special occasions. Their pool was always the hot spot to stay cool and catch up with friends and loved ones.
When Sally had moments to stop and enjoy the little moments in life, she was known to turn up the music (country was her favorite) while working on ceramics or knitting projects. Sally and Bill also enjoyed spending time together Polka dancing the night away. Their favorite song was "Roll out the barrel."
Quieter times found Sally reading love stories, mysteries, and true stories or gardening. She planted a garden at her brother's house and filled up her freezer more than once, canning all that she harvested. She was also involved in the 4H program, where she taught artex (art painting). Sometimes merely relaxing while peacefully looking at her collection of lighthouses and bird figurines was enough. Both of these collections reminded her of relaxing beachside, people watching, and walking in the cool sand along the shoreline of Lake Michigan in the summertime. She loved going to Grand Haven and Muskegon to watch the boats come and go. Later in life, after retirement, she traveled to Alaska, North Carolina, and Florida.
Sadly, Bill passed away in 2001, leaving Sally to endure the sadness of her loss. She kept the memories of their times together close to her heart. She kept busy by joining her local retirment group where they met a couple times a week for activities like bingo, craft corner, fellowship, concerts and different outings to explore the outdoors.
Sally lived 83 years of life before passing away on September 29, 2019. She leaves behind cherished memories. We will never forget the place she will forever hold within our hearts.
Sally Mae (DeVos) Tetzlaff age 83, of Grand Rapids, passed away on September 29, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, William; stepson, William Tetzlaff; and brothers, Larry (Donna) DeVos and Roger DeVos. Sally is survived by her children, Bonnie Powell and Shari (Tim) Hielkema; stepchildren, Margaret Rummler, Richard (Jane) Tetzlaff, Charles (Karen) Tetzlaff, Sue (Chris) Hanson, Christine (Dave) Finholm and Connie (Gary) Potter; grandchildren, Heather (Corey) Sevigny, Tyler(Brianna) Hielkema, Travis (Ashley) Hielkema, Amanda Powell and Jessica Powell; great grandchildren, Dominic, Deyton, Colten, Layton and Aspen; sister, Nancy (Rick) Reed; and sister-in-law, Linda DeVos. The funeral service will take place at 12 PM on Friday, October 4, 2019 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Her family will receive visitors from 6-8 PM on Thursday at the funeral home and again one hour prior to the service. Contributions in her memory may be made to the American Heart Association. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read her life story, submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook.