Obituaries » Evelyn J. Van Donselaar
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April 1, 1928 - December 19, 2020
A family graveside service was held at Grand Prairie Cemetery. The family requests that memorial donations go to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan, https://www.hospiceswmi.org/give/.
Evelyn passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, December 19, 2020. She was 92. She was born Evelyn Joyce DeBoer and was always proud of her Dutch heritage. A lifelong resident of Kalamazoo, she married Johnny, her high school sweetheart. They were married for 64 years. She was a loving homemaker dedicated to raising four children, but ultimately became the influential and revered matriarch of five generations. A skillful tailor, she sewed nearly all of her daughters’ clothes during the early years and later prom dresses for her granddaughters. She had a tradition of baking incredible pies, cakes, cookies and pastries on Saturday mornings which continued throughout her life. With an April Fool’s Day birthday and an offbeat sense of humor, there was never any shortage of practical jokes to celebrate. As an avid year-long sales shopper, her children benefitted from an abundance of birthday and Christmas gifts. She was a long-time member of Centerpoint (Third Reformed) Church and later Hope Reformed Church. Christ was the center of the family household, and her and Johnny’s commitment to young people’s spiritual development led them to chaperon numerous church youth trips well into their retirement years. A caregiver by nature, her home was always a warm and welcoming place for all – friends, relatives, neighbors, youth and Bible study groups. She was ever grateful for the loving care and devotion of her grandchildren and especially so during her last few months while visitation at her residence was restricted. Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents Jennie and Cornelius DeBoer, her sister Beverly and brother Stanley. She is survived by her children Joyce Kroes, Janet (Rik) Zelenock, Judy (Scott) Bovenkerk and Norman Van Donselaar, 8 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren. She and her family are most grateful for the incredibly professional and compassionate care provided by StoryPoint and Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Evelyn would often say of them that “they’re not my family but they’re like my family”.