In memory of
Vanderwey, Jitske Joan Jitske Joan Vanderwey, age 88, a child of the King, was called home to be with her Saviour Jesus Christ on Monday, July 27, 2020. "Since my youth, O God, you have taught me and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, and your might to all who are to come." Psalm 71:17-18. Joan is survived by her eight children, Renee and Jim DeRuischer, Renita and Kevin VanSolkema, BettyAnn and Craig DeVries, Carla and Craig Baker, Henry and Anna Vanderwey, Steven and Susan Vanderwey, Ronald and Tammy Vanderwey, Evan and Jenny Vanderwey. Joan was a prayer warrior for all her 56 grandchildren; 27 great-grandchildren; as well as 15 grandchildren who joined our family by marriage. The Lord was faithful to Joan over many decades; she lived an extraordinary life. When she was seven, the Nazis occupied the Netherlands and her town. Through her teens she helped her parents navigate living through the occupation; riding her bike every day for nearly a month to take food to her dad who was hiding from soldiers in his barn down the road from their house. At age 18, she immigrated with her family to the U.S. where she spent nearly a decade working in a factory in Grand Rapids, MI. Every week she handed her entire paycheck to her parents. She worked to pay off the house and put her sisters through college. After she met John they dated through the mail and were married in 1960. She moved again, this time to New Jersey where she was a dairy farmer's wife for 14 years. From there, in search of Christian education for their eight children, they moved back to Grand Rapids. Vegetable gardens, sewing and alterations, babysitting for working moms and homemaking made up her next season. Her house was grand central station for the next 20 years, although bustling it was always a haven. When the season came to be a grandmother, Joan Vanderwey was truly in her element. She personally and skillfully loved 56 blessings from the Lord, always pointing them to the Savior. With her sisters, she cared for her aging parents. After they passed away she settled in to focus on her main priority which has always been to help her dear husband. She held his hand until he crossed the river in April after a long season with Parkinson's Disease. Then it was as if she knew her work was done. She went to be with the Lord one week after her husband's memorial service. Now she and John are together again in the place they have longed for, worshipping their faithful Lord for all eternity in their true and final home. A private family graveside service will be held at Georgetown Township Cemetery. A memorial service for family and friends will be held on Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Cornerstone United Reformed Church, 6442 36th Ave, Hudsonville. The church will be livestreaming the service and it can be viewed via the church website at https://www.cornerstoneurc.com/ . In lieu of flowers, gifts in Joan's memory can be given to Gideons International or Cornerstone United Reformed Church. Condolences may be sent online at www.mkdfuneralhome.com .
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