Cover photo for Mary A. VanderRoest's Obituary
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Mary A. VanderRoest

January 22, 1922 — May 8, 2020

Mary A. VanderRoest

Mary A. VanderRoest passed away on Friday, May 8, 2020 at Fountain View Assisted Living in Portage MI of the COVID-19 virus, at the age of 98. Mary was born in Kalamazoo, MI and was a welcome addition to Raymond and Sadie Locey’s family. She was preceded in death by her only sibling, James Locey, whom she adored, her devoted husband James VanderRoest, three of her five children (Robert, Carol Ann, Kathleen) and her grandson Charlie. She is survived by her two daughters, MaryLee and Sally, as well as nine grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren (plus one on the way). Mary lived in Kalamazoo her entire life. She always had a keen interest in Kalamazoo’s history, as well as any new city development or innovations. She graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School, married and was a gentle and loving mother to her children and grandchildren who were blessed to be able to claim her as their Grandma. Mary was an enthusiastic reader and gifted all of her children and grandchildren with the love of a good book. She was a skillful and creative decorator, and created wonderful miniature dollhouses with artful detail and authenticity. Mary had a gentle appreciation for the simple things in life: sunshine on her face, a tall glass of iced tea, a bird’s song, a garden patch, a good book and the companionship of her dogs whom she loved fiercely. She lived a life of basic decency, empathy and respect for her fellow man. She didn’t just speak of these values, she modeled them. This is her legacy. She will be missed every day. A celebration of her life will take place at a later date. The family is being assisted by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand Schoolcraft, MI 49087 (269-679-5622).
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