Bernice Irene DeHaan went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus, on April 19, 2022. Bernice was born on October 18, 1924 to Bert and Cornelius (Kate) Middlebush in Alamo. She grew up in the Kalamazoo area and graduated from University High School in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1942. She married John DeHaan Jr. on September 29, 1944. Four children graced their life: Dale (Ellen) DeHaan, Dennis (Mary) DeHaan, Deborah (Ron) Jurhs, and Dawn (Myron) Chester. Bernice was a member of North Park Church and a former member of Third Reformed Church in Kalamazoo, MI where she sang in the choir. She also sang in the choir at a Billy Graham Crusade in Kalamazoo. She was a member of the “ladies breakfast club” and circle group.
Bernice was preceded in death by her husband John DeHaan Jr and son-in-law, Ron Jurhs. She is survived by her children, her grandchildren: Michelle (David) Halley, Heather (Scott) Dood, Renae (Eric) Westra, Jessica (Joe) Hazelhoff, Katie (Tim) Westdorp, Ryan (Mary Blake) Jurhs, Elizabeth (Jeff) Richey, Benjamin (Trudie) Jurhs, Chelsea (Ryan) Treweek, Christian Chester; and great-grandchildren: Rebekah, Hunter, Eva, Miles, Kamden, Anya, Mollee, McKenna, Addison, Nathan, Jack, Luke, Kayla, Mitchell, Jacob, Isaac, Leah, Ethan, Mason, Silja, Anja, Max, Addie, Jordyn, and Noah.
Bernice was a supporter of cancer research, the Bronson Children’s Hospital, Camp Geneva, and funding for wells in Africa. She survived and lived through bladder cancer and lymphoma. Bernice played piano and guitar “by ear” and always enjoyed music filling a room. She taught ceramics in the basement of her home; the only advertisement was word of mouth, but the classes were always full. Bernice enjoyed china painting (dolls, coffee mugs, trivets, thimbles, etc.). She was a good cook – and especially enjoyed making a nice “ole fashion” Sunday dinner. She took the time to write personal notes and special cards of encouragement. She was a sewer, quilter, crocheter, and knitter. She even made her children’s clothing when they were little and re-covered several pieces of furniture. Bernice loved to be outside and enjoyed gardening, canning much of what she grew. She enjoyed visits to Shipshewana for the flea market and a nice chicken dinner with mashed potatoes at Das Dutchman Essenhaus. She also volunteered at the hospital and Discovery Shop. She sold Avon and was a “Rosie the Riveter” at Shakespeare Co. during World War II, working in the office and on warplanes while her husband was stationed in Italy.
But most of all, she loved studying her Bible every day, praying for each and every child (4), grandchild (10 + 8 spouses), and great-grandchild (25) each day, visiting with people and enjoying a cup of coffee and a cookie while catching up on life’s happenings, having a candy dish out and “on the ready” for visitors (she was the ultimate hostess!), cheering on the Michigan State Spartans (especially in basketball), and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Bernice has been described by her great-grandchildren as someone who: is faithful, enjoyed God, kept perspective, is generous, is tough, stayed relevant, cared about and was interested in what was important to each of us, was a great listener, and was comical, humble, kind, passionate, encouraging, a minerva, Godly, giving, huggy, caring, happy, fancy, and loving.
Please join the family on Friday, April 29, 2022 for a memorial service at 1:00 followed by cake and refreshments at the North Park Church: 1316 Barney Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49004.
While visiting Bernice’s webpage at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please sign the guestbook by lighting a candle and/or sharing a memory with the family. Memorial donations can be made to Bronson Donor Advised Fund (BDAF), Life Outreach International, the American Cancer Society, or the American Diabetes Association.
The family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes, 120 S. Woodhams St., Plainwell, MI, 49080 269 685-5881.
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little, but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low;
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me but let me go.
For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone
It’s all part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me, but let me go.
Author: Christina Georgina Rossetti