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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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I remember being so excited to go see grandma her house on the lake was like a museum to me she had so much nicknaks from everywhere I was amazed with all of it my most interest was her miniature doll houses I always wanted to play with them but grandma would always say you can look but don't touch. Lol , she was an amazing woman I remember when we got there she would be out swimming in the lake and I would sit there on the dock and watch her and all I can think is I sure hope I'm like her when I grow up she was my inspiration I'd like to think that I'm a little bit like her. I will always and forever cherish everything about her.

Christine Tyson May 15 2020 4:18 PM

I always loved her eye for decorating. I remember as a young child going around looking at some of the things she had collected over the years. They were so interesting to me and I discovered as an adult I hadnt out grown that fascination. We have collected things from all of our travels over the years because of this inspiration. I never achieved the same effect but every little statue or object has a story associated with it that makes me smile. When my grand children get old enough to be curious I can tell them about all of the wonderful experiences Ive had. Maybe those stories will inspire them to travel and see things. You know what? ...........Maybe I achieved the same effect after all. Thank You for a life time of inspiration Gramma. I will tell Jonas and baby to be named later this year all about you I promise.

James Ganzel May 14 2020 10:05 AM

1 file added to the album Memories Album

Susan Baglin May 12 2020 8:28 PM

Mary was a wonderful mother and friend to all who knew her. We so enjoyed the many years when we lived in Kalamazoo to spend time with she and Jim at many family occasions and sometimes just a simple dinner with Carol and Tony. We too are sure she is so happy to be in heaven with a lot of her family and is chatting with all of them at once!!! Our thoughts and prayers to the family. David & Judy Rafferty Maryville, TN

David Rafferty May 12 2020 7:53 PM

Today is a celebration for my aunt Mary and the life she lead and that includes her late husband uncle Jim. As a kid I would spend my summer days at Eagle Lake swimming fishing and playing pool with uncle Jim. My aunt and I had a very special relationship throughout the decades, My aunt meant the World to me. Throughout the years when I would visit my family in Kalamazoo I would always make sure to spend time with my aunt and Im so glad I did. Aunt Mary and my father James Locey were brother and sister and had a close relationship and that included my mother Patricia Locey Who passed away two years This May. To all the young people out there this is my advice to all of you when you were growing up, Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents and your aunts and uncles they are very wise and have tremendous amounts of knowledge and history. Ask questions about them growing up and what their lives were like at that time. and learn about your families history and your heritage you will be a better human being for it. I truly believe Mary is now in the arms of her Daughters, Son, Husband, Parents and the rest of her relatives and friends, how lucky for her. To my aunt Mary and uncle Jim may your next chapter in the universe be a great one. Your loving nephew, David Locey:heart::heart:

David Locey May 12 2020 6:25 PM

Friends and Family uploaded 6 to the gallery.

Friends and Family Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM