Ida van der Velde

Ida Hendrika van der Velde (van Blitterswijk)

Wednesday, July 20th, 1927 - Sunday, January 5th, 2020
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Ida Hendrika van der Velde of Grand Rapids, Michigan, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family on the evening of 5 January, at 92 years young. Known as “Iet” to her family and friends, she lived a remarkably full and balanced life that included risk, travel, volunteerism, sports, daily leisure, and above all else, an unwavering faithfulness to her family and friends. Iet was born and raised in The Hague, The Netherlands. During her youth she actively participated in the underground Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation during World War II – she was a fiercely principled daughter, sister, and citizen. During her young adulthood Iet worked at the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Dutch government before immigrating by ocean-liner to the United States with her beloved husband, Leo van der Velde, and two daughters Marjolijn and Leonne – she was a quietly brave and steady wife and mother. Iet and her young family chose Grand Rapids, Michigan as their landing spot; and after several happy and hard-working years they were able to build and settle into their family home in Comstock Park where they made an idyllic life filled with gardening, camping, glorious cocktail parties, and nightly family dinners – she effortlessly created a simple and practical, yet beautiful life for her family. After retirement from her audio-visual career in the Comstock Park School System and the loss of her beloved Leo, Iet maintained the same practical devotion to prioritize balance and cherished time with family and friends. Iet loved games, and participated in handball and gymnastics; bowling, swimming, and golf in adulthood and was always up for a game of bridge or Rummikub (or War or Crazy Eights if her grandchildren asked). She volunteered for the Girl Scouts, school PTAs, and was an active member of the Mary Welsh Guild at Blodgett Hospital for 20+ years. Iet was also an avid “maker”, knitting countless baby hats for the Spectrum Health nursery and NCIU and meaningful keepsake gifts for her family and friends – she always gave of herself and her time. Iet will be remembered as a loving Mom, Oma, and Omie, that took care to impart upon her family the Dutch language and culture, and a deep and sincere value of family and the simple pleasures of life. Her authenticity was a gift and she will be missed beyond measure. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents Antoni and Ida van Blitterswijk, and brother Ton van Blitterswijk. Iet is survived by her daughters Marjolijn van der Velde (Lee Kremin) and Leonne van der Velde (Michael Wasson); her five grandchildren Lance Purucker (Kylee), Lonneke Purucker (Brian Cote), Marijke Kremin, Lena Kremin, and Austin van der Velde (Kelsey); five great-grandchildren Lilah Purucker, Nolan Cote, Kole Purucker, Emilie van der Velde, and Neve Cote; her brother Jan van Blitterswijk (Margreeth de Feer), her special and ever-supportive nieces Pauline van Blitterswijk and Birgitta van Blitterswijk; and numerous other nieces and nephews. In true Iet fashion, it was her wish to quietly return to the Earth. In lieu of flowers, please take the time to slow down – to play a game of cards or have a cup of tea with a loved one – and remember Iet, a constant support to all who knew her.
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