Joan VanHoudt

Joan Marie VanHoudt (Miller)

Saturday, May 28th, 1960 - Thursday, April 8th, 2021
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Joan Marie VanHoudt, of Grand Rapids and formerly of Scottville, passed away peacefully in her sleep with her husband Michael laying by her side in the early morning of Thursday, April 8, after a valiant battle of bone, lung, and brain cancer since July 2020. She was born Joan Marie Miller on May 28, 1960, to Robert W. Miller and Emmie Miller McCarthy in Ludington.

Joani grew up in Scottville, was a member of St. Jerome's Catholic Church while she lived there, graduated from Mason County Central High School in June 1979, where she excelled as a fastpitch softball pitcher and was a member of the National Honor Society.

After graduating from high school, she went to Ferris State University and graduated with her associates degree in accounting in 1981 and her bachelor's degree in business administration in 1983. It was on the campus of FSU where she met the love of her life, Michael J. VanHoudt. They were friends first and it was on her 20th birthday that he gave her his first "real kiss" and the rest is history. Joani always claimed that her biggest accomplishment in life was that she "found her person in Michael" as well as their two daughters. Joani had a zest for life, an admirable work ethic, she was a fierce competitor and loved nearly all sports, especially U of M football and basketball, poolside games with family/neighbor friends, board games, corn hole, camping and bonfires, vacationing in Torch Lake and Destin, Florida, Grand Haven sunsets, she loved to dance, snowshoe, was considered "the hostess with the mostess" but most of all, she cherished time spent with Michael, their daughters, son-in-law and sisters! Family was very important to her and celebrating holidays was a highlight of her life. She had a keen artistic talent and found happiness in Stampin' Up and Close to My Heart projects, which included making fabulous cards that many have kept for years.

She left her time on this earth on top of the world as far as her career went, loving and excelling at her job as a national account executive of the Michigan Division for Olympus Group in Grand Rapids. She found this job fun, rewarding, creative and a joy each and every day. She felt much appreciated by her bosses and co-workers and considered them not only co-workers but also dear friends. She truly loved them deeply and was mentally working until the very end of her life.

She is survived by her loving husband of 37 years Michael; two daughters Emily (Cameron) Delger and Erica VanHoudt; sisters Bonnie (Dave) Brown, Shirley (Joe) Beda, Sally (Kevin) Roney and Sue (John) Boosamra; sister-in-laws Teri (Randy) Hoogewind and Sandy (Scott) Hillis; a brother-in-law Rob (Deb) VanHoudt; and, many cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; infant sister Katherine Anne; stepfather Jack McCarthy; a nephew; and, many aunts and uncles.

The funeral service for Joani will be held on Friday, April 16 at 1 p.m. at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, 6390 Belmont Ave., NE, Belmont, MI 49525. The church can "COVID-safely" accommodate 280 people, and masks will be required. If unable to attend, you may view the service live virtually on Joani's Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers, Joani requested that memorials be directed to Michael at 4656 Cinema Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525, to help with uncovered medical bills that occurred due to her illness. Any remaining funds will be donated to a charity that offered her comfort and support.
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