Jean Van Huffel 1936-2017
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Jean Van Huffel, 81, entered eternal life Monday, Nov. 9, 2017.
She was born Sept. 22, 1936, in South Bend, Ind., to the late James Cummings and Ella Parent.
She married Phillip Van Huffel on May 7, 1955. During a long career as wife, homemaker and social activist, she helped promote Women In Community Service, WICS, in Detroit and raise funds for the Apple School. While in Connecticut, she was an organizing member of “Save the Merritt,” an ad hoc committee that preserved the original ingress and egress of this early parkway whose bridges were designed by women. In Grand Rapids, she was actively involved in Degage Ministries and Well House, as well as numerous church-related Christian service projects such as “Operation Santa Claus.”
While living in Taiwan, she arranged for the creation of a gift to Pope John Paul II for the canonization of 103 Chinese saints.
She is survived by her husband, Phillip; her two sons, John (Deborah) and Paul (Lisa); and her daughter, Mara (Richard) DeMattia; nine grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Armstrong; a sister-in-law, Mary Cummings; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her son, Phillip Jr.
A celebration of life Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, with visitation at 10 a.m.. at St. Alphonsus Church in Grand Rapids. Lunch will follow immediately afterwards. Jean loved art, so the family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at Richard App Gallery, 910 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Please, no flowers. Memorials can be directed to Degage Ministries, 144 Division Ave. South, www.degageministries.org or Emmanuel Hospice, 2161 Leonard St. NW, www.emmanuelhospice.org, both in Grand Rapids.
Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuary, www.arsulowiczbrothers.com