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Richard M. DeVos Celebration of Life service: Philanthropy, Freedom, Family and Faith

Rich DeVos photo

Family, friends and a former U.S. President gathered at Grand Rapids’ LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church celebrating the life of philanthropist, Amway co-founder and owner of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, Richard M. Devos who recently passed away at the age of 92.

“C.S. Lewis claimed that a careful study of history would reveal that Heavenly minded people like Rich make a great deal of difference in the world.”

Reverend Dr. Stanley Mast spoke of the four values dear to Richard M. Devos; philanthropy, freedom, family and faith.

“Whether it was business or politics, music or education, art or science, health care or wealth sharing, supporting the church or rebuilding the city, Rich and his fellow hopers believed that God wanted them to change the world to be a better place.”

“My name is George…I am really grateful for this opportunity to commemorate the life of an extraordinary American, and a friend, Rich DeVos…despite our age difference Rich and I had some things in common. We both gave speeches around the world though I don’t think he mangled the English language as often as I did. I was known as the compassionate conservative. He was known the compassionate capitalist. Perhaps above all we share a love for freedom.”

Joining President Bush are four generations of DeVos family.

“He was at his core so genuinely and remarkably generous to all of mankind.”

Children Doug, Dan, Cheri and Dick shared the memories of dad recalling his generosity with his time, taking the time to listen and taking the time to effect change.

“When he believed in something he didn’t just write a check, well he did a little bit of that, too. But he also rolled up his sleeves and went to work to make a difference. The most tangible example is this remarkable city that many of us call home. The Grand Rapids we see today reflects his passion for his community and his vision to make it the dynamic place that it has become. He was generous with encouragement. He was unfailingly to the end. The most encouraging man I have ever met.”

Son Doug concluded with this…

“His legacy was using his broad definition of family in its most inclusive sense; bringing together all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds to work together around a cause greater than themselves, to achieve unity of purpose, to serve God and to serve others, thank you dad."

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.