Final farewells for Richard DeVos

Final farewells for Richard DeVos
Former president George W. Bush, family speak at Magic owner Richard DeVoss funeral
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Philanthropy, freedom, faith and family: the four themes expressed during the Celebration of Life Service honoring the life of Rich DeVos.

Former President George W. Bush was among those speaking at the gathering Thursday at LaGrave Christian Reform Church.  

“Rich understood that the gift of freedom came with responsibilities. He became not only a leader in business, but a leader in this community and church and our country. He always helped those who were less fortunate. The gospel of Luke says that for whom much is given much is expected. Rich lived out the gospel on a daily basis,” Bush said. 

Bush was joined by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, former governor John Engler, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.  

In the week since he died, Rich DeVos has been remembered for his business success and the way he used that success to make his city a better place, not just with brick and mortar projects.  

“Grand Rapids is one of the most generous cities, one of the greatest philanthropic cities in our country," said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “And that is and real testament, and really, Rich led that.”

Several members of DeVos family, including his children and grandchildren took part in the Celebration of Life. Over 600 guests were invited to the church service and another 568 attended a simulcast of the event at DeVos Performance Hall.  

Amway Operation at Amway Headquarters were shut down for the afternoon, so thousands of company employees could watch from the Ada facility.  

Along with his love for family, DeVos’ love of friends and the bond their families formed was also apparent. 

“They shared the same values of family and faith and integrity and high character and freedom for our nation," Ford said. 

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Video: George W. Bush speaks Rich DeVos funeral

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Video: Final farewell Thursday to Richard DeVos

Former President George W. Bush joined family and friends of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos to celebrate his life.

During the funeral service Thursday, Bush said he was grateful for the opportunity to commemorate the life of “an extraordinary American and a friend.” Bush added Devos life was “a testament to the promise of America and the blessings of freedom.”

DeVos children and grandchildren spoke of his unconditional love, generosity, leadership, inspirational words and quirkiness during the invitation-only service at LaGrave Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids.

DeVos, who served as Amways president until 1993, also was involved in the NBA, buying the Magic from a group headed by Orlando real estate developer William duPont III in 1991.

Posted in Grand Rapids