Jeannette (Duflez) VanDerVeen, 96, professor, artist and Interior Designer, joined her beloved husband, Robert on one of God’s tennis courts in heaven Wednesday, June 30. Jeannette is survived by her 2 children, Eric VanDerVeen (Christine) and Michelle Monticello (Dale), grandchildren Brook Monticello and Kerry Heck (Todd), great-grandchild Lexi Heck, her sister Marguerite Benson and her nieces, Renee, Colette and Danielle. Her great-granddaughter, Harper Heck, preceded her in death. Jeannette was born in a small town in Brittany, France. Her family later moved outside of Paris. During World War II, she met the love of her life—Robert VanDerVeen, who was a soldier in the U.S. Army. They met on a blind date, under the Eiffel Tower. After WWII, Jeannette came to the U.S. to marry Bob and begin her life in a new country. Jeannette’s professional career included seven years as an Assistant Professor of French at Aquinas College, over 40 years as owner of Jan’s Interiors, specializing in residential and commercial interior design. She was among the first in Michigan to become a Professional member of A.S.I.D. (American Society of Interior Designers) and a member of their board. Jeannette was passionate about everything she was involved in and became an accomplished artist, participating in three Art Prize events. Besides devoting her time and energy to her careers and family, Jeannette also focused on gardening, creating a beautiful oasis for her family in Ada. The many animals she and her husband had gave them great joy. She was kind to everyone and always mentioned how appreciative she was of her caregivers and family members. She was also thankful for the assistance of Emanuel Hospice and the care they gave her in her last days. There will be a small family graveside service, July 9. Any donations can be made to Emanuel Hospice. 401 Hall Street, Ste 263, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
To Michelle and Dale,
Our sincere condolences in the passing of your dear Mom and mother-in-law. May she Rest In Peace, and her memory be a Blessing.
Your mother was my French professor and tennis coach at Aquinas College. She was so full of energy and such an amazing teacher! I tried to carry on her example throughout my life. How very fortunate you were to be her children! I am so sorry for your loss but I know she lives on through all those who met her!