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Eleanor Jean VanHouten

March 05, 1927 - January 15, 2020



Eleanor Jean VanHouten went to be with her Lord on January 15, 2020. Her death followed a long struggle and she said her passing would be “A glorious day!”

Eleanor was born on March 5, 1927 to Albert and Johanna (Meekhof) Brunink in Lucas Michigan. She graduated from Northern Michigan Christian School attended Calvin College, earning a teaching certificate. She taught school in Kalamazoo for two years while waiting for the love of her life to return from duty in the Navy during WWII. On July 3, 1947, she married Warren VanHouten. They enjoyed 67 years of marriage. He passed on April 18, 2014.

Her faith in God was a priority in her life. She was a nurturing mother and loving wife as well as a kind, thoughtful friend to many. She often gave her love through her cooking by blessing so many with gifts of meals. She remembered everyone’s birthday with a card and gift. She enjoyed bowling, gardening, and knitting. She was an active member of the Cadillac Christian Reformed Church for over 70 years and served as Sunday School Teacher, leader of Golden Hour, founder of Keenagers, parsonage redecorating, Friendship teacher, Children’s Bible Hour and many more roles.

Warren and Eleanor owned and operated VanHouten Oil Company and the Union 76 Service Station in Cadillac. When they retired, they loved to travel and play golf with their many wonderful friends and spent winters in Alabama near siblings.

She will be lovingly remembered and missed by her five children: Ken (Deb) VanHouten, Dave (Linda) VanHouten, Marcia (Dave) VanderPlas, Jim (Bonnie) VanHouten and Paul (Teresa) VanHouten and her sixteen grandchildren Chris VanHouten, Ryan VanHouten, Kim (Preston) Casselman, Dave/Luke VanHouten, Gabe (Lisa) VanHouten, Mieka (Lucas) Lenssen, Nick (April) VanderPlas, Lauren (Sean) Baker, Kristen (Scott) Selle, Erin (Joel) Hoekstra, Becky (Troy) White, Kevin VanHouten, Amy (Mike) Johnson, and Noah VanHouten.

She was preceded in death by beloved granddaughters Anna Mae VanHouten (9/16/2005) and Danielle (VanHouten) Funnell (9/11/2009).

She loved and enjoyed her 21 great-grandchildren Brock Casselman, Ashley, Rachel, Jesse VanHouten, Logan and Emma VanHouten, Eliot and Sammy Lenssen, Evan, Nora, Lucy VanderPlas, Anna, Nathan and Daniel Warren Baker, Lauren and Remi White, Riley, Hazel and Addilynn Mae Johnson, Wilhelmina Eleanor and Gwendolyn Selle and many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

She was preceded in death by all of her siblings Grace (Harm) Sikkema, Rich (Pauline) Brunink,
Janet (Chris) Hepkema, Evelyn (Adrian) Bunning, Lawrence (Alberta) (Johanna) Brunink, Melvin Brunink and her in-laws William VanHouten, Lucille Bode Jerry Bogard, Hilda (Harv) Loeks, Larry VanAssen and Bob VanHouten.

She is survived by in-laws Gert Bogard, Jay Bode, Shirley VanAssen, Ethel (Bud) Sikkema and Joyce VanHouten.
Friends may meet the family Friday, January 17, 2020 (today) from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Cadillac Christian Reformed Church and from 10:00 AM until services. Funeral services will be held 11:00 AM Saturday January 18, 2020 at the Cadillac Christian Reformed Church with Rev. Jeff Kroondyk and Rev. Bert VanAntwerpen officiating. Burial will take place at Maple Hill Cemetery in Cadillac.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Bible League. An online guestbook is available at

Guest Book

  • Jan Klooster - Jan 16th, 2020 9:07 pm

    "Dear Dave and Linda, Marcia and Dave, Jim and Bonnie, Paul and Teresa, Ken and Deb, as well as all the grandchildren and greats, Eleanor was a beautiful and gentle woman, a true friend and inspiration. Both Rick and I thought the world of her and Warren and enjoyed them immensely. What a privilege to get to know and love them. Eleanor said it so well, so simply and gloriously true.... she is in Glory. Seeing perfectly again. With her Lord. I will miss her a lot. I will pray for you as you miss her, too. Tell the stories that make you smile. "

  • ELSIE MOORE - Jan 17th, 2020 4:43 am

    "What a sweet and endearing lady. Always so gracious and kind. She will be missed. So sad for your loss. Prayers for peace."

  • Susan DeYoung - Jan 17th, 2020 4:23 pm

    "I extend my deepest sympathy to all of Eleanor’s children and grandchildren. Eleanor was a wonderful person and a wonderful aunt to me!"

  • John & Linda Coffell - Jan 21st, 2020 5:12 am

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."

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