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Patricia Datema Lipscomb, age 89, of Grand Rapids, passed away Friday, May 12, 2017 surrounded by family. Pat’s interests and curiosity were wide-ranging. She loved flowers and gardening, discussing politics and theology, and beautiful arts and crafts. At home she surrounded herself with paintings and furniture that she treasured and graciously shared with friends and family throughout her life.

Pat married Milo Lipscomb a year after they both graduated from Calvin College. While Milo worked as a salesman, she reared their three children and still found time to become actively involved in civic affairs through the League of Women Voters. She also lived out her faith commitment as a volunteer with Community Action against Poverty.

When Milo’s career arc brought the family to Indiana, Pat discovered Bible Study Fellowship, a spiritual practice that became a lifelong passion. Over the next several decades, She played a key role in the creation of classes in Indianapolis and Grand Rapids. In the early 80s, Milo was hired to run a furniture hardware company in North Carolina, and Pat continued her work with BSF there. A few years later, Fieldstead & Company offered Pat a job as a program officer working out a strategic vision for the company’s philanthropic endeavors. She and Milo then moved to Southern California, a part of the world she came to cherish.

Pat and Milo returned to Grand Rapids in 2004. During this time, they reconnected with some old friends and made new ones. Patricia especially enjoyed CALL classes and the January series of lectures at Calvin. As Milo aged, Pat’s spiritual commitment expressed itself in tireless, loving care for him until his death in 2010.

During her final years, Pat supported her home church, LaGrave CRC, through tithes, time and prayer, and she drew great comfort from the preaching and music. One of her most significant spiritual desires expressed itself in an ongoing effort to encourage the CRC to join in ecumenical support of world peace.

Surviving are her children, Martha Datema Lipscomb of Claremont, CA, Mark Datema Lipscomb of Chicago, IL, and Sara (Britan Groom) Datema Lipscomb of Chicago, IL and Twin Falls, Idaho; cousins, Linda (Darrell) Baker of Somers, NY and Terry (Ruth) Hager of Claremont, CA; along with nieces & nephews, Pam & Bob Lipscomb of Grand Rapids, Carole Ann (Terry) Podmore of Fort Collins, CO, Sharon Lipscomb of Paramus, NJ, and George (Karyn) Lipscomb of NC.

Plans for a celebration of her life will be announced later.

To send a message of sympathy to her family, or sign Pat’s online guest book, please visit:

Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 


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7 Condolences

  1. Fred & Maureen Stevens on May 20, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    We are so sorry to read of your mother’s passing. We are thinking of you all.

  2. Kate Scheuermann on May 21, 2017 at 8:13 am

    I got to know Pat as her banker at Macatawa, and quickly became fascinated with her stories. Sadly we fell out of touch when I moved south in 2015, but she was often on my mind. I’m so sorry for the grief you must be feeling at this time, but hope you’re able to find peace in all of your memories of the unique woman that Pat was.
    Kate Scheuermann

  3. Mary Monsma on May 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    My Mom and I send our condolences and greetings. Your mother’s life sounds rich in experiences and rich in faith. How blessed to have had her for a mother.

  4. Shirley Snoeyink (Mrs Arnie) on May 21, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Dear Martha, Mark, and Sara,
    I remember you dear Mom when Martha and Mark were students in the first grade at Baxter Christian School and I was your teacher. Your Mom took a vital interest in your work and your life and she always showed great appreciation for all your teachers. You will miss her strong influence and I pray your faith in God is firm and steadfast and that the Bible is as alive to you as it was to your mother. Sincerely and fondly, Mrs Sneoyink

  5. Carol Gootjes on May 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Sympathy to you kids. I am Jim Dr Borst’s sister and babysat at your house near the old Calvin College. Reconnected with your Mom and Dad at LaGrave Church. Always fun to talk to them.

  6. Pam and Bob Lipscomb on May 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    dear cousins, words cannot express what your mother meant to us. She was an awesome woman so filled with faith and love of her Lord Jesus. I know our matriarch is now with Uncle Milo and her savior. May she rest in peace. Peace be with your all.

  7. Jan Heerspink on May 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Greetings to Pat’s family, my late husband John was your neighbor on Thomas Street. I first knew your parents when John and I attended Calvin CRC with them. Later they came to LaGrave Ave CRC where John and I were members. In recent months I drove your mom to church once a month. She was a classy lady with a lot of confidence. I always enjoyed our conversations. I will miss her.

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