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DeWys, Eugene

11/22/1935 – 10/21/2020

Grand Rapids Eugene (Gene) Leonard DeWys, age 84, passed away Wednesday, October 21. Gene was born and raised on the family farm located on the northwest side of Grand Rapids. Growing up, he was coined the nickname “Dutch” and learned the importance of hard work and perseverance. In his early 20’s, Gene was inspired to pursue a career in education. He earned degrees from Western Michigan University and Michigan State University. Gene taught in Rockford Public Schools for six years and rounded out his 32-year career at Kenowa Hills Public Schools as a teacher and then a middle school principal.

Gene is preceded in death by his oldest son, Mark, and sisters Ruth (Richard) Dykstra, Esther (Earl) Husted, and Pauline DeWys.

Gene is survived by his wife of 56 years, Mary, his three children, Matthew (Carol), Jonathan (Wendy), Leah (Mark), and thirteen grandchildren (Paul, Ben, Lauren, Luke, Kierslynn, Cecilia, Andrew, Joshua, Hannah, Erickson, Olivia, Ansel, and Ellis). In addition, he is survived by his sister, Dort Ann Bishop and brother-in-laws.

His love of nature kept him close to his family’s farmland and the Muskegon River. Gene was an avid student of the Bible.

A private gathering will be held Friday, October 30. Late spring, a Celebration of Life honoring Gene will take place for extended family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the following organizations that Gene supported: WMEAC, Hauenstein Center at GVSU, Feeding America, or Sierra Club.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Gene’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, 616-452-3006.


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