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.
The Amway co-founder and philanthropist died last Thursday at age 92.
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.
One of the attendees was Michael Ford, the eldest son of President Gerald Ford.
“They shared the same values of family and faith and integrity and high character and freedom for our nation," Ford said.