GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — People lined up inside Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Wednesday to pay their final respects to the late Amway co-founder and West Michigan philanthropist Rich DeVos.
The DeVos family welcomed visitors to the hotel’s Ambassador Ballroom for the first celebration of life event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among them was Grand Rapids Commissioner Joe Jones.
“For someone who isn’t from Grand Rapids, Mr. DeVos can best be described just as a visionary, but he is a rare breed. Here was an individual who made the conscious decision to really lead the effort to rebuild and restore the entire city. I think what most people would see are the fruits of his labor from downtown, but his efforts really spread throughout the city, it spread throughout the lakeshore, heck, it spread throughout the world,” said Jones. “So for someone who didn’t know him, I think this is a wonderful testimony, what we see downtown, but it’s so much more, so much more.”
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Vice President Mike Pence also paid homage to DeVos during his visit to Kent County Wednesday. Shortly after speaking of DeVos’ legacy at a steel mill, Pence visited Grand Rapids to give his respects to DeVos’ family.
The final public celebration of life event for DeVos will be held on Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Ambassador Ballroom.
While Thursday’s funeral service for DeVos is private, it will be simulcast for the public to watch at DeVos Performance Hall in DeVos Place, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
DeVos died from complications of an infection on Sept. 6. He was 92 years old.
In lieu of flowers, the DeVos family is asking donations in Rich DeVos’ honor be made to Grand Rapids Christian School Association, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church or Prison Fellowship Ministries.