Sunset Blog

Sep 19,2019 | Betty Epperly


When St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Monroe, Michigan was built in1812, leaders placed significant items in its hollowed-out cornerstone, including a hand-written sermon, a hymn book, a list of church members, and church leaders’ writings about congregational life. At the church’s 200thanniversary in 2012,this time capsule was opened. Among those present were former members…

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Sep 16,2019 | Betty Epperly

Precious Freedom

Dirk and Elisabeth Gootjes and their family lived in Heerhugowaard, The Netherlands during World War II. Every night they drew the blackout curtains; then they waited. If they heard a certain pattern of taps on a window, they opened the door for Dutch Resistance workers. They listened to updates about the war from England on…

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Sep 13,2019 | Betty Epperly

The Magic of Murphy

“I am sure some Brookcrest residents feel that Murphy is their dog, and I just happen to be taking care of him,” says Suzanne Williams. Suzanne, a true nurturer, has spent much of her life surrounded by people. She was a teacher at Jenison’s Bursley Elementary School for 35 years and counts some Brookcrest staff…

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Sep 09,2019 | Betty Epperly

A Waterford Wedding

On November 22, 2015, Morrie and Marilyn Gabrielse were married in the Waterford Place lobby, a first in its history. “I never dreamed I’d get married again,” says Morrie. “It never entered my mind.” Marilyn felt the same way. She and Morrie had both been recently widowed, each after 53 years of marriage. Neither of…

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Sep 05,2019 | Betty Epperly

A Cord of Three Strands

As Marv and Joy (Carrick) Poelman can attest, sometimes God places special people in our lives just when we need them. Although their upbringings were different, they noticed qualities in one another that drew them together, and their steadfast love has spanned almost seven decades. Joy’s mother died of cancer the day before Christmas in…

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Sep 02,2019 | Betty Epperly

Comfort Food

Throughout her 91 years, Marie (Timmer) DeVries has been nurturing bodies and souls. God placed loving people in her life during her formative years, and she has been paying it forward ever since. Marie’s parents emigrated from the Netherlands for a better life. They bought a farm in Dorr, and although they worked from dawn…

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Aug 26,2019 | Betty Epperly

Where Flowers Bloom, So Does Hope.

Sometimes a simple idea can sprout into something groundbreaking. In 2010, when Maggie Hartman was five years old, her family was planning a vacation. There would be an opportunity for hang gliding, but it would cost $100 per person. Maggie and her family brainstormed ways she could raise money, and she decided she would sell…

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Aug 22,2019 | Betty Epperly

Celebrating Centenarians

Be good to others. Do everything in moderation. Be honest. Get an education. Give back to community. Invest part of every paycheck. Be active and develop interests. Work hard. See the world. Invest in relationships. Love the Lord. It turns out our parents were right after all. In June, Sunset threw a special party for…

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Aug 13,2019 | Betty Epperly

A Life of Service

Oftentimes a successful organization begins as a kernel of an idea. The idea germinates and grows when likeminded people unite to invest their time, energy, and talents. About 60 years ago, a “Home for Retirees” in Jenison was first proposed. John Helder recalls hearing about a meeting that would be held in the evening at…

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Aug 02,2019 | Sheila Carney

WGVU Community Connections: Waterford Place Memory Care

Join Waterford Place executive director Ben Leavell as he leads WGVU Morning Show host Shelley Irwin on a tour of Waterford Place. Our 40-acre campus includes independent, assisted living, and memory care neighborhoods, where residents create community. Ben shows Shelley our serene outdoor areas, where residents can visit with their friends and family, garden, or simply enjoy time outdoors in the fresh air. Grandpa’s Woodshop attracts many residents and provides a space to work with tools,…

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