September 07, 2018
There are few people who've been more instrumental in making Western Michigan what it is today than Richard and Helen DeVos. The co-founders of Amway, who spent the better part of their lives in Grand Rapids, were known for their business savvy but even more respected for what they did with it. Philanthropists to the core, Rich and Helen gave away money as fast as they made it -- building a children's hospital and performance halls, donating to schools, church, and programs near and dear to their hearts like Prison Fellowship. "I give," Rich once said, "because the Lord told me to give."
It's barely been a year since Helen died. And yesterday, the sad news broke that Rich is finally with her. At the age of 92 and suffering from complications to an infection, he went to be with the Lord he spent all of his life serving. And while he will be remembered for a lot of things, there is one in particular that is especially close to FRC's heart. In the late 1990s, he and Helen, along with the Prince Family, changed the history of our organization forever when they formed a foundation to build the FRC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Our staff daily walks by the picture of Rich and Helen and Elsa (Prince) Broekhuizen breaking ground on the six story building we work in today. It's a daily reminder of the deep and profound generosity that makes our work possible.
As the family said in a statement, "He was a role model unlike any other. While we are saddened by his passing, our hearts are full as we celebrate the extraordinary life he led. We are comforted that he is reunited with Mom, and that together they are experiencing the joy of eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." The entire FRC family offers our sincere prayers, sympathies, and appreciation for the life of Rich -- and the legacy he left behind.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.