Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children’s health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90, her family said Thursday.
DeVos died Wednesday of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia, her family said. She was the wife of Rich DeVos, who co-founded direct-sales company Amway and owns the Orlando Magic, and was the mother-in-law of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Helen DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, where a children’s hospital is named after her. She married Rich DeVos in 1953 and volunteered her time and leadership – as well the support of the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation – to an array of causes, including Christian churches and ministries.
Born Helen J. Van Wesep on Feb. 24, 1927, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Mrs. DeVos graduated from Frankfort High School in Frankfort, Michigan, and earned a degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids. She married Rich DeVos on Feb. 7, 1953.
Mrs. DeVos is survived by her husband, Rich, children and spouses Dick and Betsy, Dan and Pamella, Cheri, and Doug and Maria; grandchildren and their spouses Rick and Melissa, Elissa and Nate, Andrea and Michael, Ryan, Cassandra and Heath, Sydney and Andrew, Cole, Hannah, Katie, Ben, Jessa, Addie, Dalton, Micaela and Jordan, Monreau and Olivia; and great-grandchildren Clara, Sloane, Remington, Richard, Wilhelmina, and Taggart.