D. Jean Veldt ’54 Burns
D. Jean Burns left to go be with her Lord and Savior on May 13th, 2019. She passed peacefully at her home surrounded by her loved ones.
Jean was born in Cooper Township to Jennie (Timmerman) and Harm Veldt, Sr. on March 1, 1932, the 7th of 8 children. She grew up in Texas Township on the family farm and graduated from Mattawan Schools. Due to the generosity of her sister Ruth and her own determination, she attended and graduated from Hope College, Holland, MI with a BA in education.
Jean taught in various schools including Scotts, Brandywine/Niles and Edwardsburg, until moving to Waverly Township. She taught Physical Education at Bloomingdale Public Schools and established girls athletics in an era that women’s sports were not particularly encouraged. She began a basketball and softball program as well as the Girls Athletic Association (GAA) to introduce sports to girls. She mentored and supported many young women in life’s lessons and surrounded her girls with much love. Jean and her husband Lewis also began a Youth Fellowship at Townline Methodist church, where she again mentored many young people.
Jean and Lewis were married June 14th, 1957. They had natural children, Cheryl (Russell) Sullins and Craig (Jan) Burns. Another daughter, Hulda (Wilson) Gruenewald joined the family in 1966. She is survived by her youngest brother, Frank Veldt; 8 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; as well as several nieces and nephews. Her daughter Hulda preceded her in death in 2012.
Jean had a very active spiritual life and delighted in sharing her faith in Christ with others. She was a prayer warrior and loved sharing the Bible with people. Her mentoring overflowed to this area of her life. She and her Bloomingdale prayer group helped pray Christian Fellowship into existence, where her passion for mentoring still continues.
Jean will be remembered for her love of words, reading various genre of books, memorizing and quoting scriptures. She has passed on her love of gardening, preserving of harvested food, quilting and rug weaving to the next generation. Jean will be greatly missed by her family, friends and acquaintances.