Helen Dykstra ’50 DeLoy
Helen Mae DeLoy of Lancaster, SC passed away peacefully and without pain on Saturday, February 13, 2021 after living a glorious 93 years. She was born September 21, 1927 in Muskegon, Michigan the second oldest of 7 children to Joseph and Helen (Fanny) Dykstra and is preceded in death by her parents; brother Harold (Joyce), brother Jack (Marlene), sister Joan (Gilbert Buckley) and daughter Diane (Joe Miller). Helen is survived by her devoted husband, Gerald (Jerry) DeLoy to whom she has had a cherished 67 years of marriage after being set up on a blind date and her sisters, Joyce (Jack Twiest), Margaret (Bud Hall), Mary (Brian Connell) and sister-in-law Marlene Dykstra (Jack); her children Dave, Don (Dee), Dale (Becky) and Darlene (Tom Lekowski), her 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. Helen was an incredibly dedicated wife, passionate mother, and devoted teacher where family and her students meant everything to her as she embraced every moment with them. She was a 1950 graduate of Hope College (Holland, MI) in elementary education where she loved talking about her first and second grade students over the years. Upon having children, Helen was a stay-at-home mother for several years while also volunteering at many of her children’s and community associations. A wonderful daughter, volunteer, friend, neighbor, sister, wife, aunt, mother, and grandmother, she also worked on and off over the years as a substitute teacher, a real estate agent and small business owner. Helen was a woman of deep faith being highly active in her church communities no matter where she lived and when her children were more grown, owned The Blue Water Bible, Book & Gift store in Port Huron, MI for over 20 years, turning it into one of the most successful bookstores of faith in Michigan. At a time when women did not typically lead or play sports, she was athletic during her undergraduate school days participating on the women’s bowling, swimming, and basketball teams. She also enjoyed golf, bridge, knitting and quilting. Helen was a consummate leader and incredibly devoted in everything she did. A member of many social clubs, she was always looking to get engaged and give back to her community. Helen first served as the President of her college sorority (Sigma Sigma) and throughout her volunteer life eventually became President of nearly every club she joined; until retiring at the young age of 89, resigning her final leadership position as President of the Brooklyn, MI Newcomer’s Club. She made friends everywhere she went and touched so many lives. Helen’s drive and zest for life and devotion to family and friends will always remain in our hearts. She will be greatly missed by many.