Christian 03

Wilhelmina "Billie" Marie (VanderVeer) Deen

November 14, 1938 ~ April 7, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Wilhelmina "Billie" Deen Obituary

Mrs. Wilhelmina “ Billie ” Marie Deen, 84, of Stony Lake, Michigan, passed away April 7, 2023. She was born November 14, 1938 in Middletown, New York, the daughter of Lillian (DeKay) VanderVeer.

“...But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15b.  Not just an encouraging verse to be displayed throughout her home, but a life’s motto. Billie loved Jesus with all her heart, soul, and mind. This led her to love the thousands of people she ministered to through prayer, a challenging word, and a hug.  Born in New York, she married James R. Deen of Chicago, in October of 1959 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1963. Billie served over 20 years as the church secretary for Maranatha Bible Church in Comstock Park. Many of the lives she touched were through the church ministry outreaches of Pioneer Girls, GEMS, Day Camp, and being a youth ministry sponsor for the teens. She taught Ladies Bible Studies, sang in choir, and was a constant prayer warrior for anyone who had a need.  After retiring, Billie moved to live with family at Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya on Stony Lake, Michigan. Again this proved to be another ministry for her to love and be an encouragement to others. She constantly prayed for campers and staff members. They often brought her meals, and stayed for a conversation as she got to know them and how she could pray for them. When she wasn’t reading, watching Hallmark movies, or driving her cart around the garden, she would be bird watching and keeping on eye on the lake.  Billie’s greatest desire was for her family and others to know the love of Jesus. To know His salvation, to pray, and to serve Him with all their heart, soul, and minds.  “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25.  

Billie is survived by: her sister, Helen Gueiros of Hudsonville; her children, Janice Gilmore (Jerry) of Rockford, Michael (Lori) of Stony Lake, Paul (Rebekah) of Rockford; grandchildren, Tricia Gilmore, Cherise Batka (Gilmore), Christian Deen, Cody Deen, Kallie Pliml (Deen), Alec Deen, Dominik Deen; great grandchildren, Mila & Rory Pliml.

Billie was preceded in death by: her husband, James Ray; her children, David Ray & Mary Elizabeth.

A celebration of Billie’s life will be held at 3 pm, Sunday, May 21, 2023, at Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya, 8401 Thomas Pike, Shelby, Michigan 49455.

The Harris Funeral Home, in Shelby, is assisting with arrangements.

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