Cover photo for Karen Ruth (Smalligan)  DeGraaff's Obituary
Karen Ruth (Smalligan)  DeGraaff Profile Photo
1942 Karen 2023

Karen Ruth (Smalligan) DeGraaff

November 19, 1942 — January 17, 2023

Kalamazoo

Karen Ruth DeGraaff, age 80, of Kalamazoo relocated to her Heavenly home on January 17, 2023. She was born November 19, 1942 in Muskegon, Michigan to the late Harvey and Julia (Luchies) Smalligan.

She met the love of her life, Hank, at Calvin College where she earned her “mrs.” degree by marrying Hank the day after his graduation (June 1, 1963.)  They started their family in Muskegon, MI one year later.  They moved to Kalamazoo, MI in 1967 and have resided there ever since.  Over the years she was a dedicated wife and mother, she ran a home daycare, worked at the Kalamazoo Answering Service, Bronson Hospital, and CSM Group.

She loved to travel and they journeyed to all 50 states; camping in most of them.  She loved to revel in God’s creation and enjoyed walking, camping, and gazing at the beauty of flowers, wildlife, and sunsets.  She loved reading, doing puzzles, and playing games with her family.  She served others and volunteered her time at her church and Second Impressions Thrift Store.  Relationships were important to her including family, friends and her relationship with God.  She was a dedicated helpmate to Hank, had a tender heart, and never stopped praying for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Karen was preceded in death by her parents; infant daughter, Julie DeGraaff; son-in-law, Greg Horner; and brother-in-law, Rick Pearlman.

She is survived by her loving husband of nearly 60 years, Henry “Hank” DeGraaff; children, Cynthia “Cindy” DeGraaff, Tamora “Tammy” Horner, Shari (Joe) Martin, Henry James “Jim” (Wendy) BooydeGraaff, and Melissa (Jeff) Baas; 17 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and siblings, Wayne (Judy) Smalligan, Charles (Sheryl) Smalligan, Sheryl Pearlman, and Philip (Krista) Smalligan.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 27 from 5-8:00 PM at Second Christian Reformed Church, 3015 Nichols Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49004. A funeral service will take place Saturday, January 28 at 11:00 AM at Second Christian Reformed Church. A luncheon will follow at church, and Karen will be laid to rest at West Cooper Cemetery.

Contributions in Karen’s memory may be made to Kalamazoo Christian School Association.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family, visit https://www.langelands.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Ruth (Smalligan) DeGraaff, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, January 27, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Second Christian Reformed Church

3015 Nichols Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49004

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Funeral Service

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Second Christian Reformed Church

3015 Nichols Road, Kalamazoo, MI 49004

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

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