OBITUARY

Janet Mae Datema

November 10, 1941September 4, 2020
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“I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth... and seen the face of God.” Janet Mae Datema has made her long-awaited journey home to be with her family. She left on September the fourth in comfort, at home, and surrounded by love. Jan was a multi-faceted woman with many talents and interests. She gathered beautiful music, art, and stories through her aesthetic appreciations. Everyone who knew her would agree that she was stubborn and determined, and used that fiery passion throughout her life to accomplish her lofty goals and dreams. She acquired a higher education and worked alongside doctors and lawyers, obtained her pilot’s license, and held leadership positions in her church, all during a time when it was not only unusual but difficult for a woman to do so. Jan was a mother swan with wings large enough to cover those she loved, and enjoyed “gathering her chicks” to her as often as she could. She loved plentifully and aggressively, and those she loved were family to her. She was a devout healer, a Godly woman, a story-teller, a dog-lover, a chef, an aesthete, a missionary. She had an unrelentingly adventurous spirit in all that she did, making the most of her time here. Those adventures left their storied marks on her body, her favorite being how she literally “broke a leg” hiking on an ancient Mayan pyramid. Here at the end, she was equally ready and unafraid to take her final flight, and she left with the same grace and anticipation with which she lived her life. Jan will be greatly missed, even as we celebrate in her relief and homegoing. She was an inspiration to us all. She was preceded in death by her Memaw, Mae Lamson; daughter, Ellen Jensen; parents, Paul and Vera Olson; sister, Joan Hanson; husband, Larry Datema; nephew, Nathan Day; and many beloved dogs. She is survived by her grandchildren Lily and Zak, and Luke; great-granddaughter, Nevaeh; nieces and nephews Dave and Kathy, Kathy and Scott, and Karen and Larry; many grand-nieces and -nephews; her friend family, Dan and Andrea, Britt and Joel, Caitlin, Bennett, Patty, Faith, Debbie, RuthAnn, Michelle, Earla, and Jeremiah; her very special friend Wally; and her dog Mr. Charles (“Two-Spots”) Angel. “I feel like a great actress and this is my best scene ever.” Friends may meet Jan’s family Thursday, September 10, 2020 from 2-4 PM at the Cook Funeral Home (West Building), 4235 Prairie SW, Grandville. Graveside services will be held 5 PM Thursday, September 10, 2020 at Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids. Her family welcomes memories and messages in their guest book online at www.cookcaresgrandville.com.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, September 10, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, September 10, 2020

Memories

Janet Mae Datema

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Patty White

September 10, 2020

We had over 32 years of friendship! We met at Resurrection Life’s Singles Ministry, that my husband & I were asked to lead (which surprised me as I was quite pregnant!) She helped with Oak Seed Ministries in prayer, decorating for special occasions, a Passover Seder and many special words. I remember she loved the 23rd Psalm & “I Come to The Garden Alone”. We had Friday lunches together when we both worked in downtown Grand Rapids. My daughters & I remember her beautiful, unique jewelry and that she often smelled like roses. She gave us unique Christmas ornaments. She signed her cards with a curly haired smiley face. We will miss you here, but see you there, in heaven! A day is as 1,000 years in God’s time, so see ya tomorrow Jan!
Love, Patty, & daughters Jessica, Angelina & Beka

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