Date of Death: December 1, 2023

Service Details

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, December 9, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Three Rivers, 320 North Main St. Private interment will be at Riverside Cemetery.

Obituary Notice

Celia DeBoer, 94, of Three Rivers, passed away on Friday, December 1, 2023.

Celia was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 26, 1929, the daughter of the late Theodore and Annette (Doezema) Boomker. She was raised in Chicago, but spent her summer months at the Doezema Family Cottage on Fisher Lake and eventually moved her family to the Three Rivers area.

On August 21, 1953, she married James DeBoer, who preceded her in death in 1999. Celia was also preceded in death by her son, Andrew DeBoer; son-in-law, Al DeJong; daughter-in-law, Sherrie DeBoer; infant grandson, James Carl DeBoer and her sister, Joan Swierenga.

She is survived by her children, Annette DeJong, Theodore DeBoer, Frederick DeBoer and William (Rebecca) DeBoer; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; brother, Theodore (Ruth) Boomker and brother-in-law, Robert P. (Diane) Swierenga.

Celia was a devoted mother and enjoyed spending time with her family. She was very proud of her nursing degree and loved to knit. She worked alongside her husband, Jim, for many years at DeBoer Materials, also known as “the Pit.” One of Celia’s greatest joys in life was restoring and maintaining the Hoffman House on the corner of Hoffman St. and Portage Ave. that she and Jim purchased in 1972.

Additional Information
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  1. Celia was a wonderful lady. We had many talks while she stayed at the Assisted Living. She sure loved her family and gathered strength from her faith.

    Arlene Parsons
    (Bowman Place employee)

  2. Annette, Amanda, and the rest of the family.
    I really liked Celia. She was quite a character with her wit and dry sense of humor. She seemed never fearful and very independent while keeping a smile on her face and always chuckling or laughing at something. She stayed up on current events and politics, and could carry on a conversation with anyone. Nursing and knitting… what’s not to like. They sure don’t make people like Celia anymore. I’m thinking of you during this time of mourning and the celebration of her life. Remember the good things when you think of her.

  3. Celia DeBoer was truly a wonderful friend. A visit with Celia was filled with humor and positive affirmations to me. She taught me many things. I am not sure of the spelling but she showed my kids something she called “keys a lease” It was very lightly touching the arms going up and down. My children asked for it when they couldn’t go to sleep. I enjoyed our visits. I will always remember her candor. I loved her dearly.

  4. I am one of the CNAs that helped with Celia’s care while she was here with us. I cried for hours when I got the news she had passed. She meant a lot to me and grew on me fast. I absolutely loved Celia she had such a beautiful soul and was always so sweet and nice to me. Every time I walked in her room she would always put a smile on my face. She was one of those people who could turn your whole day around if you was having a bad day. She use to always kiss my forehead and hand and always thank me for everything and say I’m doing a great job. Some days I will just go sit in her room for a bit to talk to her and give her some company we shared lots of laughs and stories. She was someone I got attached to my very first day here. I got to work with her for three months and I’m so grateful to have known her sweet self and I’m glad I was able to make a difference in her life. I’m glad she is no longer in pain or suffering and may her beautiful soul rest in peace. My prayers are with the family and her loved ones.

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