Remembering Rich DeVos: Tributes from around the globe

Rich DeVos 1926-2018

Soon after the passing of Rich DeVos on Sept. 6, people began sharing their wonderful memories and heartfelt tributes.

They appeared in local, national and international news stories, including an editorial in the Wall Street Journal and statements from former presidents, governors and business leaders.

They also came in the form of tributes at RichDeVos.com, where everyone is invited to share how Rich may have touched their lives. More than 2,400 tributes poured in during the first 24 hours. They now exceed 6,100 and continue to grow. People from more than 155 countries have visited the site and the tributes are in 30+ different languages.

Sharing memories

Those leaving tributes vividly recall hearing him deliver one of his famous speeches. They still treasure one of his iconic handwritten notes signed “Love ya! Rich.” Or they were so thankful they got to shake his hand, feeling the warmth and sincerity of his greeting as he looked them in the eye. Even if they never saw him in person, his life made an impact.

He is described as a cheerleader for the human spirit. An incredible visionary. A giant. A teacher. An ambassador. A true American hero. An ideal entrepreneur. A father figure. A motivator, dreamer and champion. The personification of humility. A philanthropist. The model of servant leadership.

The tributes come from people who were touched by his generosity, from employees who met him in the halls, from dignitaries who witnessed his leadership and from Amway Independent Business Owners – new and old:

  • “The pebble you tossed in the waters in 1959 generated ripples so strong [they] will still touch millions of lives for many decades to come.”
  • “Your very presence and thought process changed the atmosphere in a room every time you entered.”
  • “He embodied a life of achievement and generosity I will forever seek to emulate!”
  • “What an honor to witness your great works and compassion. We look forward to honoring your legacy and practicing what you taught us.”

A true life enricher

Using some of those thousands of tributes along with a collection of archival photos and videos, Amway Korea created this touching compilation:

A week of goodbyes

Locally, hundreds of employees and some IBOs gathered at Amway World Headquarters in Ada on Monday to say their final goodbyes to Rich at a special invite-only ceremony.

It started with an aerial salute including a Word War II-era bomber and a plane from the Amway fleet and included messages and memories from Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and other Amway executives.

The Grand Rapids community came out in force on Wednesday during two visitations with family at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. And the final celebration of life is being held today in a private funeral service.

You can learn more about the life and impact of Rich at RichDeVos.com. And if you have your own memory or want to share how he touched your life, please leave a tribute.

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