Helen Banker Syswerda died peacefully on October 17, 2021 at Green Acres of Fremont, surrounded by her family. She was 88. Helen was born in Pardi, Gujarat, India on November 19, 1932 and moved with her family to Coopersville, MI in 1944 where she met her husband of 65 years, Ivan Syswerda. They were married on May 25, 1956 and raised three children.
Helen graduated from Coopersville High School and Houghton College in Houghton, NY. She also earned Master’s degrees from Michigan State University and Western Michigan University. She was employed by the Lansing Michigan Public School District for more than 30 years, as an elementary teacher and then as a librarian.
Helen was very creative. In addition to singing in the church choir and performing duets with her husband, she also performed with the LanSymphonic Choral Society for more than 20 years. Helen enjoyed many hobbies including sewing, quilting, knitting, puzzles, and arranging flowers.She made quilts for each of her grandchildren and donated quilts and crafts to charities well into her 70s.
Helen is survived by her husband, Ivan Syswerda, of Fremont, Michigan, and their three children: RaeAnn Banker (Kevin Crader), Brian D. Syswerda, and Jean Matthews (Christopher Matthews.) She was the proud grandmother of K Leenhouts (Morgan Woolsey), Garrick Leenhouts (Maria Fennimore), Jordan Matthews (Kendra Edwards), Evan Matthews (Daniela Matthews), Austin Matthews and Naylan Matthews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Floyd and Hazel Rodgers Banker, her sisters, Alyce Heyboer and Genevieve Banker, and her stepmother, Gracia Fero Banker.
Helen was a member of Inspire Church of Fremont since 2017. She was previously a member of Faith Wesleyan Church in Lansing, Michigan for 59 years, where she was an active member of the choir and the children’s education programs. Helen and her husband were also active in Christian missions for more than 10 years through the Wesleyan Church, serving India, Jamaica, Alaska, and St. Croix.
The family will receive visitors at Kroeze-Wolffis Funeral Home on Wednesday, October 20th, 6:30-8:00pm, at 637 E. Main Street, Fremont, MI. Interment will be on Thursday,10:30am at Allendale Township Cemetery, 12644 60th Ave, Allendale, MI, 49401. The funeral service will be on Thursday, October 21st, 3:30pm at Inspire Church, 918 Garden Avenue, Fremont, Michigan, 49412 with Pastor Greg Johnson officiating.
Helen’s family is very grateful to the staff of Green Acres of Fremont and Heartland ProMedica Hospice for all their skill and care. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in Helen’s name to the Children’s Department of Fremont Area District Library, 104 E. Main Street, Fremont, MI 49412,
(please select Children’s Department): https://tfacf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1245
and/or ProMedica Hospice Memorial Fund, https://www.promedica.org/waystogive/hospice-memorial-fund/donate/.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen I. (Banker) Syswerda, please visit our floral store.
Children's Department of Fremont Area District Library
104 E. Main Street, Fremont MI 49412
Heartland ProMedica Hospice Memorial Fund
1053 W. Main Street, Fremont MI 49412