Helen DeVos
The DeVos family announced the death of Helen DeVos, a philanthropist and the wife of Amway co-founder Rich DeVos, Oct. 18, 2017. In this photo, Marty Allen (far L), Doug DeVos (front L), Seymour Padnos (with bowtie), Rich DeVos (front 2nd R) and Betty DeVos (R) listen to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder speak during the arrival ceremony for former first lady Betty Ford at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 13, 2011. Reuters

Helen DeVos, a philanthropist and wife of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos, died Wednesday night at the age of 90, said the family.

"While we grieve her passing, we rejoice in her new life in heaven and are grateful for the countless ways she blessed our lives. We are comforted in knowing that she was welcomed home into the loving arms of Jesus," a statement by the DeVos family early Thursday read, reports said.

The cause of her death is still not known, according to a Fox 17 News report. Helen is survived by her husband, their four children, 16 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

She was born in 1927 in Grand Rapids — a Michigan city on the Grand River — as Helen Van Wesep. Both her parents were school teachers and her father, George, became the principal of Oakdale Christian School. Her parents were also involved at the school and the church.

Helen was the only child of her parents and she attended Oakdale Christian School, Grand Rapids Christian High School, and Calvin College. She also worked as a substitute teacher for a brief period before marrying Richard in 1953, soon after which she started a family.

The couple had four children — Dick, Daniel, Cheri and Doug — and all of them have been actively involved in philanthropy in Grand Rapids. Dick had also run for the post of governor of Michigan for the Republican Party in 2006, but he could not win.

Since childhood, Helen was fond of music and she also served on the board of Great Rapid Symphony from 1971 to 1991. She was honored with the lifetime achievement award by the board at a special performance in 2007. Helen also served on the board of St. Cecilia Music Society.

Helen was also a board member for the League of American Orchestras in New York City from 1982 to 1992. She also served as a vice chairman of the executive board from 1985-1992 and chairman of the nominating committee from 1989-1991, WZZM13, an ABC-affiliate reported.

Richard with another businessman, Jay Van Andel, launched Amway — an American company that specializes in the use of multi-level marketing to sell health, beauty, and home care products — in 1959. The name Amway is a short form of "American Way." Both the men, who were already prominent business leaders of Michigan before Amway's launch, became multi-billionaires as the company became a big hit in the country and outside. Their families also did a lot to give it back to the community.

Among her civic and community involvement in Grand Rapids wass also included her contribution to U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign for which she served as chairwoman from 1981 to 1996. She was also involved in the committee service for the Holland Home, a group of Christian retirement homes, from 1986 to 1990. She also served on the Grand Valley University Foundation Advisory Cabinet, WZZM13 reported.

In 1990, Richard and Hellen donated five million dollars to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids (now known as Spectrum Health) to fund programs for women and children. That amount was utilized by the hospital to open the Helen DeVos Women and Children’s Medical Center in 1993. In 2005, the hospital further planned a new and an expanded facility for children toward which all the four DeVos children pledged to donate 50 million dollars in 2006.