Nancy Jo Raines, age 74, resident of Allendale, MI, peacefully passed away and entered into the waiting arms of her Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 11, 2023 after a lengthy illness.
On November 1, 1969, Nancy married Alan Grant Raines of Buffalo, NY. They dated while he was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base, where they met at the base chapel, in Topeka, KS. Three years later they moved to Western, NY near Alan’s hometown with their three-month-old daughter, Marsha (1972), where Alan was the Pastor at two churches and where they had two more daughters, Laura (1974) and Virginia (1976). Later in life Nancy and Alan were blessed with three grandsons.
In 1980, the family moved to Michigan where Alan furthered his pastoral education. Nancy held several jobs in the clerical and medical fields and as a videographer for a local TV station. For the most part Nancy was a stay-at-home Mom, taking care of her daughters and enjoying hobbies.
Nancy was born on January 9, 1949, but due to an adoption clerical error, it was not until age 21 that she discovered this, so having always celebrated on January 21, 1949 (her legal birthday), the rest of her life she had two birthday celebrations every January.
In 1969, Nancy was adopted by her spiritual Father, Jesus Christ, when she accepted him into her heart and life. At age three in 1952, Nancy and her younger brother, Bob, were adopted together and raised by Marion and Ruth Longstaff, of Topeka, KS. There was another brother that had been adopted by a different family. In 1970, Nancy located her birth mother and family in Detroit, MI. She traveled with Bob by Greyhound to meet everyone on Christmas Day. She discovered they were two of ten siblings born to Roland and Carole Faulhaber. Nancy was 18 years older than her youngest sibling, a sister who was three years old.
As a child, Nancy was a Blue Bird, a Brownie, and a Girl Scout. Nancy loved 4-H and at age 12, she won a Girls Goat Tying Contest in record time and was featured on the front page of the local newspaper.
Nancy loved thrift shopping and garage sales, and she enjoyed having garage sales too. If you needed it, she found it! She collected many things and enjoyed displaying them all!
Nancy also loved writing and kept many journals. In her last months she almost completed her life memoir, a book project that she started in 1990. She has left it to her daughters to finish and publish. It is titled “This Home I Pray to Keep”. Nancy was gifted with a creative mind and could find humor in anything! After a stroke, she discovered a talent for sketching and painting. She enjoyed painting with her daughters and grandsons, and found painting helped to distract her from pain and discomfort.
Nancy is survived by her loving husband, Alan Grant Raines. They were married nearly 54 years and have resided in Allendale, MI, since 1984. Daughters, Marsha (Tab) Brownlee of Nunica, MI; Laura Raines and son, Nathan Alan, of Allendale, MI; Virginia (Brandon) Micho and sons, Arthur Jay Alan and Oliver Grant, of Allendale, MI.
She is also survived by sisters-in-law, Peggy (Bob) Longstaff of Topeka, KS; Kathleen Raines of Arcade, NY; Sharon (Larry) Smith of Filmore, NY; and Kathleen Soule of Monroe, MI; brother-in-law, Dennis Raines of Arcade, NY; a sister, Deborah Faulhaber and two birth brothers; and many loved nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends.
Preceded in death were her adoptive parents of Topeka, KS and her birth parents of Detroit, MI; her brother, Bob Longstaff of Topeka, KS; sister, Diane Norris; five birth brothers; a son, Ken Breen of Topeka, KS; and several cherished friends.
Nancy’s message to everyone is this:
“No matter where you’ve come from, thought of, or committed, it is forgivable when you know Christ as your Savior. By asking Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins, making him Lord of your life, you are guaranteed eternal life after death. Choose Jesus and spend eternity with Him or turn away and spend eternity in darkness, separated from the love of God and all He has to offer”.
When Nancy was struggling with pain and she knew the time was near, she was confident that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”.
Final arrangements will be at Matthysse Kuiper DeGraaf Funeral Home, 6651 Scott St., Allendale, MI 49401. Visitation with the family will be Saturday, September 16, 9:30-10:45 a.m., the funeral service will be presided by Alan Raines at 11:00 a.m., with a luncheon following. The funeral procession will be at 1:15 p.m. for family and anyone who would like to attend.
The family gives a special thanks to Corewell Hospice for their outstanding care for Nancy, during her final month. The family appreciates the prayers and support from so many friends and family.
(This obituary in part, was drafted by Nancy)
- Virginia Micho