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Celebrating the Life, Love and Legacy of
Dr. RhaeAnn Booker
Dr. RhaeAnn Booker, a pillar of unwavering strength, was born on March 30, 1967, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to the proud union of Gloria and Rayford Richardson Sr. She was the fifth of six children (Rayford Jr., Daniel, Ezekiel, Jennice and Jewellyne) growing up surrounded by a bustling family that fostered resilience and love. Her mother, Gloria, and brother, Rayford Jr., preceded her in death.
Her spiritual journey commenced early and her faith in Christ thrived, embodying the principles of Christian love and compassion taught to her at First Community A.M.E. Church and later New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and From the Heart Christian Community Church where she enjoyed dual memberships.
RhaeAnn laid the academic foundation for her future by graduating from Campau Elementary School, followed by C A Frost Blandford Nature Center and in 1985, Creston High School. She furthered her educational endeavors by obtaining her Bachelor of Arts from Calvin College in 1991, and Master of Social Work (1996), Master of Arts (2004) and Doctor of Psychology (2008) all at Western Michigan University.
Her education complete, RhaeAnn evolved into a poised, professional, organized, trailblazer! She joined Calvin College (now Calvin University) as the Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs and Grant Evaluator. Her talents later took her to Davenport University as Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and later to University of Michigan Health West as Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where she retired in September 2023.
As a testament to her educational and professional achievements, as well as her contributions to the Entrada Scholars Program and Calvin University, Calvin University has established the Dr. RhaeAnn Booker Entrada Scholarship to honor RhaeAnn's "commitment to life-long learning and the Entrada Scholars Program." The scholarship will provide monetary support for an Entrada Student studying at Calvin.
RhaeAnn discovered a soul mate and life partner in Michael Booker leading to their marriage on September 25, 1993. Whenever you saw her, trust and believe Michael was somewhere close by. They were a loving, inseparable couple that embodied the Biblical principle in Mark 10:8-9 "The Two Shall Become One Flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate."
During their time together, RhaeAnn had the honor, privilege and pleasure of loving, mentoring and helping to raise her bonus daughter, Acelia Jones (Jason) and enjoying time with grandchildren Lydia and Kendra, with whom she shared a special bond.
RhaeAnn's joys were simple yet profound – bowling, playing cards with cherished family and friends, fishing at their Sandy Pines cottage and playing the piano – but singing was her grand passion.
She was a member of the Imani Singers of Grand Rapids and sang in the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and From the Heart Christian Community Church choirs. She also helped to foster the talents of Christian singers as Youth Choir Director during her time at First Community A.M.E. Church.
RhaeAnn traveled extensively around the USA, with a highlight being the regular trips she and Mike took to visit their family in Florida.
Her generous spirit, radiant smile, and unwavering commitment to taking the high road endeared her to all who knew her. Her home was a sanctuary of warmth, family and good cooking – a testament to her nurturing soul. She loved interacting with children and her nieces and nephews were dear to her heart.
On February 3, 2024, at the age of 56, RhaeAnn peacefully slept into an eternal slumber, rejoining her mother, brother and ancestors who had gone before her. Hallelujah! No more pain or suffering!