Helen DeVos, who backed health, education causes, dies at 90

Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, left, waves to fans while watching court side with his wife Helen during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, March 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Helen J. DeVos, a philanthropist from western Michigan known for her support of children’s health, Christian education and the arts, has died at age 90.

Her family says in a statement that she died Wednesday of complications from a stroke following a recent diagnosis of myeloid leukemia.

DeVos was the wife of Rich DeVos, who co-founded direct-sales company Amway and owns the Orlando Magic. He says she was “a wonderful wife and the heart of our family.”

She was also the mother-in-law of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Helen DeVos was born in Grand Rapids, where a children’s hospital is named after her.

An Amway spokeswoman says in an email Helen DeVos died in the Grand Rapids-area community of Ada Township and funeral arrangements were pending.

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