Bicyclist known for photography, generosity


ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids man who was hit and killed while riding his bicycle in Ada Township Wednesday evening was well known for his photography and his generosity.

Jeff Dykehouse, 52, was a professional photographer who often donated his services to help families with sick children.

Dykehouse founded Emily’s Big Picture Project after his own child died from leukemia at 14 months old.

The non-profit organization works with hospice agencies to photograph children who are terminally ill. Dykehouse provided the service and portraits to the families free of charge.

On the charity’s website, Dykehouse explained he realized within hours of his own daughter’s death that he did not have enough pictures of her. He didn’t want that to happen to other families, which prompted him to start Emily’s Big Picture Project.

Dykehouse’s goal was to ensure that families facing the death of a child would have a beautiful family portrait to help them remember and heal.

“He had been through it, so he was somebody that they could probably relate to. So that’s why it made it so special,” said Marcie Hillary, the executive director of Hospice Michigan, with which Dykehouse worked.

She said Dykehouse was “part of the Hospice Michigan family.”

“Just that warm and friendly kind of guy. I know our staff really is kind of taken aback,” Hillary said. “It’s just one of those things where there is a surprise to it and just I’m just sad for all of our loss.”

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On the web:

Emily’s Big Picture Project

Jeff’s Camera blog

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