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Obituaries » Mary L. DeKoekkoek

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December 14, 1936 - July 31, 2019

A memorial service will be held at Spring Valley Wesleyan Church, 5240 Mt. Olivet Road in Kalamazoo, on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. Friends may call on the family on Tuesday evening, August 13, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the church. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or Shalom.

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Age 82, passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus on Wednesday, July 31, 2019. Mary was born on December 14, 1936, in a farm in Portland, MI, to August and Gertrude Jeannette (Brandsen) Hoort, she was the second oldest of 6 children. She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Robert DeKoekkoek; children, Douglas (Joan) De Koekkoek, Steven (Susan) DeKoekkoek, Carol (Richard) Moreno, James (Vanessa) DeKoekkoek; a daughter in-law, Colleen DeKoekkoek, and a son in law, David Sinkler; 17 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren a brother James (Carol) Hoort; sisters, Janice DenBesten, and Eileen (Henry) Hofstra; She was preceded in death by her parents, her son, Dennis DeKoekkoek; a daughter, Gloria Sinkler; grandchildren, Benjamin DeKoekkoek and Eric DeKoekoek; sisters, Joyce Buning, Phyllis Hoort. In her senior year she received the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Award. She did not venture away from the farm until she was 18, where she took the role of caregiver for her Aunt Jean and Uncle Teuny. In 1955, she met her future husband, Bob. They married on June 22, 1956. She was an avid gospel music lover and played both piano and organ for her church families for many years. She was very creative and artistic. She enjoyed flower making and arranging, crocheting and jewelry making. She had so much practice with her many kids and family that she became a wonderful baker and cook. Mary was one of the charter members of the Calvinette Council in Kalamazoo and organized the third Calvinette council. She worked at Borgess Medical Center as a nighttime switchboard operator for 25 years. After she retired, she volunteered at Hannah’s House in Kalamazoo for several years in between her travelling to Texas and Arizona to visit family and escape Michigan winters.