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Obituaries » Mary Vlietstra

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December 5, 1919 - September 28, 2017

A service will be held on Friday, October 6, 2017 at Hope Reformed Church, 910 Jenks Blvd., Kalamazoo, MI 49006, beginning at 11:00 AM. Private interment will take place at Grand Prairie Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Hope Reformed Church from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

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Mary, age 97, after living a full and abundant life, left this world on Thursday, September 28, 2017 to be forever with her Lord. She was born in the village of Wernhout in the Netherlands on December 5, 1919, the eldest daughter of the late Cornelius and Lena (Wisse) Den Hamer. Mary immigrated with her parents as an infant to the United States, traveling across the Atlantic Ocean in 1920 on the Holland-America T.S.S. Rotterdam. On September 19, 1940, she married Henry Vlietstra who preceded her in passing in 1995. Mary was also preceded in death by a brother, Harold Den Hamer and three sisters, Joanne Den Hamer, Ruth Nickles, and Lyda Shinglebar. Together, she and Henry raised three children and became active members in their church and community. Mary was an avid gardener who loved to spend time outside and was recognized numerous times with garden awards. She and Henry also loved to travel and took many memorable trips together. She had a deep faith, and was proud to be a charter member of Hope Reformed Church where she was active in the Hope Prayer Group for over 16 years. Mary loved her family and friends; and leaves them with joyful memories; and faith and hope in the future. She is survived by two daughters, Carol (Dick) Williams, of California and Marlene Vlietstra, of Kalamazoo; a son, Terry (Laura) Vlietstra, of Kalamazoo; three grandsons, Scott (Mistry) Williams and Nate (Sarah) and Nick (finance, Amber) Vlietstra and one granddaughter, Melanie (Steve) Kilgore; four great-grandsons; a sister, Betty Cunningham, of Florida; special family friends, Doug Tinney and Sally Stainer; and many nieces, nephews, and great friends.