At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Hospice of North Ottawa Community
18525 Woodland Ridge Dr.
Spring Lake, MI 49456
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Ann Marie Brand-Alexander was a loving, ambitious and hardworking woman, who touched the lives of everyone who knew and loved her. She was the type of person that would do anything for her family and friends, never wanting anything in return. Ann Marie faced many challenges in her life, yet she enjoyed many triumphs, the greatest of which was found in her beloved family. Her benevolence radiated and was reflected in those around her.
Life during the 1970s in America was defined by great change in the fabric of our nation with advancements in civil rights, women’s rights, and in our continued pursuit of what lay beyond our world as the space program reached new heights. Mood rings, lava lamps and pet rocks were some of the fads of this generation while disco music kept people on the dance floor. It was during this unprecedented time that Marvin Alexander, a builder, and his wife, Mary Joyce (Kukowski), a nurse and homemaker, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Ann Marie, on June 29, 1970.
Ann Marie was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her four older siblings, Tina Marie, Gordon, Christopher and Phillip. She received her education attending Marne Elementary, Walker Jr. High and Grandville High School, as well as Kent Skills Center, where she took cosmetology classes. Aside from her studies, Ann Marie worked after school to earn some extra money at McDonalds and Great Day Foods. After graduating from Grandville with the class of 1989, she worked for a time at Walmart, and sold Amway products. Then, while working at Nextel, she took classes at Davenport, equipping her for next job at Fifth Third Bank. Ann Marie then took pet grooming classes at Paragon Pet Grooming School – she loved animals so this was a natural fit for her. Hardworking and ambitious, Ann Marie then put her skills to good use starting her own business called Clip & Go, Mobile Pet Grooming; however, she developed some severe allergies being around the pets and in time had to give up the business. To make ends meet, she began teaching at the grooming school and competed in pet grooming, winning a blue ribbon.
Life took a turn for the better when Ann Marie ordered a pizza one night. The delivery guy was Peter Brand and after their chance meeting, Ann Marie was inclined to order another pizza. The two soon began dating, fell in love and were married several months later on Groundhog Day, February 2, 1989. It wasn’t just the two of them for long though as they welcomed the birth of their first child, son Matthew, on August 27, 1990. Their family was completed five years later with the birth of their daughter, Kaitlin, on October 27, 1995. Unfortunately, Ann Marie’s marriage to Peter ended in divorce in 2000, and she eventually moved in with her father on 14th Avenue in Grand Rapids.
Ann Marie enjoyed many things in life. She loved to garden and tend to flowers in her yard, while in the kitchen she was great at baking delicious muffins, cakes and cookies. Ann Marie was a very outgoing person that liked to have fun. She loved to dance, play pool, go bowling and listen to rock and roll and country music. Her natural social talent helped Ann Marie when she was selling Party Light candles and holding parties in people’s homes. In her quieter moments, Ann Marie liked to knit and had made countless hats, scarves and blankets for her family and friends. She also loved the Precious Moment figurines and had a prized collection of them.
Throughout her life, those she loved were the most important to Ann Marie. For the past year, she had a wonderful relationship with her boyfriend, Brian Mol. She cherished her family and extended family, and she would do whatever she could for any of them. Ann Marie herself proved to be a great daughter, sister and friend in addition to being a great mother. She used her energy for the benefit of all the people around her.
Because of her severe allergies, Ann Marie was limited in what she could do and her ability to work, which was utterly devastating to her. Eventually, her condition led her to have lung surgery in September 2010, and later breast surgery to remove non-cancerous tumors. Sadly, Ann Marie died unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at the age of 41.
Ann Marie was a loving mother, sister, niece, aunt and a friend to all who knew her. She will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered.
Ann Marie was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Joyce Alexander (Kukowski), and her brother, Christopher Ray Alexander. She is survived by her son, Matthew Peter Brand, and her daughter, Kaitlin Ann Brand; her father, Marvin Ray Alexander (Nancy Carey); her sister, Tina Marie Baker; her brothers, Gordon Alexander, Phillip Alexander (fiancée Krista Lovejoy); her boyfriend, Brian Mol; her former husband and father of her children, Peter Brand; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, a great niece, nephews and friends.
A service to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday morning, October 8, at 11:00 a.m. at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, Grand Rapids. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the funeral chapel on Friday, October 7, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. and again on Saturday from 10 a.m. until the service begins. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to North Ottawa County Hospice. Please visit Ann Marie’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you may share a memory with her family and sign her online guest.