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Cecile Scholten

April 26, 1935 - March 13, 2021
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Oakview Community Church
4242 Plainfield Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Map

Service

Wednesday, March 17, 2021
12:00 PM EDT
Oakview Community Church
4242 Plainfield Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Map

Contributions


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.

Faith Hospice
2100 Raybrook Drive SE, Suite 300
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
(616) 235-5113
Driving Directions
Web Site

Oakview Community Church
4242 Plainfield Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Map

Flowers


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Ball Park Floral
8 Valley Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 459-3409
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


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All who knew Cecile Mae Scholten would agree that she understood the secret to a life well lived. She worked tirelessly to serve others and she treasured her loved ones above all else. Cecile never took anything for granted and made the most of every moment she was given. She strove to achieve greatness and success in all areas of her life, especially when it came to loving others well. Dearly loved, Cecile will be forever missed.

Although the 1930s were clouded by the dark days of the Great Depression, there was much to celebrate in the lives of John and Bertha (Bandsma) Meyering as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby. Finally, in the spring of 1935, their wait was over as they welcomed their newborn daughter, Cecile Mae, into their hearts and home on April 26th.

In many ways, Cecile grew up as a typical young girl of her generation. She was raised in the family home in McBain, Michigan, alongside her older siblings Irene, Hazel and Ernest. Cecile’s father worked as a farmer, and her mother was a homemaker. Tragedy struck Cecile’s family when her father passed away when she was only six or seven years old. Cecile’s mother never remarried, instead caring for her children as a single mother became her focus. The family often enjoyed trips into the nearest “big city,” Cadillac, Michigan. Holidays or family events were usually celebrated at home or with nearby relatives, especially grandparents. Throughout her childhood, Cecile grew very close with her siblings, especially her older brother Ernest.

As a young girl, Cecile was a bustle of activity. She attended the local Christian elementary school until her family moved from the farm to the city, when she began attending public school instead. Cecil went on to McBain High School where she was very proud to make the high school girls varsity basketball team as a freshman. Since she wasn’t the best academic student, Cecile considered basketball the highlight of her high school experience. She also formed long-lasting friendships with three girls from her school nicknamed “Dort", “Elnora” and “Speed”. In order to earn some spending money, Cecile took her first job in nearby farmers’ fields. Cecile hated picking potatoes, something she would talk about for the rest of her life and she also worked at a local grocery store as a cashier. Faith became an important part of her life at a very young age as her family attended McBain Christian Reformed Church.

New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Cecile when she met the young man of her dreams. His name was Leon “Lee” Scholten, and he was a long-time acquaintance of her family. When the United States became involved in the Korean Conflict, Lee volunteered for the draft. At the same time, he began taking a special interest in Cecile, although she was not very impressed with him at first as she saw him as a rascal or brash. But then the two met again at the roller rink when Lee was home on leave from the military, and the rest is history. Lee and Cecile began dating, their relationship blossomed into something much deeper than friendship. He continued serving in the military and was eventually stationed in Korea, where he was a cook for 18 months. Throughout the separation, Lee fell even deeper in love with Cecile through the letters they exchanged. The two couldn’t wait to be reunited.

By the time Lee was discharged, Cecile had graduated from McBain High School and moved to Grand Rapids for employment opportunities. Lee returned to McBain at first, but when he was also unable to find local work, he followed Cecile to Grand Rapids where he found seasonal work as a carpenter. Once Lee had established a career as a commercial spray painter, he felt he and Cecile were ready for the next step in life. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Cecile and Lee were married on June 27, 1958, at McBain Christian Reformed Church. Following a short stay in a mobile home immediately after the wedding, the couple settled into a home on Leffingwell Avenue, NE in Grand Rapids. Cecile and Lee were thrilled to welcome their three beloved children James, Linda, and Gail. Their growing family demanded more space, so the Scholtens relocated to a house on Lamberton Street, NE, which they would call home for many years to come.

Never one to sit still for long, Cecile enjoyed keeping busy with a variety of hobbies. She spent much of her time working as a homemaker, but once her children were older she started working as a cashier at Meijer for what became a total of 23 years. Cecile loved reading the newspaper front to back, often joking with family members that she had to read the obituaries to make sure that she wasn’t listed. She also liked listening to music, including country gospel, old hymns and a recording of her childhood friend Elnora playing piano. Cecile and her family were members of Arcadia Christian Reformed Church for many years before joining Oakview Reformed Church, which later became Oakview Community Church. She often volunteered at church by helping with vacation Bible school, the food pantry, and the summer reading program. Cecile was known for being a “meat and potatoes” person. She enjoyed eating at Cracker Barrel for fried okra and she also liked Russ’ Restaurant and Swan Inn. Cecile prepared remarkable soups and she also excelled at baking. She usually began baking daily a month before Christmas, making candies, cookies, and more as holiday gifts for neighbors, friends and family members. Cecile loved collecting ceramic bird figurines as well as pretty rocks and stones.

Throughout the years, Cecile’s family took many memorable vacations to places across the country including Lake City, Manton, Cadillac, Florida, the Smokey Mountains and several trips to Cedar Point. They always camped out in style with a travel trailer. Various relatives would sometimes come along and the children were always welcome to bring a friend. Cecile’s husband had a passion for motorcycles and he and Cecile would often enjoy rides together. They developed friendships with fellow enthusiasts and often rode with them or Lee’s brothers, who also owned cycles. Lee and Cecile were able to ride to several locations, including Glacier National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The two escaped to Florida with their travel trailer for a month every winter.

Of all the things Cecile loved in life, she always treasured her family above all else. She was so proud to become a grandmother to Missy, Matt, Ryan, Kristen, Megan, Nick, and Paige and her family continued to grow to include her great-grandchildren, Jaron, Kenzie, Haylee, Noah, Eli, Hailey and Torryn. However, she and the rest of the family were devastated in 2011 with the death of Lee and Cecile’s son, James Lee. Cecile was a natural servant to anyone she met and she always made sure her loved ones knew how much they meant to her. When Lee became ill, she was his devoted caregiver until his death. Cecile remained in the family home for six years before moving to Vista Spring Northview, where she quickly made many friends with other residents and the staff. It was during her time at Vista Spring that she reconnected with an old friend named Mary and the two quickly became inseparable. The two friends were known as “Thelma and Louise” by the staff.

As family and friends can attest, Cecile Mae Scholten had an insatiable zest for life that was contagious to those around her. She was a constant source of support and encouragement for anyone who needed it. Though she will be dearly missed, Cecile leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Cecile Scholten, age 85, died on Saturday, March 13, 2021. She was born in the spring of 1935 in McBain, MI to the late John and Bertha Meyering. Along with her parents she is preceded in death by her beloved husband of 53 years Leon “Lee” Scholten, their son James Scholten, her brother Ernest Meyering and sisters Hazel Stahl and Irene Schaaf. She is survived by her two daughters, Linda (Dave) Gritter, Gail (Wolfgang) Roth; 7 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Cecile had been an active member of Oakview Community Church in Grand Rapids for many years. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 12 pm at Oakview Community Church, (4242 Plainfield Ave. Grand Rapids, MI 49525). Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family at the church from 11 am until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Faith Hospice, (2100 Raybrook St SE #300, Grand Rapids, MI 49546) or to Oakview Community Church would be appreciated. To read more about Cecile’s life, to share a memory, or to sign her online guestbook, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com

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