Thursday, February 6, 2020
1:00 PM EST
2000 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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.
2000 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
East Leonard Christian Reformed Church
1027 Leonard Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Life Story / Obituary
Cherry Teitsma lived her life to the fullest. A loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many she built a wonderful collection of memories over the years. Cherry made many lasting and dear friendships over the years. Her zest for life, acts of goodwill and service, as well as her affectionate ways will be deeply missed by her loving family and all those whose lives she touched over the years.
The year 1930 was significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. Banks were still closed but there was a promise of a new election year awaiting. During the middle of one of the toughest decades in American history, Margaret Ann Charity was welcomed home by her loving parents on November 5th. Born the fourth child in her family following her sisters, Hope and Faith, and brother, Glenn, her birth brought much joy to the family during difficult times. Later, she was joined by a younger brother, John, who died in childhood. Her sisters gave her the nickname “chatterbox” and as she grew up shortened it to "Chat." She liked to tell people that her sisters and she were Hope, Faith and Charity.
Growing up on the southeast side of Grand Rapids, she lived a typical childhood of the times. Raised by parents who were invested in their children’s faith life, Cherry attended Neland Avenue Christian Reformed Church with her family regularly. So much of her early development years were affected by the results of the tight economy, yet she had many happy childhood memories; especially the ones between her and her sister Faith as they were closest in age. She loved Shirley Temple and going to Ramona Park at Reeds Lake. The family enjoyed visiting with relatives and remained close to the extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. Although Cherry started school at South High, she later left so that she could help out at home. To help supplement the family income, she went to work for Herpolsheimer’s Department Store as an elevator operator.
Not to be forgotten, however, was the meeting of Robert “Bob” Teitsma, who she met through a coworker’s boyfriend. She agreed to a blind date to an evening church function in Norton Shores. They married on January 5, 1950 at Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church. The newlyweds settled in with Bob’s parents, Kate and Dick Teitsma, for a couple of years in order to save up enough of their own money to build their family home on Kelsey Street. Little did they know at the time was that the home they built together would be their forever home! Together they raised three wonderful children over the years—Joyce, Bob and Karen.
Cherry was an exceptional mother and relished in her years of staying at home to raise the kids. Their home was always a welcoming place for friends and neighbors to gather. Much of her and Bob’s social life revolved around their church, Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church and later East Leonard Christian Reformed. She spent a lot of time with her sister Faith going shopping and visiting their older sister Hope. Over the years, she enjoyed collecting Precious Moments, Snow Babies and Willow Tree figurines.
Cherry loved the sunshine and being outside in it. She enjoyed the special memories they made as a family at the beach. When the kids were young, they would rent a cottage on Spring Lake for two weeks every summer. Later, they rented a cottage on Hamlin Lake. It was a highlight of their child-rearing years.
After the kids were grown, Bob and Cherry bought an RV and explored all the popular campgrounds across the state of Michigan. However, Cherry always preferred their time at Grand Haven State Park. She never lacked for a group of women to join her for a walk down the boardwalk or a cup of coffee and it was close enough that Bob could commute to work! Any time she spent in Grand Haven was always a special trip and she often counted down the days until their next vacation along the lakeshore! They got to be friends with many other RV owners some of whom they would gather with at Mill Creek in Mackinaw City for Christmas in July.
As much as she cherished her role as a mother, Cherry treasured her years as a grandmother. Her grandchildren are: Rob, Jeff, Kathie, Mike, Nick, Steve, David, Kim and Sam. She loved spending quality time with her grandchildren often drawing and coloring with them. The grandkids loved to go out to Grand Haven and visit Grandma and Grandpa. Later the great-grandkids came along and lucky for some of the older ones, Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa were still going out to Grand Haven.
Cherry had a love of music especially church hymns and she was known to sing to them as well. She also liked to dance to anything from country-western to the sounds of the big band era! Cherry always wanted the best for her family and worked hard to model for them a lifetime of kindness and service toward others. She shared her deep faith with her family as well as her many special friends. It was important to her that everyone knew the love of Jesus.
Sadly, her health began to decline over the past five years. She was moved to Pilgrim Manor in 2017 where she received kind and compassionate care. Generous and loving, Cherry leaves behind a rich legacy of loving unconditionally. May her loved ones never doubt the love she held for each of them and may her warm memories be eternal.
Charity “Cherry” Teitsma, age 89 of Grand Rapids, Michigan went home to be with her Lord and Savior on January 31, 2020. She will be remembered and greatly missed by her husband of seventy years, Robert; their children; Joyce and Bob Bloodworth, Bob and Joan Teitsma, Karen and Don Vanden Berg; 9 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren as well as several nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Hope Richmond, Faith Fosheim; and brothers, Glenn and John Simons. The service to remember and celebrate Cherry’s life will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at 1 PM at Pilgrim Manor, 2000 Leonard Street NE where friends are invited to visit with her family beginning at 12 pm, and for a time immediately following the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to either East Leonard Christian Reformed Church or Pilgrim Manor are appreciated. To share a memory about Cherry’s life or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com