Honoring Tradition.
Celebrating Life.

Gertrude Kwekel

January 2, 1929 - June 20, 2020
Grand Rapids, MI

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Visitation

Thursday, June 25, 2020
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613
Driving Directions

Service

Thursday, June 25, 2020
12:30 PM EDT
Live Stream
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Van Strien Creston Chapel
1833 Plainfield Ave., N.E
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
(616) 361-2613

You may view a recording of the service at the "livestream" link above.

Driving Directions

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.

Plymouth Christian Schools Foundation
PO Box 150032
Grand Rapids, MI 49515-0032
Web Site

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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Trudy Kwekel was a faithful person, who truly lived her life fully and treasured her close relationships with her special friends and family. A longtime resident of the community she loved, she cherished serving others through her many special gifts. Trudy leaves behind many wonderful memories for her loved ones to cherish forever.

Reflecting on the 1920s, it was a period of time when industry was booming aptly giving the decade the name of the Roaring Twenties. Dutch immigrants, Bastian and Gertrude M (LaBotz) Kwekel welcomed home their newborn daughter, Gertrude on January 2, 1929 long before thoughts of the market crash that fateful October that resulted in a tumultuous time in our nation’s history. Their oldest child, Trudy’s birth gave her parents much hope and happiness.

Growing up on the west side of Grand Rapids, Trudy lived a typical childhood of the time. She was later joined by her younger brother, John. The family walked to many of the area parks near their home especially the zoo and Veterans Memorial Park. Trudy loved to feed the birds. In addition to the parks, when she was young her father developed tuberculosis and was hospitalized and they would walk to visit him. Without much need for a vehicle, Trudy didn’t learn to drive a car until she was in her thirties!

As a teenager, she attended Davis Tech High School, yet left school after her mother passed away so that she could take care of her dad and her brother. She worked at the local family owned LaBotz bakery to help support the family income. When her brother had grown and left the house to join the United States Coast Guard, she and her dad bought a place on Pine Street where she remained for more than sixty-years!

Trudy was a woman of many simple pleasures. In her younger years, she enjoyed playing the organ. She was a natural in the garden and loved to tend to her flower beds as well as feed the birds and squirrels. Trudy enjoyed feeding the squirrels old bread with peanut butter right from her hand! From her early childhood, she was always an animal lover. She enjoyed her pet dog as well as her pet blue jay she had at one time. Most of all she enjoyed being outdoors and enjoying nature.

Trudy was never one to pass up an opportunity for travel and enjoyed many trips over the years. She especially savored traveling to the Netherlands with a friend. A wonderful cook, she always saved mayonnaise jars because they were perfect for storing soups and sharing with others without having to worry about getting the container back. She loved to provide meals for those in need. A woman of deep faith, Trudy worshiped regularly at Heritage Reformed Congregation and actively participated in many special services and events over the years. She modeled a lifetime of being a steward of the Lord and practicing her Christian faith.

Above all else, Trudy loved her family. She was exceptionally close with her brother, as well as her nieces, nephews, and cousins. They grew accustomed to her spoiling them from time to time. Trudy loved to send them little gifts when she was traveling or take them out for lunch at Russ’ restaurant when they had been out shopping. She was a very special aunt who never forgot a special occasion and was known to send cards with personal messages written inside. Fiercely independent, Trudy lived a full life managing for herself. She knew how she wanted things done and was never afraid to express that either! She was very organized and everything at her home had its place.

Although she was mostly straightlaced, Aunt Trudy did have a dry sense of humor and an occasional joke would most certainly catch her friends and family off guard! Holland Home became the perfect setting for her when she began to need additional assistance during her later years. A good listener as well as a compassionate person, Trudy was always there for her family. May they never doubt the love she had for each and every one of them. Her generosity as well as her wisdom and guidance will surely be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Gertrude “Trudy” M Kwekel, age 91, of Grand Rapids, passed away June 20, 2020. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bastian and Gertrude Kwekel; her brother, John Kwekel; and sister-in-law Arlene Kwekel. Trudy is survived by her nieces, Dottie Bouwer, Charlene DeYoung, Betty Lou Nelson, Laura Hunter; nephews, Bob Kwekel and David Hunter; sister-in-law Gloria Hunter; 4 great nieces and 5 great nephews, 10 great-great nieces and 5 great-great nephews, and one great-great-great niece as well as several cousins, including Esther Karelse. Trudy lived on the west side of Grand Rapids and enjoyed working in her yard, tending her flowers and feeding the birds and squirrels. She worked at Zondervan Publishing for many years and was a longtime member of Heritage Reformed Congregation. Friends and family members are invited to visit with one another at Heritage Life Story Funeral Homeā€“Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE on Thursday, June 25 from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM. Her funeral service will begin at 12:30 PM at the funeral home with Dr. Joel Beeke officiating. (Size limits and social distancing measures will be enforced). Interment to follow at Greenwood Cemetery. To share a memory with her family or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.