Life Story / Obituary
Marjorie grew up on a farm during the great depression. She survived not having indoor plumbing nor electricity until she was around 10 or 11 years old. She remembered when electricity finally arrived, she would turn the light switch on and off just for fun, which made her mom angry because she was wasting electricity. Food was something that was never wasted. She recalled being one of the first in their neighborhood to get a radio. It had short wave and they often pulled in far-away places, including South America.
Her memories on the farm included harvesting time and how exciting it was to see the big thrashing machine moved into position in the yard. Neighborhood men would come with their horses and wagons and there would be incessant noise and dust. She recalled they had to feed up to 20 men in double shifts, and a big tub with towels and soap was set up for fast outdoor hand and face washing. Then like a punishment afterward were all the dishes. She did not enjoy that never-ending chore while growing up.
Her mom worried that she’d never get married. Then she met Bob Streb on a blind date. They hit it off and got married 8/12/1950. Both of them were only children. She never liked being an only child and always wished she’d had siblings. Marge and Bob were married until Bob passed away 6/19/2008. Nearly 58 years of marriage and four children! Later she was with her second love, Jim Horgan. They knew each other from high school and gravitated towards each other. Jim had lost his wife six months prior. They attended many high school reunions together and enjoyed catching up with the other classmates from the good old days.
Marge enjoyed travelling and eventually graduated to a motor home. Marge and Bob would spend the winter months in southern locations. Many times, she mentioned how much she loved the strawberry shakes in Plant City, FL.
She enjoyed playing bridge regularly with a group of friends. She was also fond of playing Scrabble (which she was very good at).
On Sundays and special occasions Marge would prepare a large meal, using the “good” silverware and dishes.
She often made her own clothes from patterns that she would buy. The downside of that is the pool table in the basement was often covered with her latest clothing project. Playing pool required some preparations.
Sam Bush was a lifelong friend of hers. Sam recalled that one day Marge was walking home from school, way out in front of him, and she wrote “I love you” in the dirt road. When Sam read that and he quickly wiped it out with his feet. When Sam died last fall (in 2019) it was emotionally very difficult for Marge.
All of her children remember that Marge would always correct their English if they spoke incorrectly. They didn’t appreciate it at the time, but later when they had to take English classes in school, they appreciated it.
Marty remembers one time he was doing something bad (he doesn’t remember what it was), so Marge picked up the phone and said “That does it, I’m calling Santa Claus right now” and she started dialing. Marty was horrified, and quite surprised that she knew Santa’s phone number. He quickly changed his behavior.
Marge worried a lot about her hair. If she went outside when it was raining or windy, her hair was always an issue. And whenever Marge read something interesting, she saved it – to the point where there were stacks of magazines and articles saved.
Marge enjoyed playing the piano and organ, and could play many songs from memory right up until she passed away. She was a prolific emailer as well. She could talk on the phone until your hand would be sore from holding the phone so long. After a stroke in January 2020 her vision worsened, which made using the computer impossible. However, her memory seemed to be sharp right to the end.
Marjorie Woodmansee Streb passed away Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service for immediate family will be held at a later date. The cremains will be interred in the memory garden at Second Congregational Church in Grand Rapids, MI.
Marjorie was born on a farm near St. Louis, MI to Miles and Lucile Redman Woodmansee April 16, 1926. She attended the same eight-grade country school her father had attended. In 1943 she graduated from St. Louis, MI High School. She was the Salutatorian of her class and received a scholarship to CMU. Her extracurricular interests included music – voice, band (cornet) and piano. After graduation in 1947, she taught business subjects in Rockford, MI for four years. On August 13, 1950, she married Robert Streb. She happily “retired” for a few years when her four children were young. Later she returned to teaching Community Ed classes in Jenison, Grandville, Kenowa, and Grand Rapids schools. She was a mentor at Grand Rapids Shawmut Elementary School. She also had a part-time office job at Vos Construction Co. in Ada, MI. She enjoyed writing letters and biographies.
Marjorie is survived by four children, five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Three children live in the Grand Rapids area: Dave/Cheryl Streb, Martin Streb/Robin Roberts, and Terri Bills/Robert Karam. Don/Lori Streb live in New Baltimore, MI. The five living grandchildren are: Kathleen Norman, Christopher Streb, Dylan Streb, Samantha Bills and Jenna Bills. Brandon Streb is deceased. The three great grandchildren are Ashleigh Norman, Oliver Joe Norman, and Cecilia Streb.
Since 1953, Marjorie has been a member of Second Congregational Church. She was a choir and Pilgrim Guild member, Sunday School teacher, and Secretary to the Moderator.
Bob Streb died June 19, 2008. Marge later spent 10 years with a very special second love, James Horgan. Tragically, Jim died December 11, 2018, in St. Pete Beach, FL.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Second Congregational Church, or the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired.