Monday, November 8, 2021
11:00 AM EST
East Leonard Christian Reformed Church
1027 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.
Holland Home Raybrook Manor Resident Assistance Fund
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A treasured mother, grandmother, and friend, Marjorie Van Dyke lived a heart and faith-centered life. Born in a time of struggle, Marge possessed an even temper, an infectious laugh, and a servant’s heart. With a sharp mind, she was pretty frank and free with her opinions, and she never hesitated to humbly give of herself in service of those in need. Marge was a woman who welcomed each moment as a gift and who embodied the principles of her faith. In so doing, she proved a powerful role model for all who were blessed to know her.
The beginning of 1929 continued to ride the decade’s roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. The nation celebrated the recent inventions of Penicillin, the iron lung, bubble gum, and Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As the wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of James and Esther (Van Houten) Ozinga as they welcomed their daughter Marge into their family on June 8.
The oldest of the three Ozinga children, Marge’s early years were spent in the family’s home on Ann Street. Sadly the family lost their home during the Depression and for a time lived with one of their grandparents. Despite the challenges the Depression imposed, the family persevered, and Marge felt like she had a good childhood. Along with her younger brothers, she enjoyed swimming at Briggs pool and going to Hoxie’s for a special soda treat. Marge attended Palmer Elementary School and later attended Creston High school before going to Grand Rapids Christian High School. After graduating with the class of 1947, Marge started working at Brandt’s Furniture as a secretary.
The foundation of Marge’s lifelong faith began in her family home and was explored further through her church at Creston Christian Reformed Church. While a teenager, her family became members at East Leonard Christian Reformed, where she would be a member for the rest of her life. Having learned to play piano and organ at a young age, Marge felt deeply privileged to play hymns at her school and, from the age of 15, playing for church services. She continued to play at East Leonard Church for 70 years!
In her early years at East Leonard, Marge became acquainted with the minister’s son, a young man named Irvin Van Dyke. The “catechism” sweethearts fell in love and married on November 2, 1949. After honeymooning to Niagara Falls, the newlyweds first settled in an apartment above Valley City Laundry. The apartment had plenty of heat coming up from below, which was great in winter but proved sweltering in summer.
In time, the couple moved to their first house on Spencer Street before eventually moving to their longtime home at 553 Shirley Street. It was here that Marge and Irv raised their four children. A devoted mother, Marge dedicated her life to the good care of her children and creating a loving and safe home. She was a good listener who enjoyed fostering relationships and creating lovely traditions. Sundays centered around family meals of beef roast or meatloaf. Much of their social life revolved around church activities and friends from church, including visiting each other on Sunday nights after evening church. Many tent camping trips were made to Holland State Park, and Marge never hesitated to play baseball in the yard or cards at the supper table with the kids.
As the kids grew a bit older, Marge started working outside the home part-time. She first worked in the kitchen at Greenview Manor, then in housekeeping. She eventually found her calling as a nurse’s aide at Christian Rest Home. A natural caregiver, Marge very much enjoyed her role and knowing she was able to lighten the burdens her patients and their care providers faced.
As Irv’s health began to decline and he required more care at home, Marge retired. Marge and Irv moved into a condo for a time, and when his care required more help, he moved to Holland Home. For seven years, Marge faithfully visited Irv every day. She fed him each day and ensured his needs were met until he passed away in 1999.
Without a doubt, Marge’s greatest joy was her family and being a grandmother. She loved when her family gathered and opened her home for after church hotdogs and Christmas celebrations. During evening church services, her grandchildren would sit in the front near her when she played the organ and grew to know that she would always have peppermints for them. Never one to have favorites, she loved her grandchildren equally and encouraged each of their endeavors. She especially encouraged their musical talents, loving to hear them play their horns at services and special events. The many traditions and laughter she inspired will long be cherished memories. As will Marge’s unwavering faith in the face of tremendous loss, especially when her son Dan passed away in 2010.
A faithful encourager of others, especially those who were alone or housebound, Marge always found a way to lighten the hardships of others. Whether sending a thoughtful card, writing a heartfelt note, or driving people to appointments, Marge led with her heart. She never hesitated to volunteer where help was needed, including contributing her time and talents to Palmer Elementary School, Potter’s House, and Fulton Manor, where she lived during her final years. She very much enjoyed her final home, where she quickly made friends and participated in many activities, including playing the piano and organ. Though easily frustrated by technology, she enjoyed going out to eat at Tillman’s and rarely turned down a game of cards.
While life certainly feels less clear in the absence of Marge’s steadfast presence, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in the honor of carrying her legacy forward. In each moment that we choose faith over fear, serve others, give praise through our musical talents, play a game of Peanuts, or cheer on the Detroit Tigers, we celebrate the many ways Marge gifted our lives. In this way, we keep her spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Marjorie L. Van Dyke, age 92, of Grand Rapids, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on November 4, 2021.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Irvin; her son, Dan Van Dyke; and her brother, Jim Ozinga.
Marge is survived by her children, Nancy & Bruce Mersman, Ken & Karen Van Dyke, Dave & Lisa Van Dyke, Barb Van Dyke; grandchildren Michelle Van Dyke, Ben (Kayla) Van Dyke, Mark (Kelly) Van Dyke, Jeff (Debbie) Mersman, Kevin (Pam) Mersman, Mike (Kim) Mersman, Kelly (Josh) Lambert, Kevin (Laurel) Van Dyke, Keri (Tristan) Bianchi, Kristen (Jeff) Larsen, Annie (Tim) Beimers, Karen (Gabe) Gallardo, Elisa (Curtice) Garnett, Joel Van Dyke; 36 great-grandchildren; brother, Tom (Phong) Ozinga; sister-in-law Sue Ozinga; brother-in-law Clarence (Mary) Van Dyke; and many nieces and nephews.
The service to remember and celebrate her life will be held on Monday, November 8 at 11 AM at East Leonard Christian Reformed Church, 1027 Leonard Street NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Sunday from 6-8 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE, and on Monday at church beginning at 10 AM. Interment in Woodlawn Cemetery. Her family would like to thank the staff and many friends at Fulton and Raybrook Manors for their care and friendship. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Holland Home resident assistant fund are appreciated. To read more about Marge’s life, to share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com