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.
Richmond Reformed Church
1814 Walker Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Covenant Village of Great Lakes Benevolent Fund
2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Maxine Postmus was beloved by all who knew her. She was a hardworking and kind woman who gave of her time and talents. With faith as her guide, Maxine raised her family in the way of the Lord and ever nurturing, she led by example. Family was her greatest source of pride and joy, and although dearly missed, the memories she leaves behind will continue to be a lasting treasure.
The 1920s was an era of dramatic social and political change. More Americans began living in cities than on farms, and the nation’s total wealth more than doubled. With much taking place by way of technology and advancement, the year 1920 found women winning the right to vote and the introduction of prohibition. The Ford Model T was the shape of things to come for the auto industry, while small pox was a concern for many. Known as the Roaring Twenties, a sense of gaiety filled the air during this time of great transition. Yet nestled in the riverfront city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dutch immigrants Johannes Hendrik and Frances Idel (Wolfe) Van Ree found much to be thankful for on July 15, 1920 when they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Maxine Doris into their arms.
The eldest of two girls in the Van Ree household, Maxine later welcomed her younger sister by one and a half years, Paula. The Van Ree’s lived on Hall Street where Maxine grew up and spent her youth making memories. However, while still a young girl her parents divorced, leaving Maxine’s mother to raise her two daughters alone. She spent lots of time with her mother, maternal grandparents and also her aunt who lived nearby. Maxine experienced a childhood typical of her generation filled with many friendships while attending the area schools. Later in life she spoke of her Grandpa Wolfe often and despite the hardships of the Great Depression and the many challenges her family faced during her childhood, Maxine was always positive when reflecting on her younger years.
After graduating from South High School, Maxine went on to attend Davis Tech where she took secretarial classes. She began working for Dr. Weber, an obstetrician before landing a position working at Michigan Bell. As fate would have it, Maxine met the love of her life, Arthur Postmus on a blind date, and he, too worked for Michigan Bell. With a deep, abiding love, Maxine and Arthur were happily married at the Ladies Literary Club on October 10, 1942.
In the midst of World War II, it was shortly after pledging their vows when Maxine’s beloved Arthur was whisked away to serve with the U.S. Navy. During his absence she lived with Arthur’s mother and sister where she welcomed the birth of their first daughter. At the war’s end, Arthur returned home to Maxine and their little girl and they soon set-up a home to call their own.
Maxine and Arthur’s family grew to include four children. Eleven years between the oldest and the youngest, Julie, David, Jeanie, and Philip truly made their house a home. They lived on Clover NW before moving to a home in Sparta when the kids were a little older. While Arthur worked hard to support their thriving household, Maxine made a good home for Arthur and the kids. Even with her bustling household, Maxine managed to keep a very clean home. She was very particular about cleanliness to the point of being germaphobic and to this day her children carry around hand sanitizer.
At their homes Maxine and Art had large thriving gardens of which she would gather the harvest for meals, canning and freezing. She taught her children the value of hard work as they helped with fruits, vegetables and nuts. She did a lot of canning and was never afraid of cleaning the fish Arthur caught on his fishing excursions. Always a good cook, Maxine knew her way around the kitchen and through the years she made many family favorites. She was an excellent baker, too, having learned to bake from her mother-in-law.
Maxine and her family did some camping and made many trips to Cadillac, Michigan to visit her mother. Maxine always loved her travels to the east coast to visit her sister and together they enjoyed the best of times. Paula introduced her to genealogy which she grew to love. The sisters researched their family history apart, but also together at libraries, churches and cemeteries across the country. Maxine thrived when it came to genealogy. It also afforded her the opportunity to learn about and meet distant relatives. In her earlier years she loved sewing. She made her daughters many articles of clothing and even shared her love of sewing with one of them.
Having shared several groups of friends, Maxine was part of the infamous “Club”. A group of ladies, mostly those she came to know from her early days at Richmond Reformed Church, and they met monthly for lunch for over 40 years. She also enjoyed the friendships of many through church. Her other groups got together to play Canasta and to go camping.
Besides travel throughout Michigan and to visit her sister, Maxine enjoyed several trips to the sandy beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama later in life. She and Arthur’s travels took them all over the world including Australia and the Panama Canal.
From the early days of their marriage, Maxine was a longtime member of Richmond Reformed Church where she participated in numerous volunteer opportunities. With quiet faith, Maxine lived by her convictions. In 2007, she and Arthur moved to Covenant Village of the Great Lakes as they planned for the future. There they were able to form many friendships and became involved in the many activities offered there which was a good thing for Maxine when Arthur sadly passed away about two years later. Maxine remained at Covenant Village where eventually she required more care.
Deeply missed and never to be forgotten, Maxine D. Postmus, age 98, of Grand Rapids, Michigan went to be with her Lord and Savior Tuesday, May 14, 2019. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur; sister, sisters-in-law, and brothers-in-law. Surviving are her children, Julie (Douglas) Berens, David Postmus, Jeanie (Bruce) Averill, Philip Postmus; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; half and step-sisters, nieces and nephews. A private family service will be held. Interment in Rosedale Memorial Park. Memorials may be made to Richmond Reformed Church, 1814 Walker Avenue NW or Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund, 2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to share a favorite memory or photo of Maxine and to sign her online guest book.