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Kids Food Basket
1300 Plymouth Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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Life Story / Obituary
Evelyn Trapp lived her life as a fun-loving wife, mother, aunt, and friend to many. She adored her husband, Robert “Bob” and her son Bill. Evelyn also enjoyed spending time with her brother, Bob Andrews (Theola), and his family of nine children along with her husband’s sisters (Helen/Ken & Carol/Walt) and their families.
She wanted nothing more than the very best for the family she loved. Evelyn found great happiness in sharing her cooking talents and loved to entertain. She was mischievous and had an infectious laugh. It was her great sense of humor that kept everyone laughing and she shared many stories over the years. Evelyn will be dearly missed by her many special friends and loved ones.
The year 1932 held many special marks in history. The famous photograph titled, "Lunch Atop a Skyscraper" was posed to promote Depression-era real estate, Franklin D. Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in a landslide victory, and Radio City Music Hall opened in December. Harold and Lorraine (Hartman) Andrews were eager to welcome into their hearts and home their newborn baby girl, Evelyn Lorraine, on June 25, 1932, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joining her older brother, Robert, and later followed by her younger brother, Gary, her birth brought great joy to her loving parents.
Growing up on the northeast side of town on Michigan Street near Diamond Ave and Evelyn lived a mischievous childhood. Her father, Harold (Stub) always told Evelyn that little girls were special, and her brothers could not touch her. Evelyn loved being the only girl because she was able to get away with anything! And she did. It was Evelyn that liked to start trouble and arguments with her siblings. Of course, she was innocent, and the brothers were scolded.
We are not so sure how her dad felt about how innocent little Evelyn was after the famous “silk tie” incident. She thought the gray silk tie was a boring color and then proceeded to decorate it with dots of mercurochrome to brighten it up! Evelyn wanted to make his only silk tie pretty.
Evelyn often reflected on growing up in the Depression. Her family did not have much and relied on how her dad (Stub) would hunt and fish to put food on the table. Sadly, the family would later lose her brother Gary, who was killed during the Korean Conflict.
She attended local schools and graduated from Central High School. Just after high school, she met the man who would steal her heart forever, Robert “Bob” Trapp. They dated and married at Immanuel Lutheran Church on August 15, 1953.
During the early years of their marriage, Evelyn worked in the classified ads department of the Grand Rapids Press. She would always brag about being the best at taking the most ads because of her typing speed and accuracy. That speed and accuracy paid off with additional commission. What did Evelyn do with a little extra jingle?? Shop, of course!
Her husband, Bob was always amazed (not amused) when he would pick up Evelyn after work, that she always had a shopping bag filled with new clothes. How could that be her fault? She could not resist the downtown department stores and it was something to do while waiting for her ride. When she and Bob welcomed home their son, Bill, she chose to leave her position of ten years to remain home to care for her little bundle of joy.
Evelyn relished her role as a mother. Both Bob and Bill were the center of her life. She became a wonderful homemaker and enjoyed baking delicious cinnamon rolls, a German coffee cake known as “Kruntz”, and her famed Baked Alaska! She added many savory dishes and roasts to her repertoire over the years.
Evelyn was the most surprised at the homemaker and wonderful cook she became. She came into the marriage without ever having to perform housekeeping chores, iron or cook a meal. Evelyn often shared the story of the first breakfast that she cooked for Bob after their honeymoon. She prepared a plate of heavily black peppered eggs for her new husband and proudly placed the plate in front of Bob, and he exclaimed “you don’t expect me to eat these do you?” Her response was “if you want to stay married you will!” Thankfully, Evelyn learned to cook many delicious dishes under the instruction of Bob’s mother, Gertrude. She also learned how to sew too and became an accomplished seamstress.
Evelyn was most grateful for their son, Bill. She loved children and it took a long ten years for him to arrive. Her most cherished role was being a mother and a wife. She was always encouraging and enjoyed doting on her family.
The Andrews family of nine children will always remember how she managed to make each and every one of them feel special. The girls fondly remember that Evelyn would make customized clothes for their Barbie Dolls out of scrap fabric. All the Andrews siblings remember Aunt Evelyn and Billy coming over to swim at the Bonneville pool. What was the cardinal rule? Do not get Aunt Evelyn’s hair wet ever!
The Trapp side of the family (Bob’s sister's children) enjoyed going to her house to play with Billy because they had all the newest and coolest stuff! She is also remembered for “jiggling keys” to get a baby’s attention or to calm them down.
When Bill eventually married, Evelyn was very welcoming to her new daughter-in-law, Mary. They grew to be close friends over the years. All in all, as a family, they savored many special moments together and always looked forward to sharing special trips and holidays together.
Evelyn held many special pastimes. In addition to caring for her family, she loved boating. Bob and Evelyn were proud of their first boat the Bi-Bo-Ev. For many summers she and Bob had a large group of boating friends (Smiths & Kleigeins). This rowdy group traveled from Grand Haven to Northern Channel during the late 70’s/early 80’s. Their home marina in Spring Lake is still recovering from the weekend parties.
After Bob retired in the late 80’s, they often fished off their second Bi-Bo-Ev (a newer and sleeker boat) spending summer weekends in Grand Haven. During this time, Evelyn always enjoyed competing with her brother Bob’s charter boat (It-Il-Do) to catch the most fish that weekend.
Evelyn’s hair turned completely gray at 30, but that hair color only added to her beauty and personality. She played up her striking green eyes offsetting the beautiful shade of gray hair to compliment every outfit she wore. As a result, she loved to go shopping and always kept up with the latest fashion trends. Bob often loved to spoil her with jewelry which she called her “sparklies” or “pretty pretties.” Evelyn loved to coordinate her outfits and always looked ready to entertain!
She and Bob were married for 59 years and made an interesting couple. It was a balance between the strict hardworking Trapp’s and the carefree fun-loving Andrew’s family. Bob did his best to reign her in, but Evelyn added so much laughter to his life. The two of them were fortunate to travel with his work over the years taking in several spots in the United States and parts of Europe. Later in life, they spent more time in Florida with her brother.
She was a voracious reader who enjoyed Harlequin Romances and even embraced technology going through two Kindles over the years! Evelyn loved hosting a card group once a month. It was a standing request from the members that her “Baked Alaska” be served. Bob would help her make it and had even handmade a special board for her to serve it on. There was never a dull moment with Evelyn. She had a wonderful sense of humor and always kept people laughing.
After both Bill and Bob had passed, Evelyn remained close with her daughter-in-law, Mary. When Mary remarried, Evelyn became an important part of the Gunst/Esch family and enjoyed spending time together. She often referred to Gunny (Bill Gunst) as her son in law. Evelyn enjoyed a close relationship with Gunny’s parents, John, and Patsy Esch along with his sisters (Teresa, Seresa, Cynthia, and Sheri.) Because of her cooking experience and influence, the Trapp/Gunst turkey recipe came into existence. Her presence around the pool during the summer, dinner outings and holiday gatherings will be greatly missed.
With the help of her niece, Valorie Uekert and daughter-in-law Mary, Evelyn was able to live out her later years in her own home. When she needed more care, she moved to Edison Christian. After so many years in her home (custom designed and built by her husband, Bob), it was especially hard to leave the countless memories she shared there with her son and husband. Evelyn was always committed to her family and loved by many.
Evelyn was honored on June 5th, 2014, with a great-great niece being named after her on the Andrews side. Little Evelyn Sue! Her mother Summer reports that little Evie tends to be a little bit stubborn and sassy at times. Evie’s has a bright cheery personality and loves to bake and cook. She also enjoys being the only girl in the family and takes full advantage. Sound familiar?
Evelyn will surely be missed for her mischievous behavior, infectious laugh, and her cooking abilities. May her close friends and loved ones cherish the special moments they shared together, and may her memories be eternal.
Mrs. Evelyn Lorraine Trapp, age 90, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away Sunday, July 3, 2022, after a lingering battle with dementia. Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband, Robert William Trapp; son, William Robert Trapp; brothers Robert Andrews and Gary Andrews; and her parents. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Theola Andrews; daughter-in-law, Mary Trapp-Gunst; brother-in-law, Walter Bartusch; as well as many nieces and nephews. Her funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 16, 2022, at 11 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. Friends may visit with her family beginning at 10 AM, and for a time immediately following the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Kids Food Basket are appreciated. To share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.