Life Story / Obituary
Geraldine Holbern was a hardworking, compassionate woman, who devoted her life to providing for those around her. She was a dedicated wife, loyal daughter and loving mother, and a caring woman to all who knew her.
Geraldine's story began on a warm summer day in 1929, in the charming lakeside town of Alpena, Michigan, tucked away on the shores of Thunder Bay in Lake Huron. Those were difficult times for so many in this country, as the stock market crashed, pulling the nation into the quagmire of the Great Depression for many years to come. Yet on July 10, 1929, the calm before the storm, George and Muriel (Mills) Berry celebrated the birth of a baby girl, a daughter they named Geraldine.
Geraldine joined her sister Margaret and brother, Bob in the family's Alpena home, where her father worked for the Portland-Huron Cement Company. She attended school in Alpena, which she enjoyed very much. She made many good friends during school, and had many fond memories of her school days, which she spoke of often throughout her life.
Geraldine graduated from Alpena High in 1947. She met a handsome young soldier named John "Jack" Lutes, who had just returned from World War II, and the two fell in love and were married. The couple celebrated the birth of their only child, daughter Muriel, in 1952.
Soon Geraldine, John and their baby, who they called "Dolli," packed up and moved to Ontario, Canada, where John owned a lumber business. Her stay there was brief, though, and she returned to Alpena not long after. Her marriage to John ended, and Geraldine devoted her full effort to caring for her sick mother and her beloved daughter.
Her parents had a cottage on Grand Lake, near Alpena, where the family enjoyed going for fun and relaxation over the years. They also owned three rental cottages there, and Geraldine with the cottages herself, doing all the work the rentals required.
Later She also worked full time as a nurse's aid in the Geriatric unit of the hospital. She met a man named Vernon Holbern one day. They hit it off, fell in love and were married, settling in the Grand Lake area. After many years of marriage, Geraldine sadly began developing health problems, and her marriage to Vernon soon ended. She decided to move to Grand Rapids, to be near her daughter Dolli. She adapted well to Grand Rapids learning to drive the Grand Rapids busy streets. Geraldine remained as independent as possible living in her own apartment in Grand Rapids. As her health continued to decline, she needed additional care, and was eventually moved into hospice, where she sadly died Monday, December 18, 2006.
Geraldine enjoyed her cats, playing bingo, going to the casino, crocheting and doing jig saw puzzles. She also liked to cook and was considered a great cook by her daughter Dolli.
Geraldine was a woman who devoted her life to caring for those around her, always selflessly, compassionately, and lovingly. She was a loyal daughter and loving mother, whose love, and life, lives on in all who knew her. She will be greatly missed.
Surviving are her daughter Muriel (Dolli) Lutes of Grand Rapids, her sister and brother-in-law Margaret and Dr. Robert Krieg of Bay City, her niece Margaret (Peggy) Krieg, her nephew Robert (Bob) Krieg and several other nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be held Thursday at 1 P.M. at Evergreen Cemetery, Alpena, MI. To read more of Geraldine's life, share a memory or sign the online register book please visit www.lifestorynet.com