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.
Benefit of Kevin Alberda and Katelyn Alberda C/O Lake Michigan Credit Union
Life Story / Obituary
Loving, generous, and kind, Jennifer Marie Alberda was known for her positive attitude and radiant smile. Called to serve others and ensure their well-being, Jennifer found her greatest joy in putting others’ needs before her own. With bubbly selflessness, she welcomed every person as a friend and each moment as a gift. Though our days with her were far too few, our lives are forever touched by the time we shared in Jennifer’s good company. A devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, mentor, and friend, Jennifer’s legacy will long live in the hearts she so fiercely loved.
The 1970s were characterized by many marginalized people still fighting for equality, the increase of political conservatism, and traditional family roles. By 1974, inflation was having a large impact on people’s lives. Due to the increase in gas prices, the Japanese car manufacturers with their smaller engines and more fuel-efficient automobiles dominated the market. After the findings of the Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon became the first US president forced to resign from office. Work began on the 800 mile Alaska Oil Pipeline, and after 84 days in space, the last crew of the temporary American space station, Skylab, returned to Earth. Popular television shows of this decade included, The Waltons, Kojak, and The Price Is Right. The movies, The Sting and Jesus Christ Superstar aired, and the radio frequently played Eric Clapton, The Beach Boys, and Van Morrison. During these changing times, Douglas and Linda (Vormittag) Curths welcomed their daughter Jennifer to their family on March 27 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A happy, fun baby and child, Jennifer’s early years were rooted in family. Growing up near Fennessy Lake, in the Tallmadge Twp area, Jennifer’s older sister, Melissa, was her first friend. She attended Riverbend Elementary and Cummings Elementary and later attended Grandville High. During all four of her high school years, she played basketball and was a member of the marching band. She played saxophone and piano. She also played soccer and enjoyed a very busy social life making friendships that would last a lifetime. Her very full teen years included many afternoons that required leaving one practice to go to work at Arby’s and then returning to school for another practice.
After proudly graduating with the class of 1992, Jennifer worked for Kent Rubber Supply. Unfortunately, she soon discovered she was allergic to rubber, and many other things, like pine. This felt ironic since her family had a Christmas tree farm. Jennifer also attended Davenport University, where she earned her Associate’s degree.
During these years Jennifer met Paul Alberda through their mutual friends. They liked to get together to go line dancing and, after sharing many good times, began dating in August of 1998. Jennifer and Paul fell in love and began making plans for sharing the future. On March 3, 2001, they married at Grand Valley Baptist Church. Though they planned a honeymoon in Traverse City, when they arrived, they found every room in town was booked except one hotel that only had a room with a Murphy bed available. The newlyweds turned around and returned to Grand Rapids. They later enjoyed a three-week honeymoon to Alaska.
While Paul worked for Spartan, Jennifer worked for a phone company. When she and her co-worker were pregnant at the same time, they enjoyed taking their breaks together, eating Snickers ice cream bars, and anticipating motherhood. Jennifer and Paul welcomed their son, Kevin, in 2003 and their daughter, Katelyn, in 2005. Jennifer relished motherhood; her kids were her whole world, and she was blissfully dedicated to making their Hudsonville home a sanctuary of unconditional love and unwavering support. Her children will long remember the excitement Jennifer radiated each year while decorating the Christmas tree with all the ornaments they made.
A natural cuddler, Jennifer’s hugs were legendary. She never missed her kids’ events. Whether karate, school events, band, or conferences, Jennifer was there! She also volunteered for EVERYTHING. She tutored area kids in math, confident in their abilities and motivating them toward success with Gatorade and candy. Her faith in the goodness of everyone, and her willingness to take anyone under her wings, proved a powerful inspiration. One of Jennifer’s great joys was participating in the Hudsonville Band Boosters. She loved her band family and poured herself into supporting their goals. The consummate “band mom,” she served as the assistant secretary but loved doing all the work herself; she enthusiastically wrote the newsletter, updated social media, organized fundraisers, and tended to communications.
Jennifer recognized in recent years that life is short, and she tried to make every moment count, while having as much fun as possible along the way. She loved technology and enjoyed buying new things, like phones and computers. She liked listening to 90’s Country and Christian inspirational music, eating out at Salvatore’s on Stocking Street, and indulging in Red Vines licorice twists and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Jennifer loved getting to travel to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Colorado Springs in 2019 as a family. She was very much enjoying the anticipation of returning to Alaska to celebrate Kevin’s high school graduation. Sunday Dinners at her parents’ house at 1:30 PM were a treasure she never missed.
Much of 2021 was spent in excited anticipation of the marching band competing in the state finals at Ford Field. Sadly, Jennifer had to cancel her attendance as she wasn’t feeling well. When Paul returned home from a hunting trip, he found her in much need of help. He took her to the hospital, where they learned she was in critical condition from the effects of COVID. Paul and the kids were unable to visit her, so they spent hours every day on FaceTime. As her health continued to decline and it became necessary to put her on a ventilator, Jennifer had a feeling she wasn’t going home. Despite every effort to support her healing, Jennifer died on November 18.
Without a doubt, the world feels less certain in the absence of Jennifer’s bright and beautiful presence. While the depth of our loss is beyond words, may we find comfort in our many sweet memories of the beautiful woman we were privileged to know. May we also find the courage to carry forward Jennifer’s legacy of embracing each person and each day as a gift. With every kindness we joyfully extend to others, we keep Jennifer’s spirit alive to ripple out and inspire others.
Jennifer Marie (Curths) Alberda age 47, of Hudsonville, passed away on November 18, 2021. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ed and Madelyn Curths and John and Gertrude Vormittag. Jennifer is survived by her husband of 20 years, Paul Alberda; children, Kevin Alberda and Katelyn Alberda. Also surviving are her parents, Douglas and Linda Curths; sister, Melissa and Wayne Eefsting and their children, Carl, Alicia and Justin; In-laws, Gerald and Jeanne Alberda; sister-in-law, Laura Crawford and her children, Courtney, Cameron, and Collin; and many special friends. A Memorial Service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Covenant Community Church, 4276 Baldwin St in Hudsonville. Visitation will take place from 5-8PM on Friday, December 3, at the church as well. Contributions in her memory may be made to the benefit of Kevin Alberda and Katelyn Alberda. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Jennifer’s life story, submit a favorite memory or picture or sign the guestbook.