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.
Calvin University, Donald and Kathleen Molewyk Scholarship
Westside Christian School
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
If one word could sum up the legacy of Kathy Molewyk, it would be “faithful.” While tracing the years of her life, it is easy to recognize her persistent commitment to her Lord and those she loved. Kathy embraced her role as wife and mother and put her family’s interests before her own. Always there to lend a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on, she consistently demonstrated her devotion to her loved ones no matter how many years or miles passed.
With the world still spiraling from the stock market crash of October, 1929, George Ebbers and Dena Jonkman of Grand Rapids, Michigan, were finding their way as a young married couple by pinching pennies and working hard while looking forward to growing their family. On September 16, 1930, Kathleen Joann joined the family. Her brother, Kenneth, was about three years old at the time. A few years later, sister Verna’s arrival allowed the Ebbers children to outnumber their parents.
George was a superintendent for a construction company and Dena managed the affairs of their busy household. Their first home was on White Street on the northwest side of Grand Rapids and they later moved to the family home at 1124 Parkhurst Avenue NW. The Ebbers family instilled values of hard work and sacrifice. There was no extra money for extravagant family vacations, but they did travel to visit relatives when they could. They made many fond memories over the holidays with extended family. The Ebbers were members of Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church.
Kathy attended West Side Christian School and was a quiet student who enjoyed learning. As a left-handed student, she experienced tremendous frustration when her teachers forced her to write with her right hand. As a result, Kathy was self-conscious about her handwriting throughout her life. She found a close group of high school friends and they called themselves “The Girls Club.” Those early friendships were precious to all the young women and they maintained their club for the rest of their lives.
Shortly after high school graduation, Kathy stopped at Housemans and Jones Men’s Store to buy a shirt as a gift for her father. A young clerk named Donald Molewyk was working that day and Kathy caught his eye. He expended quite a bit of effort helping her. His co-workers teased him asking if he was “selling a shirt or himself to that young lady.” A week later, Don called Kathy for a date, but her busy schedule required him to make three attempts before they found a day that worked. His persistence paid off, but he was almost finished before the first date started. Due to a large sale at work, Donald was extremely late, but he eventually managed to secure Kathy’s forgiveness and affections. One of their first dates was to a Harlem Globetrotters game.
After dating for two years, Kathy and Don were married on March 30, 1951, at Alpine Avenue CRC. They began attending Highland Hills CRC, which was meeting at Oakleigh School, while dating and were charter members of this church. In the later years, Highland Hills merged with Alpine Avenue CRC and became Westend CRC. While living in an upstairs apartment on Bridge St. NW, Kathy and Don were blessed with a daughter, Linda, in 1952. They were able to buy property and build a house at 857 Covell Ave. NW where they welcomed two more beloved children, Terry in 1955 and Mary in 1958. Kathy worked hard to ensure that her children knew they were loved. She maintained a spotless, safe, and welcoming home.
Kathy and Don provided wonderful vacations for their children with summer rental cottages at Big Star Lake and Spider Lake in northern Michigan. They enjoyed boating, skiing, and lakeshore adventures. While Kathy was actually frightened of water, she faithfully served as the safety observer in the family boat. The family also traveled in the winter months to Sugarloaf and Caberfae ski resorts. One year the Molewyk family, along with George and Dena Ebbers, splurged on a three-week road trip through the western United States and onto the extended Ebbers family in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
After her own children were grown and established in their careers, Kathy found great joy in helping the children of others. She loved volunteering at West Side Christian School and used her exceptional sewing skills to help the children of Grand Haven Christian School and the Comprehensive Rural Health Project in Jamkhed, India. Kathy also spent time as one of many devoted volunteers at the Sally Bender Guild gift shop at Butterworth Hospital. She encouraged patients and their visitors while enabling the hospital to save enough funds to open another gift shop specifically serving families at DeVos Children’s Hospital.
Kathy enjoyed many hobbies and along with her talent for sewing she also enjoyed knitting, cross-stitch, and genealogy research. She liked to cook, but was especially partial to baking. She loved blessing others with her breads, desserts, and pies. One of her desserts, an ice cream pie, was praised by The Grand Rapids Press. Kathy loved her collections of cardinal figurines, Hummels, miniature Christmas trees, and thimbles from all over the world. In her spare time she enjoyed reading inspirational books and publications and also appreciated the comfort and beauty found in church hymns.
During their retirement years, Kathy and Don felt privileged to be able to travel to Europe and across the United States. For their fiftieth wedding anniversary, they shared their joy of traveling by taking their children and grandchildren on an Alaskan cruise.
Kathy leaves her cherished family with years of precious memories, an example of deep commitment, and the assurance that they have been loved beyond measure. Her legacy will live on in those who faithfully follow in her footsteps.
Kathleen Joann Molewyk, a cherished child of God, went home to heaven to live forever with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, October 1, 2019. Kathleen, aged eighty-nine, was preceded in death by her husband of nearly sixty years, Donald. She is survived by her children: Linda and Thomas DeBoer, Terry and Kathryn Molewyk, and Mary Molewyk Doornbos and Robert Doornbos; her grandchildren: Kristina and Andrew Meyer, Matthew Molewyk, Mark and Jaclyn Molewyk, and Eric Doornbos; her great-grandchildren: Anna, Luke, and Caleb Meyer; and her sister and brother-in-law Verna and Joe Betten. A memorial service celebrating Kathleen’s life will be held on Saturday, October 5, 2019, at 2:30 p.m. in the chapel at Covenant Living of the Great Lakes, 2150 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Visitation will be from 1:30-2:30 p.m. prior to the service at Covenant Living. Private interment will be at Rosedale Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Calvin University Donald and Kathleen Molewyk Scholarship, West Side Christian School, or Mission India.