Tuesday, May 28, 2019
11:00 AM EDT
First Evangelical Covenant Church
1933 Tremont Blvd. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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Life Story / Obituary
Loving, gentle, and kind, Marcia Ann Hansma lived a faith-centered life rich in family and friends. Genuinely devoted to her family, Marcia relished nothing more than sharing the lives of those she loved. She embraced life’s joys and challenges equally, recognizing the gifts in both and inspiring others by her example. Deeply treasured, Marcia leaves behind a brilliant legacy of beautiful memories her loved ones will forever hold as priceless heirlooms.
The beginning of 1929 continued to ride the decade’s roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. The nation celebrated the recent inventions of Penicillin, the iron lung, bubble gum, and the Yo-Yo, as well as Charles Lindbergh’s Congressional Medal of Honor and Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. As the wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased nowhere was there more hope for the future than in the home of Friedolph and Ruth (Ripey) Peterson as they welcomed their daughter Marcia into their family on February 20, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Growing up on Knapp St. NE, Marcia’s early years were rich in faith and family. While her father worked as an electrician, her mother was a homemaker. The youngest of the Peterson’s children, Marcia grew up with the natural companionship of her older brothers Stuart and Ralph. As the only daughter, Marcia spent a good amount of time at her mother’s side in the kitchen learning the art of homemaking and inheriting the excellent cooking skills she would come to be known for over the rest of her lifetime. The family was very active in their church community. Her mother was the first non-Swedish member of Swedish Covenant Church on Broadway Ave. NW where they were very active. Marcia held very fond memories of ice skating and sledding at Kent Country Club during the winters of her youth.
Marcia attended elementary school at Aberdeen Elementary School. She then attended Creston High School. During her high school years, both her brothers served in World War II. She graduated with the class of 1947. Naturally intelligent and driven to grow and learn, after high school, she attended North Park College in Chicago for one semester.
Returning to Grand Rapids, Marcia took a job as a secretary at Standard Oil in Grand Rapids. Later, she found work as a secretary for Neil Everest Insurance Agency. It was here that she had the good fortune of meeting agent Arthur Hansma. Instantly smitten, the two began dating. They soon fell in love and married on September 19, 1953, at her church, Swedish Covenant Church. He was 32, she was 24.
The newlyweds settled into a rental home on Scott St. NW. The next summer they welcomed their first son Kurt into the world. A year later, they moved to a home on Gordon St. NW where they were blessed to welcome their next two sons, Paul in 1956, and Richard in 1957 into their family. Needing more space to raise their growing family, they built a home on Westmoor NW in 1965. In 1968, Steven completed the family.
Marcia and Art raised their family on the firm foundation of their faith, and the family was very involved in many of their church’s activities. Marcia sang in the choir, served as a deaconess, was a valued member of the Covenant Women's Group, and Art drove the Sunday School Bus. Many treasured friendships were made through the church. Over the years Marcia took swimming classes and played tennis with these friends who became family.
A meticulous homemaker, Marcia was rarely idle. With an innate drive to be on the move, she was always tending to something in her home. She and Art had an open door policy and enthusiastically welcomed all the boys’ friends which always included an invitation for dinner. A fabulous cook and baker, many a guest, was treated to her delicious creations. Marcia cooked a roast every Sunday which she served with potatoes and her amazing gravy. Her cakes, pies, famous “grandma rolls’ and “grandma sugar cookies,” were unrivaled and sure to result in a sigh of delight. Saturdays were extra-special days the family came to know as Pancake Saturdays. Everyone they knew was invited over for pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Many family and friends hold the memories of this tasty tradition fondly in their hearts.
While Marcia and Art valued hard work, they also understood the importance of family vacations. While the boys were growing up, they took a vacation every year to Portage Lake Bible Camp. They also traveled to the Upper Peninsula and explored Mammoth Caves in Kentucky. Son Steve enjoyed many trips with his parents to Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri and Gulf Shores, Alabama. Marcia and Art also enjoyed many trips with church friends to Gulf Shores, Alabama, as well as trips together to Acapulco, Mexico, California, Arizona, and the Pacific Northwest.
As the boys grew into adulthood and got married, Marcia relished in the female companionship of her daughters-in-law. She loved sharing time with them and felt tremendously joyful when she was gifted with grandchildren. A loving grandmother, Marcia enjoyed any moment she shared with her grandchildren and often babysat for many of them in her home. Her blessings continued to grow when her great-grandchildren were born. As with her grandchildren, she welcomed any time shared with her great-grandchildren and felt such joy in seeing the spark of her legacy in each of their eyes.
For many years, Marcia helped as a bookkeeper with Arthur at his insurance company. Not only did they enjoy working together, but they also enjoyed continuing to travel in each other’s good company. Art was an avid golfer, and many of the trips they took were golf-centered vacations. At the age of 70, Art retired. The couple sold their home on Westmoor NW and built a condo on Blue Bell Way NW and wintered in Gulf Shores, Alabama where Art enjoyed playing many of the golf courses in the area.
On Feb 5th, 2009, Arthur fell at his home and suffered a traumatic head injury. He was taken to the hospital where he died shortly after. The shock of the sudden loss of her companion of 55 years was tremendous, and Marcia missed Arthur dearly. With her strong family ties and deep abiding faith to sustain her, she moved through her grief and learned to welcome the gift of each day she was given.
A few years later, Marcia moved to Covenant Village of the Great Lakes where she knew many people and made many new friends. Her drive to positively contribute to her community soon found her lending a hand at Second Blessing a resale shop that supported the benevolent fund of CVGL. These later years were spent enjoying the companionship of her many friends as well as the joy of many visits with her children and grandchildren.
During her final years, Marcia suffered from dementia and required more direct care. Over the past few months, her health began to diminish. On May 19, 2019, Marcia went to be with her Lord and Savior peacefully in her room at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes.
The world is surely duller in the absence of Marcia’s steadfast light. She will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by all who were blessed to know her. May it provide comfort to know that each moment we share with family, each time we enjoy a Sunday roast or Saturday pancakes, as well as each time a friend is welcomed into our home, we celebrate the greatest gifts of Marcia’s legacy. And in doing so, she will continue to inspire others as she so inspired us.
Marcia Ann Hansma (Peterson), aged 90, of Grand Rapids, passed away on Saturday, May 19, 2019, at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes. She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur T. Hansma; her brothers, Stuart Peterson and Ralph Peterson. She is survived by her children, Kurt (Tracy) Hansma, Paul (Patty) Hansma, Richard (Susan) Hansma, Steven (Michelle) Hansma; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Mernie Peterson and Bernice Peterson; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Marcia was a lifetime member of First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont Blvd., where the service to celebrate her life will be held on Tuesday, May 28, at 11:00 am. Burial in Rosedale Memorial Park. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 am until the service begins at 11:00 am. Contributions in her memory may be made to Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp. To read more about Marcia’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, visit her web site at www.lifestorynet.com