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.
Eric Verhaar Scholarship Fund
2685 Moerland Dr NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a wonderful sense of humor and a caring heart, Marilyn Joyce Boersma lived a joyful life. Marilyn built her life upon the firm foundation of her faith and a deep desire to be of service to others. Generous, sweet, and kind, Marilyn’s wholeheartedness often afforded comfort for others. In her company, good days were great and bad days were always easier. Cherished by many, Marilyn’s loving legacy will long live in the hearts of those she loved.
1948 proved a year of continued celebration of the nation’s momentous victory in World War II. America's heroes eagerly returned home to a country filled with renewed spirit and hope ready to claim their share of the American Dream, which they fought so proudly for overseas. As American prosperity grew like no time in our history hope sprang eternal, and the Greatest Generation soon proliferated creating the age of the Baby Boomers. In Grand Rapids, Michigan the cause for celebration grew even greater as Roy and Roma (Holbrook) Boersma welcomed their daughter Marilyn into their hearts and home on October 2.
Growing up in the family home at 1526 Valley Ave NW, Marilyn enjoyed a childhood rooted in family and faith. While her father worked for the city of Grand Rapids, her mother worked as a registered nurse for the Salvation Army Hospital. The second of the Boersmas’ four daughters, Marilyn shared a deep comfort and closeness with her three sisters: Nancy, Karen, and Jeanne that lasted her entire lifetime. The family enjoyed camping and shared memorable trips to Muskegon St. Park and Interlochen. They also enjoyed traveling to visit Aunt Rose in Chicago, as well as trips to Williamsburg, Boise Idaho, and Disney in Orlando, Florida.
As a child, Marilyn once got stuck climbing a tree and needed her father to rescue her. Many of her childhood days were spent at Richmond Park, swimming, sledding, and playing on the playground equipment. She broke her arm twice in the same place sledding despite having told the tree to “move!”
Marilyn attended West Leonard Elementary, Harrison Park Junior High, and Union High. After graduating from Union High with the class of 1968, Marilyn found work at St. Mary’s Hospital, where she worked in the linen department for 27 years.
Though she never married, nor had children of her own, Marilyn relished in caring for children. She used her talent and love for cross stitching to ensure all her friends’ and family’s new babies were welcomed to the world with a beautiful handmade quilt. A longtime member of Trinity Reformed Church, she volunteered for over 50 years to caring for her church family’s children in the nursery on Sundays. She also babysat for several families from the church. Her nieces and nephews were her heart’s delight, and she loved any time she shared with them. Together they explored the wonders of Lake Michigan and John Paul Zoo. Whether swimming, taking walks or reading Charlotte’s web, Marilyn made sure each moment with Imani, Robert, Leonardo, and Devonaire was special.
A woman of many interests, Marilyn found enjoyment in music, sports, shopping, and good food. She loved spiritual music as evidenced by the extensive CD collection, and sang in the church choir. The Detroit Tigers and Notre Dame football teams were her favorites, and she rarely missed the opportunity to cheer them on. She loved to shop for clothes and jewelry, as well as getting her nails done. Marilyn always had a Coke in hand no matter where she went, and she liked all kinds of food, especially shrimp alfredo. Her favorite restaurants included Olive Garden, Brann’s, Arnie’s, Arby’s. Her homemade macaroni and cheese, pork chops, and mashed potatoes were unrivaled.
For many years, Marilyn belonged to Goal Getters. She also invested her time and talent in service to the Salvation Army. She rang bells and always looked forward to Salvation Army Annual Camp at Little Pine Island. With warmth and acceptance, Marilyn greeted each day as a gift and everyone she met as a friend. With little effort, Marilyn could inspire a smile and laughter; she always found the gold in the moment and then generously gave it to those around her.
Without a doubt, Marilyn treasured time with her family. For over 40 years, the immediate and extended family gathered at Nancy’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas in one another’s good company. After her father died in 1969, Marilyn and Jeanne vacationed with their mother in Traverse City every summer. She enjoyed many adventures with her best friend, Brenda Skinner, and always looked forward to visits with her nephew Jim from Lake Orion.
Clearly, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Marilyn’s bright light and enthusiasm for life. An inspiration to all who were blessed to know her, the many gifts of Marilyn’s beautiful life prove invaluable treasure. May it afford comfort to know that each time we gather around a good meal, sip a Coke, swim in Lake Michigan, or don our favorite jewelry, we keep Marilyn’s legacy of love and joy alive. In so doing, Marilyn will continue to inspire others as she so inspired us.
Marilyn J. Boersma aged 70, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord and Savior on September 2, 2019. She was preceded in death by her dear parents, Roy and Roma Boersma. Marilyn is survived by her sisters, Nancy (John) Davis, Karen Dolan, and Jeanne Boersma; special nephew, James De Maar and friend Sylvia O’Keefe. Also surviving are a niece, Stacey Chadbourne, and Stacey’s children, Imani, Robert, Leonardo and Devonaire; Lois Flik; several cousins; and long-time friend, Brenda Skinner.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, September 14, 2019, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Friends are invited to visit with the family for one hour prior to the service. Inurnment in Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Faith Hospice or Eric Verhaar Scholarship Fund. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Marilyn’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.