SPRING LAKE, Mich. — Margaret Zuidema, called Gretchen for 100 years, passed away in her sleep at 11:20 p.m. on July 2, 2014, at Oak Crest Manor in Spring Lake, Mich., where she had lived since August 2010.
Born on June 6, 1914, in Munich, Germany, she was the daughter of Lorenz and Margareta (Schneider) Wochinger.
In 1925, she immigrated to the United States with her mother and one of her two brothers, at which time they joined her father who had immigrated and settled in New York City in 1923.
On Dec. 12, 1936, in Pound Ridge, she married Obe Zuidema, whose parents, Wibbe (William) Zuidema and Trijntje Douma, were born in the Netherlands and married in Prospect Park, N.J.
During her lifetime, Gretchen lived in NYC (1925 to 1936), Northern New Jersey (1937 to 1958), Roxbury, Delaware County (1958 to 1978), the Winter Haven, Fla. area (1978 to 2006), Cortland, (2006 to 2010) and Spring Lake, Mich., (2010 to 2014).
Gretchen was predeceased by her husband of 59 years who died on May 25, 1996, in Winter Haven, Fla.; mother, (1952 in NYC); father, (1966 in Munich); brothers, Alphons (1982 in Sparkill) and Lorenz (1987 in Dachau, Germany).
She is survived by her son, Larry Zuidema and his wife, Heike Michelsen of Lansing; daughter, Mary Walpole and her husband, Bruce of Muskegon, Mich.; grandchildren, Jim Zuidema (Suzanne) of Pearl River, Judy Zuidema (Marco) of Rovigo, Italy, Karsten Zuidema of Lansing, Mark Walpole (Shari) of Indianapolis, Ind., and Kara Oskam (Ron) of Westminster, Md; 12 great-grandchildren; and two nephews, Leonard Wochinger (Patrice) and Richard Wochinger (Nina).
Gretchen will be remembered for her strong Christian faith; the loving care and support she bestowed on her family; and the high standards she set for all of us. Many of her family who enjoyed celebrating her 100th birthday this year were greeted with the same warm smiles she displayed during most of her life. She was admired by many as a kind and loving person.
Gretchen will be buried next to her husband in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla.
Arrangements by Sytsema Funeral Homes Inc., Muskegon, Mich., (231) 798-1100.