Marilyn (Landis) Pettigrove
|Visitation: Friday, July 7, from 5 to 7 PM at Stroo Funeral Home. Saturday, July 8, from 10 to 11 AM at First Cutlerville CRC, prior to the service
Service: 11 AM, Saturday, July 8, at First Cutlerville Christian Reformed Church, 1425 68th St. SW, Byron Center, 49315
Marilyn Landis Pettigrove, wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother, friend, and neighbor, passed from this life and went to be with her beloved Jesus Christ on July 5, 2023. Marilyn was born on October 27, 1944 to Lewis and Marguerite Landis and went home to their house in Wyoming, Michigan. Her father was an entrepreneur and railroad engineer, and her mother was a homemaker, a lively, funny person with many friends and a wonderfully supportive brother, Clare Zeilstra.
Marilyn graduated from Grand Rapids Central High School in 1962 and began studying to be a teacher at Western Michigan University. Her mother died of cancer while she was still in college, and she would miss her greatly her entire life. Marilyn graduated from WMU in 1966 and began working as an art teacher for the Rockford Public Schools that same year. Her future husband Vern Pettigrove was teaching fifth grade, and she scheduled her art class in his classroom at the end of the day so she could stay after school ended and talk to him. This uncharacteristically sneaky act bore fruit, and they were married on November 24, 1967. Marilyn often said this is when her life changed course for the better. Her new in-laws, Bob and Amy Pettigrove, were happy to include her in their family life and loved her like a daughter.
Marilyn in her career went on to teach 4th grade for RPS. After her daughters were born, she babysat other neighborhood children for extra money. In the early 1980s she went back to school to become a nurse, and she worked on the oncology floor at Blodgett Hospital and then later as a health educator for Blodgett working with children and also for the Kent County Health Department.
Marilyn had numerous health struggles in her adult lifetime, but she was a positive person who absolutely refused to dwell on the negative. She had endless reserves of strength and calm which she used to help her family and a large number of friends at work and within her church community. She was a tireless prayer warrior and was always available to say a prayer for anyone in need and help them in tangible, practical ways as well. She served as a prayer coordinator and church librarian at First Cutlerville CRC, and she also taught Sunday school, worked with children and young people, and sang in the choir at Berkley Hills Wesleyan Church in Grand Rapids for many years.
She was endlessly proud of her husband, her daughters, and her grandchildren, less of their personal accomplishments and more because she considered them “good people.” She was extremely organized, thrifty when she had to be, and handy with a sewing machine. She hosted birthdays for every family member, cooking them whatever dinner choices they wanted - plus their favorite dessert. She always had a hug for everyone. When her sister Sharon died, she was happy to include her nephew Ryan and his wife and daughter into her web of support and holiday traditions too.
Her family called her for every medical emergency, large and small. Even when she couldn’t help with medical advice, talking to her was very therapeutic.
She didn’t have a lot of favorites, but her favorite color was green, and she loved a good Sunday roast, well cooked for hours in the oven. Reading was a lifelong pleasure for her. She loved to read, and she also loved to post about her books and her life online. She took the time to enjoy the nature around her and to see the good in this world and the people in her life. She was grateful for her blessings until the end.
Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents Lewis and Marguerite Landis, her sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Don Kooiman, and many, many aunts, uncles, and cousins. She is survived by her beloved husband of 55 years, Vern Pettigrove, of whom she was so proud; two daughters, Rachel (John) Potter and Vanessa (Kent) Walstra; three grandchildren, Alec (Holly) Walstra, Annie Walstra, and Max Potter; and two nieces and two nephews.
Visitation will be held at Stroo Funeral Home on Friday, July 7, from 5 to 7 PM. A funeral service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, July 8, at First Cutlerville CRC, 1425 68th St., Byron Center, Michigan, where friends may visit with family beginning at 10 AM. Rev. Josh VanDrunen will officiate. Interment will be in Rockford Cemetery.
STROO FUNERAL HOME
1095 68TH ST SE
GRAND RAPIDS, MI 49508