Aug 6th 1931 - Jun 22nd 2012
Some view being a wife and mother to be mundane work with little reward, but nothing could be further from the truth in the life of Nellie Post as she considered these roles to be both her highest calling and her greatest blessing. She was mild mannered with a laid back demeanor and a kind heart that drew others to her with ease. Nellie’s faith was her constant companion, and although she was never overbearing or boisterous in her faith it was the compass she used to guide her steps. Life was not without times of trial for her, but she carried herself with a graceful strength that provides us all with much to aspire for. Nellie was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She enjoyed keeping her house neat and clean and her yard as well. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy always going to their school and sports events to support them. Nellie will be deeply missed while her memory remains forever near and dear to the hearts of those she leaves behind.
Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the Great Depression covered us like a wet blanket throughout the entire decade. Not only were jobs scarce, but food became even harder to come by when a crippling drought in our nation’s heartland added more strain to an already injured agricultural industry. Despite the trying circumstances around them, a bustling family from Grand Rapids, Michigan, was focused on a joyous occasion within their own family with the birth of their healthy baby girl on August 6, 1931. Baby Nellie was the youngest of 12 children born to her parents, Martin and Lena Kloet-Douma, and was raised in the family home on Tamarack Street on the northwest side alongside her siblings. Her father was self employed as an interior decorator who contracted with the Pantlind Hotel, one of the finest hotels in the Grand Rapids area at the time, while her mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home. Nellie’s family was a close-knit group, and they remained as such throughout their entire lives with family gatherings and picnics on a regular basis. Together they were members of Alpine Avenue Christian Reformed Church.
For the most part Nellie experienced an upbringing that was reflective of the times. Countless American families felt the strain of the Great Depression, and Nellie’s family was no different. Vacations were something they were never privy to, but there were fun-filled days at the beach. As a student Nellie attended Harrison Park Grade School, which was about one mile from her house. From there she went on to Union High School, graduating in 1949.
Not to be forgotten during this time was Nellie’s blossoming romance with the young man who stole her heart. His name was Marvin Post, and they met because he was good friends with her brother. Although they began getting to know one another while she was in high school, they were separated when Marv went into the Air Force. They corresponded through letters during this time and were delighted to be reunited when he returned home in 1952. They continued to date for several months after his return, falling more deeply in love. With a desire to build a life together Nellie and Marv were married on October 23, 1954, at the Klise Memorial Chapel.
After enjoying a honeymoon in northern Michigan the couple returned to Grand Rapids and soon built a new home on Leonard Street NW where they remained for the rest of Nellie’s life. Together Nellie and Marv were blessed with three daughters: Linda Ann, Marcia Ann, and Barbara Ann. From the moment their first child arrived Nellie fully immersed herself into caring for her children. Although good behavior was important to her, she had more of a gentle touch when it came to discipline as she most often said, “Just wait ‘till Dad gets home!” Nellie was an active part of her children’s lives while they were in school including through her affiliation with the PTA. Nellie also made it a priority to attend all of their various academic and extracurricular activities. Everything that came out of her kitchen was fantastic, and good old comfort food was what she most often made. Sundays almost always found the Post family feasting on beef roast with potatoes and gravy - a family favorite. Since asparagus was Nellie’s favorite food, she set about freezing 30 pounds of it or so to enjoy all year long. Spending time together was of great importance to both Nellie and Marv, and they made doing so a priority. For 20 years some of their most favorite times as a family were spent at their trailer at Paradise Cove in Sand Lake, Michigan for much of the summer.
Although most of Nellie’s time was focused on caring for her family, she did enjoy pursuing her interests from time to time. She especially liked being able to stay out of the kitchen every so often to have a meal at her favorite restaurants, either Russ’ Restaurant or the former Fingers restaurant. During their retirement years, Nellie and Marv said goodbye to the cold Michigan winters for a time to bask in the warm sunshine either in Florida or in Gulf Shores, Alabama. She liked picking up Precious Moments figurines and had a beautiful collection that was so special to her.
A woman who was content in all things, Nellie Post made the most of the days she was given while deeply loving those around her. She was compassionate toward others, freely giving unconditional love to all within her reach. Life will never be the same without Nellie here, but the impact she made on her friends and loved ones will never fade away.
Mrs. Nellie Post, age 80, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord on Friday, June 22, 2012. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Marvin; her children: Linda Ann and Greg Bode, Marcia Ann Post, Barbara Ann and Joe Valicevic; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; her sisters: Martha Harberts, Wilma Erickson, Catherine and Harold Vander Zouwen; and her brother, William and Dawn Douma. A service to celebrate Nellie’s life will be held on Monday, June 25, 2012, 11:00 AM at the Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the chapel on Sunday from 2-5 PM and on Monday one hour prior to the service. The family would like to thank the caregivers at Sanctuary of St. Mary’s for the love and care given to Nellie. Contributions to the Sanctuary of St. Mary’s or Spectrum Hospice would be appreciated. To read more about Nellie’s life, share a favorite memory, and to sign her online guest register, please visit www.lifestorynet.com