Wednesday, June 13, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Berkley Hills Church
1670 Ball NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Gertrude "Trudy" McNulty would agree that she was beautiful on the inside and out. She was accompanied by an unwavering faith, her life exemplifying what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. Trudy was a devoted wife and mother, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. Although she will be deeply missed, her family finds comfort in knowing that she is enjoying perfect peace in her eternal home.
Life during the 1920s was certainly exciting. Cars were more affordable for the average American as they were widely mass produced on assembly lines, motion pictures became available in both color and sound, and the lights of Broadway never shined brighter. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great joy in the lives of George and Jeanette (Elsen) Visser as they were blessed with the birth of the baby girl they named Gertrude Eileen on March 14, 1928, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Usually known as Trudy, she was the middle of ten children as she had seven sisters and two brothers.
Raised on Jones Street on the West Side of Grand Rapids, Trudy was a young girl of her generation. As a family they attended Pilgrim Holiness Chapel, which is where the faith she cherished was engraved upon her heart. Trudy remained a lifelong member of that congregation through all of their name and location changes. Her earliest years found her attending school at Fairview Elementary School. Tragedy struck their family with the death of her mother when Trudy was just 12 years old. Her older sister stepped in and helped out, and although this could have torn their family apart, the Vissers chose to allow this experience to draw them closer together. For the rest of her life, Trudy was close with her siblings. As a child of the Great Depression in the 1930s, she learned to take care of her things, how to be content no matter what, and how to be frugal in countless ways. Trudy went on to Union High School where she also played basketball. As a young woman she began working at a Crystal Flash corporate office which led her into a career of secretarial and bookkeeping positions. This was a great fit and where Trudy spent the remainder of her working days as she spent time working at a health department and also at an outpatient clinic for alcohol support.
Not to be forgotten during her younger years was Trudy’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was Charles "Chuck" McNulty at church. Trudy was a young girl of 16 when they met, but over time they fell deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together she and Chuck were married on September 27, 1951, while he was on leave from the Air Force. As a young bride, Trudy moved to Texas with her husband for about two years until he was sent overseas. With his military duties fulfilled, Chuck returned home and the couple settled into a home in Standale. There, they welcomed three children, Kristi, Kurt, and Ken, into their hearts and home. in 1966 they moved into their longtime home on Ivanhoe, NE.
Although she worked outside of the home, her family was always Trudy’s primary focus. She made sure there was a home cooked meal for her family every night, and she was also a fantastic baker. People especially loved her banket. Trudy was always busy around the home. She did a lot of sewing, making many of her children’s clothing. Later on, she made clothes for her grandchildren, and she also made fleece blankets and knitted afghans. They did enjoy some camping trips as a family, but their longstanding annual tradition was getting together with all of her siblings and their families at Wabasis Lake around Memorial Day. This was something they did for years, and they also enjoyed camping in Ludington the last week of summer break most years. Trudy especially liked going for a hike on the trails and a bike ride into town to House of Flavors. As a grandmother, she was an active part of her grandchildren’s lives. Trudy savored every moment spent with her grandchildren, and she was there to support them in all their events and activities. She was also available to help out when needed. Trudy’s grandchildren loved their homemade Christmas gifts and going to her house after Sunday night church for several years.
As her family and friends can attest, Trudy lived fully in the moments she was given. She remained actively involved in her church, Berkley Hills Church, where she faithfully attended and sang in the choir. She was also active with the Christian Youth Crusade (CYC) for a few years. During their retirement years, Trudy and Chuck enjoyed a couple of months in the South each winter. For several years they were in Florida, and they were later in Arizona for several winters. Trudy and Chuck had an amazing marriage that was anchored by regular devotions and a shared faith. They were very social, and if friends were over there were usually card games. Triominoes was another favorite. Most of their social activity revolved around friends from church. During their younger years, Trudy and her husband bowled on a mixed bowling league with friends. Although she was amazing in the kitchen, she did love her Buster Bars from Dairy Queen! Trudy remained active and her sense of adventure didn’t fizzle out. In fact, she even went down a long waterslide at age 77 and also went tubing behind a boat with her daughter-in-law when she was 80 years young!
In 2009, Trudy was deeply saddened with the death of her beloved husband. Soon after, she moved to Lincoln Square as it became clear that her memory was becoming clouded. Trudy enjoyed the other residents there and loved playing games while she was also able to get the care she needed as the years went by.
Welcoming, dependable, and gracious with a servant’s heart, Gertrude "Trudy" McNulty blessed others in so many ways. She was always up for a fun time, and once she got to know people her sense of humor really came out. Strong and courageous, Trudy was thankful for everything she had and counted it all as joy. There was no greater gift in her life than her family, and she was happiest when surrounded by their love. Trudy will never be forgotten.
Gertrude "Trudy" McNulty, age 90 of Grand Rapids, passed away June 10, 2018. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles. Trudy is survived by her children Kristi & Ward Benton, Kurt & Lisa McNulty, Ken & Tonya McNulty; grandchildren (great grandchildren) Andi & Ben Kraker (Stefan, Miracle), Ed & Jess Priest (Kenny), Kaiti Priest, Jana & Ryan Brotherton (Grayson, Kinsley), Holli McNulty (Ella), Ryan Beuschel, Scott (Peyton) Beuschel, Brooke Beuschel, Kelsey & Erinn Proehl, Charlie & Madison McNulty; sister, Shirley & Jerry Grit; brother Pete & Jean Visser; sisters-in-law Eileen Visser, Phyllis VanderKooi and Charlene & Charles Travis; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Trudy's life will be held on Wednesday at 11 AM at Berkley Hills Church, 1670 Ball Ave NE. Friends are invited to visit with her family on Tuesday from 7-9 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. For those who wish, memorial contributions to the Christian Rest Home Foundation are appreciated. To read more about her life, to share a memory or to sign her guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com