Wednesday, January 23, 2019
11:00 AM EST
Martin Reformed Church
1073 West Allegan
Martin, MI 49070
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.
Martin Reformed Church Building Fund
1073 West Allegan
Martin, MI 49070
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Jean Brinkhuis, it is easy to see that her life was built on the foundation of her faith. She was so kind, compassionate, and generous with a love for life that was easy to see. Second only to her faith was the love that Jean had for her family, and she was so proud to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren she adored. A longtime resident of the community she loved, she touched the lives of so many others in a special way. Life will never be the same without Jean here, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
It was an exciting time to be alive in America during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation was leading the way to new technologies that brought us things like the washing machine, the radio, and the refrigerator. This innovation made way for prosperity, which was felt all across our great land. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Cornelius and Nellie (VerHage) Wittingen as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as December dawned in Beaver Dam, Michigan, in 1923. Their wait was finally over when the baby girl they named Jean drew her first breath. She was the third of five children as she was joined in her family by her older brothers, James and Harvey, and her younger siblings, Caroline and Richard. Jean’s parents were farmers, and in many ways she was a typical young girl of her generation.
New and exciting changes were in store for Jean when she met the young man with whom she would share the best years of her life. His name was Floyd Brinkhuis, and they were set up on a blind date. She was living in Zeeland while he was farming in the Martin area at the time. They continued dating and soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Jean and Floyd were married on October 2, 1951. Together they bought the farm where Floyd was working, and this became his life’s work. Together they welcomed three children including Gary, Mary, and Carla into their hearts and home. Jean treasured her roles as a wife and mother and took great pride in caring for her family. Her family was her greatest gift, and later in life she was filled with unspeakable joy to become a grandmother. Jean made it her mission to spend as much time with her grandchildren as she could. Some of their favorite family memories were made on vacation at a cottage they rented on Gun Lake.
In addition to caring for her family, Jean kept busy in other ways as well. During WWII, she worked at Chris Craft, and she later worked for Howard Miller. When her kids were younger she was hired on the spot to work at Boysen Market in Martin where she remained for several years until retiring in 1998. As her family and friends can attest, Jean’s faith was her primary focus. She had been a member of Martin Reformed since 1951. Jean lived the faith she cherished, and her Bible was her favorite book. After retiring she became even more active at her church than she had been before. Jean had a garden for years, and she canned and froze everything imaginable. She was a fantastic cook, and she was known for making pies for people when they were sick.
All who knew Jean Brinkhuis would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She was hardworking, friendly, and generous, and she loved using her time and talents to bless others in ways both great and small. Someone who was always busy, Jean fully embraced each day she was given. Through the life she lived each day she exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord she loved. A devoted wife and mother, Jean just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother many times over. Dearly loved, she will be forever missed.
Jean Brinkhuis, of Martin, passed away on Saturday, January 19, 2019. Jean’s family includes her three children: Gary (Pat) Brinkhuis, of Martin; Mary (Gary) Teal, of Washington, MI; Carla (Tim) Eichler, of Martin; six grandchildren: Joe (Andrea) Brinkhuis, Jeff (Jen) Brinkhuis , Sara (Anthony) Cocco, Dane (Tiffany) Teal, Adam (Jackie) Dussia, and Aubrey (Casey) Richie; 11 great grandchildren: Calli, Addison, Easton, Reid, Adley, Chloe, Lydia, Davis, Logan, Jackson, and Jace; sibling: Caroline Heidema, of Holland. Jean was preceded in death by her husband Floyd in 1987; three brothers: James Hop, Harvey Wittingen, and Richard Wittingen. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4 - 7 p.m. at the McCowen & Secord Family Funeral Home, Marshall-Gren Chapel, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell, MI (269-685-5881) The funeral will be held on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Martin Reformed Church. Jean will be buried at the East Martin Cemetery. Please visit Jean’s webpage at www.mccowensecord.com where you can sign her guestbook and share a memory. Those who wish may make contributions to the Martin Reformed Church Building Fund.