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Life Story / Obituary
With a journey that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Margery Bierens lived a rich and rewarding life while holding her loved ones near. She traveled all over throughout the United States and even abroad, but what made these experiences even better was sharing them with the ones she treasured. A loving wife and devoted mother, Margery took these roles to heart, but she just might have argued that nothing was better than becoming a grandmother and great-grandmother later in life. She did face trials at times, but she faced whatever came her way with both grace and courage that were such an inspiration. Margery leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to her heart.
It was great to be an American during the Roaring Twenties. Radios, refrigerators, and washing machines became part of our homes while cars became more affordable for the average American family as they became widely mass produced on assembly lines. Amidst this eventful time was the year 1928 when DS and Ivah (Rice) Hudson were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as November dawned that year. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Margery May drew her first breath on November 21st. Born on the family farm in Barnard, Kansas, she was the youngest of four girls, joining her sisters Marion and Ruth, in the Hudson family. They were later joined by their younger sister Myrna. When she was just three weeks old, Margery and her family left for Michigan where her father was taking over his father’s family farm in Lowell, Michigan.
Life was forever changed for young Margery with the death of her father in 1932 when she was just four years old. They then moved in with her grandparents who owned a duplex in Grand Rapids. Margery’s aunt and uncle lived upstairs with their two boys while Margery, her mother, and her sisters lived with her grandparents in the lower level. They spent six years living there. In many ways, Margery felt as though she had three mothers as both her grandmother and her aunt helped raise her. She always had fond memories of the time they spent living there. When she was nine years old, Margery’s mother remarried, and they moved to their own home in Grand Rapids. She graduated from South High School, and then in 1947 Margery spent about 18 months taking classes at Western Michigan University.
Not to be forgotten during her years as a young woman was her blossoming romance with the man who would change the course of her life forever. His name was Donald J. Bierens, and they were married on July 16, 1949, in Grand Rapids. The newlyweds moved into a brand new home in the Oakwood area in Kalamazoo. They spent 23 years there and welcomed three children into their lives as well: Laura in 1953, John in 1956, and Glen in 1959. Margery was a sweet and gentle mother who tended to their home and raising her children when they were young. When her mother-in-law died, her father-in-law, John Bierens, moved in with them. In 1971, they built their home on KL Avenue where Margery spent the rest of her life.
Inspired by a friend who went back to school, Margery decided that since the children loved spending time with grandpa it was the perfect time for her to go back to school as well. With him home with the children, Margery went back to Western in 1962 to get her teaching degree. After graduating in 1968, she began teaching for Mattawan Schools. Margery primarily taught first grade, but shortly before she retired she was at Title One with first and second graders. After 25 years of service, Margery retired in 1993.
In addition to teaching, Margery kept busy with other interests as well. She was a devoted member of the MacPherson Clan Association and was the national junior membership chairperson and worked with William Alan Clony MacPherson, who was the chief justice of Scotland and Wales. Margery kept track of the junior members and ran the Nanny Scholarship fund that assists members with their Scottish heritage like traveling to Scotland. She was involved with the Scottish Games when they came to Alma, Michigan, and she advocated the Scottish Festival in Kalamazoo. Margery was a member of Southwestern Michigan Scottish Society. Even after her husband’s death in 2003, she remained active with the Scottish Society. Over the years they housed several girls from the Softball World Series. Margery liked working on her house, and she also enjoyed knitting and embroidery. She and her husband traveled all over the United States and Canada in their camper, and they later traveled to Scotland and Hawaii. Margery enjoyed The Lunch Bunch, a group of fellow retired teachers from Mattawan. She was an avid reader who enjoyed reading romance and detective novels as well as the Harry Potter series.
First and foremost in her life was always Margery’s family. She loved her grandchildren, and each and every family event and milestone were some of her favorite things. Margery enjoyed hosting family as she loved both cooking and entertaining, and Margery was always the one to host the annual Christmas party. For 45 years, her Fourth of July party was the place to be as she had crowds reaching up to 125 people at times.
All who knew Margery Bierens would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She enjoyed life and took each day as it came, enjoying the beauty along the way. Margery was a loving wife and devoted mother, and there was nothing that made her more proud than witnessing her family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
Margery May Bierens, of Kalamazoo, died Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at her home. Margery’s family includes her children: Laura Howard, John (Norma) Bierens and Glen (Sharon) Bierens; grandchildren: Helena Bierens, Edward Bierens, Renѐe Moses, Lyndsey Kuiper; 3 great grandchildren: Ashtyn, Camden, Mason; sister, Myrna Beimers; and several nieces and nephews. Margery was preceded in death by her husband, Donald J. Bierens, sisters, Marion Gates and Ruth Bowers. Friends are invited to visit with family on Friday from 5-8 p.m. at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269-375-2900), where services will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. Following the service, burial with procession from the family home will take place in West Oshtemo Cemetery. Please visit Margery’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mattawan Public Education Foundation or Meals on Wheels through Senior Services.