Thursday, May 21, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
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
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Margie Rockafellow was a blessing in the lives of everyone she met. She was soft-spoken and kindhearted with a warm and sunny disposition that drew others near with ease. Margie was a loving wife and devoted mother. Never one to worry about the things of this world. Although she accomplished many things of which to be proud, she was a gracious woman whose family was her greatest source of pride and joy. Life will never be the same without Margie here, but her memories will be cherished.
The Roaring Twenties were an exciting time in American history as innovation was taking us places we had never been. Cars were more affordable due the wide implementation of the assembly line while Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh took the world of flight to new heights. Jazz music and the Charleston were among the latest crazes, and baseball legends Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth drew record numbers to the ballpark. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great anticipation in the lives of Neal and Fern (Brown) Kik as they were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as winter held the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, firmly in its grip in 1924. The big day finally arrived on February 10th when the healthy baby girl they named Margie drew her first breath. She was the only child in her family, and they spent some time living in Delaware before finally settling in Plainwell. Margie’s father worked for Consumer’s Power and also raised homing pigeons, which required they travel at times. Margie loved traveling throughout her entire life. Her mother was a homemaker who also took care of the bookkeeping duties for the dance studio later in life. Margie was of Dutch heritage as her father had immigrated to the United States from the Netherlands.
In many ways Margie was a young girl of her generation. She attended local schools including Plainwell High School graduation in 1942. Before graduating from high school Margie attended Chicago Association of Dancing Normal School. In 1938 Margie began teaching dance in her parents’ home at 717 N. Main Street in Plainwell. She later received her master’s certificate of dance in 1949. After she married she moved her studio to 339 W. Bridge Street where Margie had her dance studio on the main level, while Margie & her husband John lived upstairs. Margie owned and operated her own dance studio from 1938 to 1972 when she retired from teaching dance.
Not to be forgotten during her formative years was Margie’s introduction to the young man of her dreams. His name was John Rockafellow, and they met around the time of her sixth grade year, although it took him until their senior year in high school to ask her out for a date. He asked her out in a rather unusual way, too, as he was sitting on her porch when she returned home from a date with someone else. John must have made quite an impression, however, since she accepted his offer for a date, and the rest is history as they say. A bit later, in March of 1943, John enlisted in the United States Marines during the days of WWII. He was sent overseas to the Island of Iwo Jima in the military police. John and Margie corresponded through letters while he was overseas. He was finally discharged in 1945.
Margie and John continued to grow in their love after he returned, and with a desire to establish a life together, they were married in July of 1947. Shortly thereafter, John joined the Marine Reserves. Although he was called upon to serve, he thankfully never left the country. Together Margie and John welcomed their son, Neal, into their hearts and home. Over the years the Rockafellow family also had several dogs that were like additional members of the family. Margie was a loving wife, mother, and homemaker. Her skills in the kitchen were amazing, and she liked trying all kinds of new things, pulling recipes out of her extensive collection of cookbooks and her pies and cookies were among her specialties.
Throughout her life Margie enriched her life in so many ways. Traveling was one of her favorite things to do, and over the years she made it to Hawaii, California, Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, and on several cruises among many other fun-filled destinations. John & Margie had a second residence in the Daytona Beach, Florida area where they spent many, many, pleasurable winters and made many friends. Both Margie and John were NASCAR fans, so they took in the races in Daytona at times. With a love for flowers, she kept the most beautiful window boxes and potted plants. When it came to music, Margie enjoyed listening to what was popular at any given time.
Described as cheerful, hardworking, and genuine, Margie Rockafellow was truly beautiful on the inside and out. Her focus was on living fully in the moments she was given while holding her loved ones near. Margie will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
Margie Rockafellow, of Plainwell, died on May 17, 2015, at Ely Manor in Allegan. Margie’s family includes her son, Neal (Jane) Rockafellow; grandchildren: Jennifer (Marc) Laforest, Sara (Robert) Keen; great grandchildren: Liberty, Cameron, Piper, Nyssa; and her favorite cousin, June Hendricksen. Margie was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, John. Visit with her family and friends on Thursday, March 21 from 10:00-11:00 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A funeral will follow at 11:00 a.m. at the same location. Please visit Margie’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign her memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to Gun Plain Township Fire Department.