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Life Story / Obituary
Margaret Sanders was a vibrant person with a warm personality. She was a lover of all people, as well as a caring and compassionate mother and grandmother. Margaret lived her life giving selflessly and was a devoted partner over her many years. Margaret’s positive outlook, wonderful sense of humor, and gift of friendship will be forever remembered by her special family and friends.
The Roaring Twenties was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. Jazz music was booming, as well as the automotive industry, and the nation was seeing large scale industrial growth which brought about significant changes during this era. With the media focused on celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie figures, April 24, 1925 welcomed its own star, a newborn baby girl, Margaret born in Evart, Michigan. She arrived during a time in history that was filled with feelings of freedom and independence.
Margaret was primarily raised by her grandparents. Although she endured a tough childhood, she took those lessons and applied them to her daily life. A lifelong learner, she attended beauty college after attending local schools and later went on to Aquinas College in Grand Rapids to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She spent several of her early adult years working at Rogers Department Store in Grand Rapids. Not to be forgotten was the day she married her sweetheart, Adrian Nortier on May 2, 1946. The happy couple raised two beautiful children; Nan and Ron. Sadly in 1971, Adrian passed away. She guided her children with the great life lessons of showing kindness and generosity toward others as well as instilling in them the value of setting their goals high in order to accomplish anything they wanted from life. She modeled for them a lifetime of hard work and grit.
Following her true calling, Margaret spent most of her career years working as a nursing home administrator in facilities in many Michigan locations including the cities of Grand Rapids, Fremont, Marshall, and Albion. Margaret’s deep compassion for others and her way of caring for clients was obvious in her love of her job. She was well loved by the staff and worked until she retired in 1995. Margaret went on to marry Don Snape who enjoyed many wonderful activities and good times with her until he passed away in 1996. In her later years, she enjoyed the company of her third husband, Norman Sanders. The two of them enjoyed the warm weather of Florida until he passed just seven years ago in 2009. Her many years of experience as a nursing home administrator prepared her well for her role in caring for both Don and Norm when they took sick. All will remember her for her true and caring heart as she helped them both toward their end of life journeys.
Active her whole life, it is no surprise that Margaret had so many varied interests. When she wasn’t working, she enjoyed years of square dancing, golfing and fishing. She loved to sew, paint ceramics and had quite a sweet tooth from all of the delicious cakes she baked over the years. For relaxation, she spent time watching the popular QVC channel and tending to her bird feeders and pet birds. Despite her active lifestyle and career, her greatest joy was her family. Family was important to her and she looked back fondly on a family cruise that was taken years ago. In her retirement, Margaret spent nearly every weekend with her granddaughters. She delighted in sharing with them her many talents and spending time with them. After Norm’s passing, she went to live with her son Ron in Kalamazoo and she treasured every visit from her grandchildren, great grandchildren and eventually her great great grandchild. She longed to hold each of them and cuddle them. They affectionately called her “Granny.” During Margaret’s most recent years, the extended family joyfully cared for her as their love for her was steadfast and endearing. Described as a warm spirited, friendly, and wonderful person to be lucky enough to know, Margaret leaves behind a rich legacy of genuine tenderness. Sadly, she passed away on October 10, 2016 and will be greatly missed by many.
Margaret Sanders, age 91, of Kalamazoo died peacefully at her residence. She was a devoted member of Zion Lutheran Church in Marshall, Michigan. Members of her loving family include her son Ron Nortier and his former wife Kelly, her daughter Nan Campau, four grandchildren: Don Workman and his former wife Cathy Miller, Lisa Nortier, Andy (Jenni) Campau, and Krystin (Kevin) Johnson. Nine great grandchildren: Rebecca and Jackson Workman, Keira, Kayden, Kylieann, and Keanan Johnson, Kaleb Sage, Keagan and Jaxon Campau a great great grandchild: Braylon; and her sister-in-law, Martina Nortier. She was preceded in death by her three husbands: Adrian Nortier, Donald Snape and Norman Sanders, a great grandchild Alyssa Workman and her unborn daughter Layla, great grandchildren Kayson and Karson Johnson and a sister Betty Roberts. Visit with Margaret’s family and friends while sharing food and refreshments at an open house on Friday from 2-5 pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home on 6080 Stadium Drive in Kalamazoo. An informal time of sharing stories and memories will be held at 3 pm. Please visit Margaret’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Lending Hands.