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Masses for the repose of her soul.
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Life Story / Obituary
Determined, faith-filled, and confident, Virginia Machacek was a loving person to all who knew her. A lover of the music of Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby she was known for always finding time for her family. Raising her children with strong Christian values and being their greatest comfort in times of need, she also relished in being a caring grandmother. Virginia’s legacy of putting her family first will be admired for years to come and she will be greatly missed.
Looking back on the 1920’s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. With the media focused on jazz music and celebrities, especially sports heroes and movie figures, John and Sena (VanDer Laan) Van Oefflen welcomed home their seventh child, a newborn baby girl, Virginia born on September 17, 1926. She joined her loving siblings, Melvin “Bud”, Walter, Robert, Margaret, Geraldine, and Mildred.
Growing up in Coopersville, Virginia attended local schools and graduated with the Class of 1944 from Coopersville High School. As a young girl, she pitched in to help with the family’s dairy business. With the help of the family dog, she routinely rounded up the cows for milking and worked alongside her father from dusk until dawn. As as teen she looked forward to attending the local Friday night barn dances with her older brother, Bob. These nights sparked her love of dancing over the years. Virginia was talented at bow making and gift wrapping, talents she acquired during her first job at the Steketee’s Department store in downtown Grand Rapids. In addition, she also worked at the Sparta Foundry and General Motors over the years. At the tender age of twenty, she met the love of her life, Al Machacek at a house party in Sparta. It was love at first sight and the two of them fell deeply in love. They were joined in marriage at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Chester Township on May 12, 1948. Together they faithfully raised three beautiful children, Pam, Joe, and Kris.
Al, a proud father and supportive husband, built the family home on King Boulevard in Sparta where they grew as a family of faith. Attending Sunday mass as a family at Holy Family and saying the rosary together, they modeled a strong marriage and faith in their Savior. Virginia was always career oriented, working when many other women were content to stay home. Working for Judy Lee Jewels for many years, it was no surprise that she loved to coordinate her outfits and her accessories! She eventually became vice president to the company which allowed her to travel to many states. Later, Virginia enjoyed being a judge for the Miss Michigan beauty pageants. Always busy and on the go it is hard to believe that Virginia mastered the fine art of napping! She loved a good nap to restore the body. Over many years, Al and Virginia participated in a potluck group with twelve other married couples, who played cards and nurtured friendships. Virginia was perfectly fine with allowing Al to do the cooking, while she was known for her delicious banana cream pies and her special white Christmas pie. Throughout their married years, Al and Virginia enjoyed many special family trips together, often to Minnesota for family weddings or to northern Michigan with the kids and grandkids. The most memorable, however was a trip to the beautiful Branson, Missouri with both sides of the family! Their loyal commitment to one another lasted sixty wonderful years before sadly Al passed away in December of 2008.
In these last years, Virginia continued her many close relationships with family and friends often talking on the phone each evening! When she wasn’t playing Set Back, Old Maid, Go Fish or Euchre with her grandchildren or great grandchildren, she looked forward to visits from Sandy Hodges, her visiting nurse who was a great companion to her. Blessed by raising caring and thoughtful children, she looked forward to spending time with them and Pam made sure to have dinner with her every evening. Virginia never complained and as time went on she knew she had the loving support of her family to care for her. Sadly, she passed away and her wonderful spirit of love and nurturing faith will be forever in the hearts of her special friends and family.
Virginia G. Machacek, (VanOeffelen) aged 89 of Sparta, MI, passed away at Trillium Woods Hospice on Friday afternoon, July 22, 2016 with her loving family at her side. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Sena VanOeffelen and husband of 60 years, Aloys Machacek. She is survived by her children, Pam (Larry) Buchanan, Joe (Vicki) Machacek, Kris Sloothaak; her 7 grandchildren, Eric (Sarah) Buchanan, Jacquelynn (Chad) Fisk, Jennifer (Gerard) Gole, Heather (Ken) Martens, Ashley (James) VanRees, Nolan (Jenny) Sloothaak, Andy Sloothaak; her great grandchildren, Macie, Owen, Evan, Chase, Taryn, Peyton and Nora; many nieces, nephews and friends. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday morning at 11:00 AM at Holy Family Catholic Church, 425 S. State. St. Sparta, MI. Relatives and friends may meet her family on Monday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on From 2-4 and 6-8 PM with a scripture service at 7:00 PM. Visitation will also be held at the church on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the Mass begins at 11:00 am. Contributions in her memory may be for Masses or Faith Hospice. To leave your own memory of her and to sign her guest book, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com