Kathy Tuinstra

July 20, 1958 - July 27, 2016
Plainwell, MI



Sunday, July 31, 2016
12:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Plainwell Location
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-5881
Driving Directions


Monday, August 1, 2016
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Vann's Valley Event Center
1069 126th Ave
Shelbyville, MI 49344
Web Site


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.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
5005 LBJ Fwy., Ste 250
Dallas, TX 75244
(888) 888-3317
Driving Directions
Web Site

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22478
Oklahoma City, OK 73123
(800) 227-2345
Web Site

Gift of Life
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Kathy Sue Tuinstra was a woman of sincere integrity and grit. Her genuine love of people was modeled through her many close friendships and generosity toward everyone she met. Known as strong willed and stubborn at times, there was nothing that she wouldn’t do or give for a friend or family member in need. She was a loving wife and mother who lived her life by example, taking nothing for granted. She was a strong and resilient woman who faced whatever came her way. Her tenacious and positive outlook will be deeply missed by her close family and many special friends.

In 1958, Roger and Betty (Ruster) Brown welcomed home their youngest, a newborn baby girl, named Kathy into their loving home on July 20th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Joining siblings Judy, Barb, Roger and Alan, Kathy brought so much charm to their growing family.

The youngest of five children, Kathy’s childhood was filled with special treatment from her older sisters and brothers. She was often spoiled just because she was their special baby sister! Born to hardworking parents, Kathy’s father was a semi-truck driver and her mother worked in the cafeteria with Kalamazoo Public Schools. Growing up in Kalamazoo, Kathy attended local schools and graduated with the Class of 1976 from Loy Norrix High School. As a young woman, she played both basketball and golf in high school. After graduation she attended the University of Michigan for one year before returning to her hometown to run The High Wheeler Ice Cream Parlour. Young and ambitious, she also helped open up another successful shop in Muskegon.

Her life was forever changed when she met Mark Tuinstra who would later become her husband. She soon went to work for Murco, a meat processing plant in Plainwell, as a meat broker, where Mark was also employed. Starting out as friends and growing deeply in love, the two of them were joined in marriage on August 20,1983 at the East Martin Christian Reformed Church. The young happy couple settled into making their home in Plainwell where they raised three beautiful children together, Adam, Jarrod and Justin.

Always on the go, Kathy enjoyed many special hobbies and traditions over the years. She had a close group of friends that joined her on many overnight girls’ weekends. These memorable weekends were always enjoyed yet the specifics were a mystery known only to themselves! Such sweet friendships and sisterhoods were important to Kathy and she looked forward to their time together. No stranger to the kitchen, Kathy was a wonderful cook often catering over the years and had perfected a family favorite; delicious melt- in-your-mouth cinnamon rolls! Tinkering in her beautiful flower garden, enjoying her favorite country classics, especially Reba McEntire, and taking in the beauty of a Lake Michigan sunset were some of Kathy’s favorite pastimes. If she wasn’t walking the beaches around South Haven, she enjoyed the shores of Naples, Florida, where some close family lived. In addition to these hobbies, she gave selflessly and courageously, promoting cancer awareness, even participating in a sixty mile walk in one weekend! A truly compassionate person and friend to so many, Kathy will forever be remembered as a caring, honest, and resilient woman. The legacy she leaves behind is filled with a wonderful collection of memories and she will be deeply missed.

Kathy Tuinstra, of Plainwell, passed away on July 27, 2016, at the age of 58. Kathy’s family includes her children: Adam (Jenny) Tuinstra, of Kalamazoo, Jarrod Tuinstra & Jessica Struve, of Grand Rapids, Justin Tuinstra, of Plainwell; mother, Betty Brown, of Kalamazoo; siblings: Henry (Nancy) Tuinstra, of Martin, Gerrit (Cheryl) Tuinstra, of Plainwell, John Tuinstra, of Dorr, James (Donna) Tuinstra, of Martin, Miriam (Ron) VanVolkinburg, of Wayland, Judy (Bob) Rapp, of Portage, Barb Ogrin, of Kalamazoo, Roger (Missy) Brown, of Paw Paw, Alan (DeeDee) Brown, of Florida; and numerous nieces and nephews. She also has a grandpup Aurora. Kathy was preceded in death by her husband, Mark Tuinstra, father, Roger Brown, father-in-law, Bert Tuinstra and mother-in-law, Rensena Tuinstra.

Visit with family and friends on Sunday, July 31 from 12noon until 6:00pm at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 S. Woodhams St. (269-685-5881). A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 1st at 11:00am at Vann’s Valley Event Center, 1069 126th Ave, Shelbyville, MI 49344.

Please visit Kathy’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign her guestbook and share a memory and/or a photo. The family asks, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, American Cancer Society c/o Relay for Life, and/or Gift of Life. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the amazing staff at the Bronson Trauma and Emergency Center, Bronson Trauma Care Unit and Rose Arbor Hospice.