Kathleen ‘Kay’ (Kuipers) Wolters of Fremont passed peacefully into our Savior’s arms early morning Sunday, March 7 after a valiant two month battle with COVID pneumonia.
Kay was born in Grand Rapids on June 2, 1937, to adoring parents; Marjorie (Kol) & Peter Kuipers, a longtime Southwest Grand Rapids Mail-carrier. Her parents along with her younger brother Jon ‘Skippy’ preceded her in death, as did her beloved aunt Helen Kol.
Kay was a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High and Calvin College and did post-graduate work at Ohio State while living in Dayton, Ohio. Having married a graduate of the U of M, there was at least one tense Saturday watching football each Fall.
Kay married Richard H. ‘Dick’ Wolters of Fremont on June 16, 1959, after having fallen in love the first time she saw him across the hall at Calvin. Dick remembered she had the most beautiful green eyes he had ever seen, and proposed marriage on their second date.
Her passion was reading, and a soft glow from the front room was noted all hours as she devoured a literal library of books. She passed her passion on to hundreds and hundreds of children to whom she taught to read. She worked most often in the first grade and mostly at Cutlerville Christian. Even after retirement, she sought out assignments as substitute teacher, as education was her calling.
Kay & Dick were blessed with three children; Douglas Jon & Janet (Szymoniak) Wolters of Royal Oak, Lisa Kuiper (Wolters) & Moose Tenney of Arizona, and daughter Cathy Jo Wolters of Grand Rapids. She was also richly blessed with four grandchildren; Mia (Zeoli) & Travis Moore of Nashville, Anthony ‘Tony’ Zeoli of Lansing, Ryan Tenney of Phoenix, and Mackenzie (Tenney) & Hunter Vaughan of St. Louis as well four wild and spirited great-grandchildren; Ezra, Ira & Maple Moore and Hazel Vaughan.
Growing up essentially as an only child, having lost her younger brother as a toddler, Kay delighted in a robust extended family who were like true siblings; brother-in-law Dr. Burton Wolters (deceased) and sister-in-law Ellen (Griter) Wolters of Spring Lake as well as sisters-in-law Lois (Wolters) Mulder (deceased) and Joyce (Wolters) Kazie of Santa Barbara CA. She thanked God often for her family. Loved her nieces and nephews and their children. She was truly a thankful and giving person.
Kay was a fierce card player eager to master any game from Bridge to Euchre, Hearts and Hand&Foot. But it was Spades that had her hooked. She loved to win. Was a gracious hostess but was suspected of secretly eating all the black jelly beans.
Dick and Kay were snowbirds jaunting from Westbrook Village, Peoria, AZ to their cottage on Utley Lake near Newaygo. Kay loved the bustle of Phoenix, but was more deeply moved by the natural beauty of God’s handiwork in Michigan. She relished simplicity, yet her life was far from simple.
She adored the primitive Sylvan Lake cottage of her youth in Newaygo. She could not wait to plan her next Camping and RVing trip across the country, though she had settled into condo living in Fremont very easily and comfortably. She collected Toby Mugs, glass paper-weights, and Nutcrackers and counted down the days to Christmas with all the trimmings.
Kay was a faithful member of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont. She loved the ‘Coffee-Break’ gatherings as well as the Senior Group Bible Study sessions led by Pastor Douglas Macleod. The abrupt interruption to these touchstones by the Pandemic was increasingly hard.
Kay’s greatest challenge was raising her special needs daughter. She rose to the task with great love. Kay’s focused effort coupled with her daughter’s determination, allowed Cathy Jo to live independently with her helper dogs for over twenty years before increasing care needs forced her to a nursing facility. Strict pandemic restrictions meant the loss of direct physical contact with Cathy and this took a heavy toll on Kay as Cathy Jo was of major importance to her.
Kay will be lovingly remembered as a dedicated wife, mother, teacher, and friend to all, as well as a loved child of God both in body and soul. She will be missed. The family is planning a small private memorial. In lieu of flowers, please buy a book for a child in your life.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathleen 'Kay' H. (Kuipers) Wolters, please visit our floral store.