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97-year-old GR Catholic Central grad dies

Posted at 1:00 PM, Nov 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-21 13:00:04-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Margaret Bekema, who had just graduated from Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School in October, died Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the age of 97.

Bekema had recently earned her diploma from Grand Rapids Catholic Central after dropping out of school in 1932 to take care of her mother who had cancer.  After her mom died, she spent her teen years helping run their household and taking care of her younger siblings.

Despite dropping out, Margaret went to do clerical work for the armed forces and became a preschool teacher.

According to her MLive obituary, there will be a visitation from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22 at the Pederson Funeral Home. Her burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23 at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church at 4865 11 Mile Road NE in Rockford.

Bekema is survived by her sister, Marianne Julien, her daughters: Katherine Krugler, Geralynn (Douglas) Smith; her grandchildren: Jeffrey Krugler, Janice Krugler, Matthew (Vanessa) Smith, Steven Smith; her great-grandson, Donovan Smith, and many nieces and nephews.