Obituary for Shirley Mae Kooistra

Shirley Mae Kooistra

Birth Date: Feb. 27th, 1927
Date Passed: Nov. 3rd, 2017


Shirley Mae Kooistra died peacefully at Samaritas-The Woods in Grand Rapids on November 3, 2017. She was born in Chicago, IL on February 27, 1927 to Daniel and Ebba (Bergh) Johnson. During the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, she won 2nd place in the Doll Buggy Parade. In her teens the family moved to Ludington, MI where she graduated from Ludington High School. Her parents owned several business’s there, including the Palmer House (a rooming house), Shirley’s’ Snack Bar, and finally The Johnson Motel. After graduation she went to work for Consumers Power and then met Leonard Newman who delivered fuel oil to her parents’ home. They married in 1947 and moved to Grand Rapids Michigan where she continued to work for Consumers. After the birth of their first child she quit working to raise her family. After the youngest child began school she again entered the work force employed by the Northview School District in a secretarial position. She later went to work for Butterworth Hospital in Medical Records and upon her retirement in 2004 continued to volunteer in that department. During these years she was active in the Mollie Booth Guild holding offices of President and Secretary, volunteered at the Gerald R. Ford museum and was an active member of the Arthritis Foundation on both a local and State level. In June of 1972 she married Melvin R. Kooistra, owner/partner of Painters Supply Company located on Division Avenue. Melvin was her devoted husband of 24 years and preceded her in death in June 1996. She will lovingly be remembered by her children; Sandra Ross (Craig) Sanborn, Larry (Cindy) Newman, and Robert (Christina) Newman, her grandchildren; Amanda (David) Bell, Matt Ebert, Garth (Christy) Newman, Emilie (Matt) Musialczyk, Shelby (Kevin) VerHulst, Kyleigh Newman, Mattie Newman and 9 Great Grandchildren. Her family wishes to express their gratitude for the compassionate care provided by Samaritas and Kindred Hospice. Shirley was a lifelong member of Faith Lutheran Church beginning in 1954 when the fellowship met at the Aberdeen School. A celebration of life service will be held there (2740 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI) on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. with family greeting friends one hour before the service. There will be a private family burial at Blythefield Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers please consider memorial contributions to the Arthritis Foundation, Kindred Hospice or Humane Society of Kent County.


10:00am to 11:00am on
Nov. 8th, 2017 at Faith Lutheran Church
Map/Directions to Faith Lutheran Church


11:00am on Nov. 8th, 2017 at Faith Lutheran Church
Map/Directions to Faith Lutheran Church


on Nov. 8th, 2017 at
Map/Directions to Blythefield