Margaret Koetje, 93, of Mt. Vernon joined her Lord and Savior Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006.

Margaret was born July 27, 1912 in McBain, Mich. to James and Kate Hoekwater. She was raised in McBain. She graduated from Central Michigan to begin her long teaching career. Her first job was in a one-room school house, teaching all eight grades.

On March 12, 1948, she married Ben Koetje of Mt.Vernon. She continued on with her teaching in Mt.Vernon, first as a Special Education teacher at Madison and Jefferson Schools and then at Mt. Vernon Christian School.

After retirement she enjoyed being with her grandchildren, and traveling all over the United States and Europe with her good friend Ann Verdoes. She loved to sew, do crossword puzzles, watch baseball and crochet afghans.

Mom enjoyed serving others. On many Monday mornings, you would find her working at the Mt.Vernon Food Bank. Wednesday afternoons, when she was in her 80's mom would head off to the Senior Center and teach "the older ladies," as she would say how to crochet Afghans.

Mom made friends easily. She loved to have her friends stop by for coffee and cookies or to play a game. She never thought herself as old, in fact many people called her the "youngest old person that they knew". She had a very positive attitude. She enjoyed life, her church family, her family and serving others. She was always learning, asking questions and keeping her mind sharp.

The family would like to say a special thank you to Cathy Peterson and family, Vicki Ingolfsland, and Carl and Cathy Vandersar and family for the love they shared with mom. We appreciate her close friends at the Alger CRC. We also thank the staff at Home Place and Hospice for taking such good care of her in the last couple of years of her life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ben Koetje; her grandchildren, Gary Koetje, Cyndy Rogers, and Brandon Koetje; stepson, Les Koetje; brothers, Ira and John Hoekwater; and sister, Stella Bronkema.

She is survived by her children, Kathy (Stan) Bos, Jim Koetje, Burleigh (Garry) Smith, Al (Cherita) Koetje, Louise (Stan) Jensen, and Henry (Marilyn) Koetje; her sisters, Jean Weaver, Ellen Baas, and Gertrude Bogard; 11 grandchildren, Keith Bos, Jill Bos Kate (Trevor) Mentink, Doug Chase, Sheryl Asher, Dean Asher, Alana Morris, Randy Koetje, Sharon Irvin, Gail Neil, Mike Koetje; and many great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Brandon Koetje Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Mt. Vernon Food Bank and the Sunnyside Christian School Foundation, 811 North Ave. Sunnyside, WA 98944.

Memorial services will be held at Saturday, March 4, 2006, at 1 p.m. at Hawthorne Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon, followed by a reception in the Hawthorne Reception Room. Arrangements are under the care of Hawthorne Funeral Home, 1825 E. College Way, Mt. Vernon.


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