Monday, October 31, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Christ Memorial Church
595 Graafschap Rd
Holland, MI 49423
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.
Christ Memorial Church Music Fund
595 Graafschap Rd
Holland, MI 49423
Life Story / Obituary
Nancylee Marema, a choirmaster, organist and educator who for six decades helped congregations, students and family make a joyful noise unto the Lord, died October 26, 2016. She was 87.
Nancy was born in 1929 in Auburn, N.Y. Her father, Clarence Corp, was a pharmacist, and her mother, Alpha Monteith Corp, operated an antique shop from the family’s home. She had one brother, Robert Corp, and one sister, Sally Corp Brulé.
Nancy began playing the organ as a girl and studied music at Hope College in Holland. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1951, also the year she married Jack Marema, a fellow Hope student from Grand Rapids.
Nancy taught in the Zeeland school system from 1951-53 and the Galesburg-Augusta school system from 1953-1962. She also served as organist and choir director of Trinity Reformed Church in Kalamazoo.
While living in Galesburg, Nancy and Jack had three children: Sally Kay Hoekstra (Dave Hoekstra) of Holland; Jacquelyn Lee Broek Marema (Ton Broek) of Santpoort, Netherlands; and Timothy John Marema (Liz McGeachy) of Norris, Tenn.
In 1962 Nancy and Jack answered a call to serve at Annville Institute, an Eastern Kentucky settlement school supported by the Reformed Church in America mission program. There she taught music, directed the student choirs, and was organist and choir director of Annville Reformed Church.
She took a keen interest in the lives of her students and expanded her family by becoming a mother figure to Carol Rudicill of Burlington, Ky., and Barbara Hundley of Letterbox, Ky. Other Annville students remember Nancy the teacher who encouraged them to sing out and who took them on annual “choir tours” to northern churches.
In 1974 Nancy moved to Berea, Ky. She earned a master’s in music education from Eastern Kentucky University, taught music at Berea College and Berea Community School and worked at the Berea College Bookstore. She was music director and organist at Berea Baptist Church and after retirement continued as organist, serving the church a total of 35 years.
In the 1980s, Nancy followed in her mother’s footsteps and started antique dealing. She hunted bargains at yard sales, flea markets and second-hand stores. She especially enjoyed collecting trivets.
Nancy was a frequent host to friends and family traveling through Berea. For more than two decades, Nancy’s children, their spouses and her grand-children gathered each Thanksgiving at the Maremas’ big, green house, filling the house with laughter, early Christmas presents and holiday food like ice-cream sundaes with homemade hot-fudge sauce.
In 2010, Nancy and Jack relocated to Holland, where they enjoyed regular contact with college friends and former staff and students of Annville Institute. They also made new friends at the Village at Appledorn, where she resided. Nancy was a member of Christ Memorial Reformed Church in Holland, sang in the church choir, and played piano for monthly Communion services at Appledorn.
In addition to her husband and children, Nancy is survived by seven grand-children, Jeremy (Lindsay) Hoekstra of Grand Rapids; Cara (David) Maat of Zeeland; Stephan Broek of Sheffield, England; Christopher and Carolina Broek of Santpoort, Netherlands; and Walker and Graham Marema of Norris, Tenn.; two great-grand-children, Caleb and Jonathan Maat of Zeeland; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Christ Memorial Church music fund.
Friends may also celebrate Nancy’s memory by singing, finding a good deal on a yard-sale item or eating a hot-fudge sundae.
The family will receive visitors 5-7 p.m. Sunday, October 30, at Mulder Chapel, Dykstra Funeral Homes, 188 West 32nd St. A memorial service will be held at Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschap Rd.,11 a.m., Monday, October 31.