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Life Story / Obituary
Mary Ann Kalman was a loving wife, supportive mother, and treasured grandmother. Passionate about people from an early age, she spent a large majority of her life selflessly giving to the needs of others. Her greatest love was her family. Nothing brought her greater joy than the moments she spent with them. Mary Ann will be remembered for the genuine grace she shared with even the luckiest of strangers. There is no doubt that she will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.
In the year 1939, there were many promises of a new decade. Sports and entertainment were making a strong comeback after the Great Depression and the first commercial air flight crossed the Atlantic Ocean. On April 7th of that same year, Elsie and Clarence Klamt welcomed home their newborn daughter, Mary Ann, in Zeeland, Michigan. Her birth brought much happiness to the family home.
Growing up, Mary Ann learned the value of hard work from watching her parents own and manage a dry cleaning business on 96th Street. Once school let out for the summer, she spent much of her time with her Uncle Art and Aunt Marie in Chicago who took care of her and her brothers, Ron and Art. They shared many special times together. Born with a natural ear for music, Mary Ann was a talented singer at a young age. Once when she was younger, she won a tire from winning a singing competition! During those years, after the Great Depression, a tire would be a commodity, but her parents weren’t very pleased. Mary Ann attended St. Francis for the first and second grade, before transferring to Mount Mercy for third through ninth grade. She loved singing in the choir and later graduated from Zeeland High School. With a strong interest in helping others, Mary Ann set off for Ferris State College in pursuit of her Bachelors in Nursing.
She and her husband, George Kalman, met through their involvement at their home church. They both were smitten from the start and joined in marriage at St. Francis de Sales Church. The two of them were eager to spend the rest of their lives together and start a family of their very own. Sharing many common interests, they raised three wonderful children; Kim, Kyle, and Ken. As a family, they spent many of their summers at Goshorn Lake. They also enjoyed a few years at Big Bass Lake where they enjoyed boating and fishing. Although Mary was working full time, she never missed a special celebration or school event for her children. As much as she cherished her years as a mother, she was overjoyed when she was blessed with grandchildren. She was exceptionally close with Jack and Megan. Mary enjoyed spending time with each of them and encouraging them to find their niche in the world. Mary Ann looked forward to holidays and special occasions shared with her growing family.
Mary Ann’s dependable and hard-working personality offered her many successes. She worked as a nurse for Holland Community Hospital for a remarkable twenty-five years. Mary Ann always held an optimistic attitude and was a pleasure to be around. She was well-liked by her co-workers and patients over the years. Mary Ann later worked at the Boven Birth Center where she found great joy in meeting new families and sharing in the joy of their new loved one. When it came to relaxation, she and George shared a lifelong friendship with Pat and Merle Driesenga. They spent time traveling together and sharing many wonderful memories.
Outgoing as well as social, Mary Ann played Bridge for many years. In recent years, she played every Monday morning at Evergreen Commons. Win or lose, it was always her favorite way to pass the time! Each and every Thursday evening was shared with Pat and her children, Tracey (Driesenga) McKnight and Kelli (Driesenga) Shinabarger and their families. To satiate her sense of humor, Mary Ann fondly read Erma Bombeck’s column back in the day for its common sense look at suburban home life from 1965 through 1996. Sadly, she is gone. Deeply loved, may her warm collection of memories touch the hearts of her many special friends and loved ones forevermore.
Mary Ann Kalman, age 82, of Holland, passed away on May 22, 2021, at home. She is survived by her children; daughter, Kim Kalman, son, Kyle (Jennifer) Kalman, and son Kenneth Kalman; two grandchildren, Jack and Megan; brothers, Ron Klamt and Art Klamt; sisters-in-law, Alyce (Kalman) Baker and Agnes (Kalman) Kehrwecker; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Carl Kalman in 2010, sisters-in-law, Lorraine Klamt and Kay Klamt, and special friend Merle Driesenga. Memorial services will be 11 am Friday (May 28), at St. Francis de Sales Church, 171 West 13th Street, with Father Charlie Brown officiating. Visitation will be 4-6:30 pm Thursday (May 27), at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street. There will also be a visitation prior to the funeral from 10-10:45 am. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Holland. Deep and profound gratitude to the individuals from Hospice, Julie, Jessica, and Erin who lovingly and professionally cared for her and guided her children as their mother received the care that she needed and so richly deserved in her final months. Other recipients for memorial donation to consider are St. Francis de Sales or Boven Birth Center.