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.
Women In Transition
411 Butternut Drive
Holland, MI 49424
17567 Hubbell Avenue
Detroit, MI 48235
Life Story / Obituary
Mary Ann Stygstra, Teacher, Mother, Grandmother Extraordinaire.
Mary Ann (nee Bicking) Stygstra passed away suddenly on December 11, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan after a brief illness. She was 71.
Ms. Stygstra was born on June 14, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois to her parents, Nicholas and Mary Bicking. Part of her childhood was spent at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island where her father worked as general manager. It was there she honed her keenly developed sense of hospitality and “how things should run”. Ms. Stygstra graduated from Hope College with a degree in Education. An extremely popular and dedicated teacher, Ms. Stygstra (or “Styg” as her students called her) taught high school English in Saugatuck for many years. One of her students remembered, “So Mary Stygstra gave me back a stool I made in high school. Super cool. My daughters are jealous that I had a teacher that would hold on to stuff for me for two decades.” First to Ms. Stygstra though, was always her family. She was a passionate, loving, caring, mother to her son Nicholas, and grandmother to her grandson, Finn, devoting much of her time to providing them both with memorable adventures. Ms. Stygstra loved to travel and visited many countries with her son Nicholas, other family members, and friends. She especially enjoyed cruises, and she sailed a number of times on the QE2. As the daughter of a hotel manager and owner, Mary Ann Stygstra had a flair for entertaining. She was a stunning cook and enjoyed planning and executing beautiful meals for family and friends. She delighted in playing “hotel” with her grandson Finn, knocking on his bedroom door and delivering him breakfast in bed on a tray. Twelve years ago, Ms. Stygstra realized a lifelong dream of living on Lake Michigan. She reveled in sitting on her deck with a book on her lap and absorbing life on the lake. She was known as a kind and generous friend and neighbor, quick to welcome newcomers, and to show hospitality.
Ms. Stygstra is survived by a son, Nicholas Stygstra, a grandson, Finn Stygstra, longtime companion, John Weenink, and numerous friends including former students.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, December 16, 2016 at Dykstra Funeral Home – Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue in Holland. Reverend Jeffrey Weenink will be officiating.
A visitation will be one hour prior to the service at Northwood chapel. Memorial contributions may be given to Woman In Transition, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland, MI 49424, (616) 392-2829 or Camp Westminster; Winter Contact: 17567 Hubbell Avenue, Detroit, MI 48235; P: 313-341-8969; firstname.lastname@example.org.