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Verna Jean Hollenbeck, age 78, of Ithaca, MI, passed away Friday, January 21, 2022, at home with her family at her side.
Funeral Services will take place on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Alma, MI, with Pastor John Eich officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, January 28, 2022, from 3-8 P.M. and Saturday at 10:00 A.M. at the church.
Verna was born on February 10, 1943 to Walter and Hilda (Kuhlman) Mischke in Watertown, SD. Verna received the gift of baptism in her family home shortly after her birth.
Verna was a graduate of Northwestern Lutheran Academy, Mobridge, SD. She attended DMLC (Dr. Martin Luther College), New Ulm, MN. It was there that she met Lawrence “LD” Hollenbeck. She taught 1st grade at West Salem, WI before their marriage on August 4, 1963 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Grover, SD. They were blessed with 56 years of marriage prior to his passing on September 23, 2019.
LD was in the Army, so they began their married life in New Jersey and then Illinois. After an Honorable Discharge, they went back to Mankato State College, MN so LD could finish his teaching degree. They moved to MI in 1968. Verna was a stay-at-home mom until her daughters were in school. She then worked for Commercial Bank for 13 years until her retirement in 1998. After retirement, Verna and LD enjoyed traveling in their fifth-wheel and working on Builders for Christ projects. They met many new friends along the way.
Verna was an amazing gardener and loved her flowers and vegetables. She enjoyed bicycling, woodworking, and attending her grandkids activities. She was a gifted organist, playing the organ for over 50 years. She was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and a lifelong member of WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod).
Verna is survived by her 2 daughters: Heather (Larry) Pung of Ithaca, MI; and Janeen (Steve) Whitmer of Midland, MI; and 4 grandchildren: Megan, Kayla, Addison, and Logan. She is also survived by 2 brothers: Norman (Earlene) Mischke of MN, and Donald (Karen) Mischke of SD; brother-in-law Robert Muringer of Bay City, MI; many nieces and nephews, and many special friends and neighbors. Verna was preceded in death by her parents, husband LD, infant brother Alton Mischke, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Muringer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Michigan Lutheran Seminary, 2777 Hardin St. Saginaw, MI 48706, or Gratiot County Commission on Aging, 515 S. Pine River St., Ithaca, MI 48847. Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Ithaca, Michigan.
Friday, January 28, 2022
4:00 - 8:00pm
Saturday, January 29, 2022
10:00 - 11:00am
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Starts at 11:00am
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
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