Aileen Northrup, 81
Aileen Northrup, 81, of Martin died peacefully in her home on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015, with her family at her side. While deeply saddened by losing her, they are infinitely grateful for the caring spirit and joy that Aileen brought to their lives and to the lives of many others.
Aileen was born April 7, 1933, in Fennville, to Clare Schultz and H. Marie (Parrish) Schultz. She graduated from Fennville High School in 1951 and received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Western Michigan University.
Aileen married Elwin Northrup on June 13, 1959. They moved to Martin in 1960, where Aileen lived for 55 years. She was an elementary school teacher for 29 years, 25 of which were in the Martin school system. She touched the lives of many young students and was a kind and dedicated teacher.
Aileen was an active member of the Martin United Methodist Church. She and Elwin performed at church and community events with Aileen playing accordion while Elwin sang. She traveled throughout the United States and went to Europe.
Aileen enjoyed her cottage at Hutchins Lake near Fennville where she entertained friends and family. She especially loved the time she spent with her grandchildren.
Aileen was preceded in death by her parents and by her infant sister Wanda. Her beloved husband Elwin died in 1994.
Aileen is survived by her sons, Ron (Diane) Northrup of Comstock Township and Tom Northrup of Prairieville Township; daughter Amy (Steve) Collins of Hastings; grandchildren Amanda and Matthew Northrup, and Ronnie, Kayleigh and Allison Collins; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Norris and Dona Northrup of Allegan and Doyal and Betty Northrup of Portage; nieces Sally Beyer, Connie Kirk and Ginny Cronkhite; and many cousins.
Aileen battled kidney cancer, having one kidney removed in 1967, with her remaining kidney removed in 2009. She set a brave example of enjoying life while living with the challenge of six years of kidney dialysis. Her faith and positive attitude in the face of tremendous odds has served as an inspiration for her family, church family and caregiver community. While kidney cancer did not define her life, the courageous, positive way she approached living with the disease is typical of Aileen's spirit.
Visitation will be Sunday, Feb. 22, from 2 to 5 p.m. at LifeStory Funeral home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell. Services will be Monday, Feb. 23, at 11 a.m., at Martin United Methodist Church, 969 E. Allegan St., Martin.
To read Aileen's life story, sign her guestbook, leave a memory or share a photo, visit www.lifestorynet.com. Memorial contributions may be made to Martin United Methodist Church.