Sara "Bess" Strickland Luidens, 90

Sara "Bess" Strickland Luidens, 90, of Grand Rapids and formerly of Rockford, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 29, 2016.
Bess was preceded in death by her husband Rev. Mr. Jack Luidens; parents, T. Gary and Minnie Lois (Waddy) Strickland; and sisters, Ellie, Hazel, Mary Ruth, Dot, Judy, and Aline.
She is survived by her two daughters, Sally Luidens and Priscilla Fuerst; grandson James (Heidi) Larimore; great-grandson Jack; and numerous nieces, nephews, and other beloved members of the Luidens and Strickland families.
Bess was born and raised in Jonesboro, Ga., and remained a "southern belle" all her life. She was a graduate of Jonesboro High School and Mercer University. She met and married Jack in Louisville, Ky., where she was teaching and he was a student at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. They renewed their wedding vows on their 50th Anniversary in 2002 at the same chapel where they married in 1952.
Bess was an accomplished pianist, winning a State of Georgia Music Education Association Superior Rating in 1940. She taught for 33 years, before retiring from teaching sixth grade for Rockford Public Schools.
Bess spent the following years volunteering at Blodgett Memorial Hospital. She especially enjoyed spending time with her grandson and serving as the accompanist in the churches her husband served as minister.
The memorial service for Bess was Saturday, April 2, at Clark Retirement Community, 1551 Franklin Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. Bess was laid to rest at Plainfield Township Cemetery.
The family wishes to thank all her caregivers at Clark on Keller Lake and the Franklin Street Campus, and Emmanuel Hospice for their loving care.
Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to Rotary International; or to Mercer University, Macon, GA.
Arrangements were provided by Pederson Funeral Home,


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