|Marion R. (Koch) Beetstra, age 89.
Born: September 16, 1927 in Fond du Lac, WI. Adopted by Frank and Lillian Koch of
Died: June 13, 2017 at the Harvard Hometown Care Center.
Marion grew up in Harvard on West Burbank Street, which was the last street in town in the
1930s. Growing up during the Great Depression left a lifelong impact on people of the
Greatest Generation, and like many New Deal Democrats, Marion lived frugally and gave
generously her whole life.
Marion attended Kindergarten through 6th grade at Central School in Harvard and Harvard
High School for grades 7-12. She graduated at the top of the HHS Class of 1945, winning
the American Legion Award. Marion attended nurses’ training at Illinois Masonic Hospital
in Chicago. As an RN, Marion had a long career as a nurse for Dr. F. J. Quincannon in
Harvard, and she is fondly remembered by many of the Dr.’s patients still residing in
Marion married Leonard Beetstra of Harvard on June 18, 1949 at the First Presbyterian
Church. They had five children: John (Amy) Beetstra, Melinda (Gary) Vose, Thomas
(Angelina) Beetstra, Robert (Julie) Beetstra, Karen (Jim) Kruckenberg. Leonard and
Marion were married for 66 years and together built a successful business based upon
cattle dealing, dairy farming, and real estate.
Marion was a marathon shopper, and a talented gardener, cook, and seamstress who
made beautiful doll clothes for her many granddaughters. Marion was an enthusiastic
supporter of her beloved Green Bay Packers. A Packer shareholder, Marion cheered on
generations of Packer legends such as Curley Lambeau, Bart Starr, and Brett Favre at
Lambeau Field. She was very knowledgeable about the game and loved to talk football.
An avid reader, Marion faithfully read 3 newspapers a day and subscribed to a wide variety
of periodicals. While her favorite books were mysteries, she read across genres and is
fondly remembered by her children and grandchildren for reading aloud to them.
Leonard and Marion enjoyed traveling, and always looked forward to attending their annual
Navy reunion and meeting with shipmates and others who served on board the U.S.S.
In recent years, Marion greatly enjoyed fellowship and quilting on Tuesdays at the First
Presbyterian Church of Harvard, where she had been a member of the congregation for 75
Marion is survived by her five children, 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. She
will be acutely missed by her family, including her sister-in-law, Grace McCullough of
Sharon, WI. She was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Leonard Beetstra.
Visitation will be from 9-11:00 am on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at the First Presbyterian
Church, 7100 Harvard Hills Road, Harvard, IL 60033. Services will follow at 11. Interment
will be in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Harvard, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Harvard.
Family and friends may sign the online guest book at www.saundersmcfarlin.net.
For more information call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral home at 815-943-5400.