Marcia Hondorp ’62 Williamson

Marcia Lou Williamson, 83, passed away on December 21, 2023, at Stratford Pines Nursing Home in Midland with her family by her side. Her passing brought to an end her long struggle with dementia and her brief encounter with Covid.

Marcia was born on July 15, 1940, in Grand Rapids, Michigan the daughter of Bertha and Gerhard Hondorp (deceased). She had three brothers, David Hondorp, Don Hondorp and Roger Hondorp (deceased). She was a graduate of Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids before attending and graduating from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She earned a bachelor’s degree in early elementary education and did graduate work at Michigan State University and Central Michigan University.

Marcia met Garth Williamson while working at a summer camp for disadvantaged youth situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. She was a camp counselor working on credits for her degree at Hope College and Garth was a camp cook working to earn money to attend Central Michigan University in the fall. It was love at first sight for Garth but maybe not so much for Marcia in the beginning. However, Marcia eventually changed her mind, and they were married on August 8, 1963, and enjoyed 60 years of marriage before Marcia’s passing. They had two daughters, Julie Ann Williamson of Midland, Michigan and Kimberly Sue (Williamson) Atkins of Ann Arbor, Michigan. They had one granddaughter, Avery Atkins, who Marcia loved dearly.

Marcia taught elementary school in Mt. Pleasant and Alma until Garth graduated from Central Michigan. They then made a number of moves in Michigan and Wisconsin before settling in Midland in the early 1970s when Garth joined The Dow Chemical Company. It was then that Marcia found her calling in the field of early elementary education. The Kinder Keg Cooperative Preschool, Inc. was being organized in Sanford, Michigan and Marcia was hired as its teacher.
She taught at the preschool for 25 years and enjoyed every minute of it. Anyone associated with the preschool would agree she played a key role in helping the school grow and succeed.
Over time, students and parents started calling her Miss Marcia and the name stuck. Everyone knew Miss Marcia. Her retirement was significant enough locally to cause the Midland Daily News to run a story on her which appeared on the front page of the paper. Long after her retirement, former students and parents of former students would greet her as Miss Marcia whenever they met in stores, restaurants, etc. She had a positive influence on the lives of many people and was proud of her accomplishments at the preschool.
However, it wasn’t all work for Miss Marcia. She very much enjoyed attending plays in Stratford, Ontario in the spring. She and her best friend made the trip to Stratford and back several times.

She also enjoyed attending performances at the Midland Center for the Arts and vacations on Anna Maria Island in Florida during their granddaughter’s spring break. She was an avid reader and also enjoyed long road trips by car to interesting locations while on summer vacations. She was a member of the Fifth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids and then the Midland Reformed Church and church-related activities were important to her. Anyone who got to know her well would agree she was a warm, friendly, positive, loving, caring, outgoing and forgiving wife, mother and friend.

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