Gretchen VerMeulen ’60 Felix

Gretchen (VerMeulen) Felix, age 84, of Hudsonville, Michigan, passed away peacefully on Friday, January 20, 2023. She was born January 22, 1938, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the late John and Geneva (Swietonioski). As a student at Hope College, she was sent to a dance as a blind date, arranged by the college’s President, where she met the love of her life, Andre Bernard Felix. Not one to be told what she can or cannot do, she disobeyed orders and followed her Air Force man all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska, where she and Andre would marry, on July 11, 1959.
Being a woman of great faith, Gretchen was most recently active with Fellowship Reformed Church in Hudsonville. This church family has been very supportive of her and Andre. Over other times of their lives, they had been active with Georgetown United Methodist Church in Jenison as well as other churches along their journey together. She worked at churches, volunteered at churches, and even spent significant time ministering through cards to troops, missionaries, and pastors she had interacted with.
In addition to her church life, Gretchen was an avid writer of fan fiction stories and discussed her characters often with those who knew that part of her life. She saw her fan fiction as an outlet for her creative spirit and hoped, in the end, someone might help rescue some of her main characters, since she was unable to access her computer and do it herself.
Knitting, reading, and jigsaw puzzles were other activities that allowed Gretchen to keep her mind sharp and feed her creative spirit. Along with Andre, their other passion was dogs. Whether the pet was meant to show or help keep them safe, for over sixty years the Felix household kept at least one dog as company and were always treated as a member of the family.
Her working years included jobs as diverse as Dispatcher for Emergency Services, Administrative Assistant, and Librarian. Even during retirement, Gretchen enjoyed helping organize libraries, work through data, or support the organizations she cared about however they needed it.
During her lifetime, Gretchen’s deep faith and strong will helped her survive multiple accidents and incidents that required significant recovery. She liked to tell people she knew where she was headed, having seen the light as a child. She had such a unique perspective, always finding her “angels” who would help her avoid catastrophe.
Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Andre; son, David (Debbie); two granddaughters, Isabel and Adrienne; and sister, Kathleen.
She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, John.

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