Ellen Beuker ’50 Froelich
Ellen Beuker ’50 Froelich went into the Light of God on September 2, 2016. She was 88.
Nan was born in Grand Rapids on August 7, 1028 to Margaret Evelyn Trompen ’24 and Dr. Herman Beuker ‘22. Her family moved to Marshall, Michigan, when Nan was a year old, where her father began his medical practice. Nan lived in Marshall until she graduated from high school. Following high school, Nan enrolled in Hope College and started her studies in music. Having a beautiful soprano voice, she had the honor to give a “senior” voice recital as only a sophomore at Hope.
As a Hope freshman, Nan met Bob Froelich. They became engaged and married after just one year in 1947. Nan left her college studies after her sophomore year, to support them in their newlywed life together. They continued to live in Holland until Bob graduated from Hope College. After Bob graduated from Hope, they both went on to teach in St. Johns, MI. Nan taught first grade until her son, Robert, Jr. was born in 1951. Nan followed Bob to Flint, MI where daughter Sue Margaret was born and then to Livonia, MI where daughter Heidi Ann was born. Many job related moves followed, including Avon Lake, OH, Lambertville, MI, Northville, MI. Nan and Bob settled in Pella, Iowa in the fall of 1969.
In Pella, Nan continued to teach the piano and in 1972 started her own business, Strawtown Country Store, a very popular and successful gift shop and Christmas store. Nan sold the business when Bob retired from Central College. In retirement, they enjoyed wintering in Beacon Woods, Hudson, FL and summering at their cottage on Crystal Lake in Beulah, MI. In 2005, they returned to Holland, MI to take up residence in Freedom Village.
Wherever Nan and Bob settled, they were active in a local church. Nan and Bob were founding members of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Beulah; MI. Nan joined the choir of each church they attended. Nan’s love of music also led her onto the stage. In Avon Lake, OH, she was part of a civic theater group and performed in their yearly musicals. Nan had all three children playing piano and other instruments, as she believed music to be essential to a child’s upbringing. Nan also involved all the children in listening to all the popular musicals and watching them on TV. As well as singing in church choirs.
An accomplished pianist, she also taught piano lessons in her home for years. Eventually, Nan joined the Freedom Village Singers and kept singing until her eyesight failed and she could no longer stand. Throughout her years, Nan continued to be artistic and creative. She could wallpaper, paint, sew, cook and entertain. She took part in flower design and flower clubs. She loved to read. Nan was not shy about working hard both inside and outside the house. She knew the value of work! She was a wonderful spouse, mother, homemaker, business owner and a great friend to those around her.
Nan is lovingly remembered by her children, Rob and wife, Judy. Sue and husband Matt Mehl and Heidi and husband, John Slinkman. Their families grew to include 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren; Nan’s sister, Carol Beuker ’59 (John ’59) Krauss and their children Rebecca, Megan, John, Andrew; the family of her dear departed brother Dr. John Beuker ’52; his wife Carol and John’s children’s Kathy, John, Melissa; her sister-in-law, Connie Froelich and Connie’s children George, Claire, Ruth, Mark and all of the extended families.