Marguerite Prins ’49 De Haan

Peggy DeHaan, 91, of Holland, passed away on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, with family by her side.

She was born Marguerite Jean Prins to Peter N. and Marguerite Meyer Prins on August 28, 1927, in the City. She graduated from Holland High School in 1945 and received a B.A. in English from Hope College in 1949. Following this she earned an M.A. in English from the University of Michigan.

Peggy married John DeHaan, Jr. of Holland in 1950. Almost all of their married life, Peggy and John lived in Holland; after John passed away in 2009, Peggy continued to live independently in her home until the final 6 months of her life. At her time of death she was residing in Freedom Village in Holland.

Before starting her family with John, Peggy was a teacher with the Hudsonville School District. She found great fulfillment in her role as the mother of 5 children. Following the growth of her kids, she was employed by Western Seminary Library.

The embodiment of an open heart and mind, Peggy was devoted to her family, friends and community. She was active in her Hope Church family as well as other community activities and issues, serving in a variety of capacities: Sunday School teacher, Bible student, choir member, volunteer in many church functions, foster mother of newborns, foreign exchange student host mother, Holland Community Chorale member, reading tutor and mentor for struggling younger students through Kids’ Hope and friendly visitor for Hospice of Holland. Peggy welcomed all into her heart and home: relatives and friends of all ages, friends of relatives, friends of her children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. No one was turned away; she shared her home, her table, and her cottage freely. Peggy loved much, and in turn received boundless love and appreciation.

Peggy’s love of reading was one way she stretched her lively mind; she was always eager to hear of good books and recommend them to others. She enjoyed both formal and informal book discussions. A music lover as were her parents before her, she passed on this love to her children; she supported and attended local classical music performances throughout her life. She enjoyed the theater and semi-regular trips to Stratford, Ontario were distinct pleasures.

An avid traveler, Peggy (with the indispensable support and company of John) introduced her children when younger to various sites throughout the U.S.; the goal of these trips was to expand the mind and appreciate natural beauty.

As an older adult, she and John toured a number of countries independently as well as through the Elder Hostel program. Always physically active, she enjoyed hiking and biking; in her later years she participated regularly in swim programs at the Holland Aquatic Center.

She was always ready to host or contribute to all manner of conversation, get togethers and parties whether involving family or friends or both. She laughed often and well, always seeking the most positive attitude even in the most trying of life circumstances; her sense of humor was one of her most delightful strengths. Peggy will be sorely missed by her many friends, as well as her surviving children and their spouses: Peter and Melissa DeHaan, John and Pat DeHaan, Margie and Tim Boersma, Tricia and Ed Parsekian, and Ginny DeHaan and David Kempston. She is survived also by 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren (with another on the way), numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother, Robert J. Prins.

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