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Bertha M. Kowalski
September 3, 1941 ~ July 19, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
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Bertha Marilyn Kowalski, age 81, died Wednesday, July 19, 2023 at her home in Rockford. She was born September 3, 1941 in Grand Rapids, the daughter of Francis and Bertha (McNeil) Jenkins. On April 16, 1960, she married Lanny Kowalski in Grand Rapids. Bertha was a sports fan, and especially loved rooting for the Tigers and Red Wings. Jeff Gordon was her favorite NASCAR driver. She loved Mickey Mouse and owned many Mickey Mouse collectibles. She liked sports cars and owned many over the years. Bertha had a real sense of style and could usually be seen wearing colorful, flashy clothing. She cherished trips with her family, especially going to Frankenmuth and eating as much Zehnder’s chicken as she could. Bertha’s last ten years were spent with her granddaughter, April, who so faithfully cared for her grandma. Lanny preceded Bertha in death in 2008. She was also preceded in death by her son, Kenith Kowalski, mother, Bertha Clayton, and sister, Gertrude Haven. She is survived by her son, Keith Kowalski; daughter, Kandice (John Douglas) Barry; daughter-in-law, Denise Ripley; grandchildren, Kyle Kowalski, Steven (Mina) Kowalski, Matthew (Danielle) Thomas, Christopher Ripley, April Barry, Wesley (Sunshine Harrison) Barry, Timothy Barry, Seth (Samantha Lubitz) Douglas, and Cody (Charlene) Douglas; many great-grandchildren; brother, Francis (Dee) Jenkins; special niece, Debbie Griffioen; and other nieces and nephews, relatives, and friends. A funeral service to celebrate Bertha’s life will be held at 1:00 pm Friday, July 28, 2023 at Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, Belding, with visitation from 12:00 to 1:00 pm prior to the service. Pastor Mike Simmons will serve as officiant. Private interment will be in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Grand Rapids. Memorial contributions may be given to a charity of your choice, and memories of Bertha and messages of condolence for her family may be shared at www.jffh.com.