Louise Bennink

Louise Marie Bennink (Filarski)

Wednesday, April 6th, 1921 - Sunday, November 24th, 2019
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Louise Marie Bennink passed away November 24 with her daughters at her side. Born on April 6, 1921, Louise was the daughter of Louis and Marie Filarski. She was a graduate of Kalamazoo High School and Parsons Business School. In 1944 Louise married Bernard (Bud) Bennink of Kalamazoo. Louise and Bud enjoyed 58 years of marriage until Bud's death in September, 2002. They both loved to travel, thoroughly enjoyed their six grandchildren and their spouses, and their home on Indian Lake.

Louise's career in music began when at the age of 17 and still in high school she was hired by Bethany Reformed Church to be their organist. She served Bethany as organist and choir director for over 70 years, retiring in 2010. She never considered her work at Bethany to be a job, but instead viewed it as a way she could give praise to God. Louise loved playing and improvising on the piano and mastering the great organ works. She always said it was the versatility and sound of the organ that thrilled her. In 2005 as part of the Bethany's 100th year celebration, Louise made a CD with piano improvisations and organ works. Throughout her 70 years as organist Louise played for over 100 weddings, meeting with couples to select meaningful music. She was employed by many years by Langeland Family Funeral Homes as organist, again selecting appropriate music for the family. In addition, she gave piano and organ lessons to countless students, some of whom won competitions and music scholarships.

Survivors are daughters Marcia (John) Knapp of Ann Arbor and Mary (Paul) Wesselink of Grand Rapids, grandchildren Kristin Lin of Ann Arbor, Daniel (Andrea) Knapp of Glen Ellyn, IL, Elizabeth (Brian) VanderWege of Holland, MI, Adam Wesselink of Arlington Heights, IL, Paul (Julie) Wesselink of Grand Rapids, and Brett Wesselink of Holland, MI., and eight great-grandchildren. Preceding her in death were her loving husband, Bernard Bennink, and sister, Eleanor Hill.

A service to celebrate her life will be held at Bethany Reformed Church at 2:00 pm on Saturday, November 30. Visitation will take place at Bethany in the Gold Room beginning at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for gifts in her honor to Bethany Reformed Church, Geneva Camp and Retreat Center in Holland, MI or Ministry with Community in Kalamazoo.
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