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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tacoma's #1 Fan Loses Life, But Holds Community and Love In Spirit

Margaret Mary (Melzark) Kinder’s long, plentiful, and loving life ended on January 6, 2010. Marge was born on June 15, 1920 on the outskirts Aberdeen, South Dakota. Marge’s family worked 2,000+ acres of land. Her family of six lived modestly and worked very hard; yet despite it all, they were a fun loving and close family. Family celebrations often consisted of music, dancing, and sing-a-longs with Marge at the piano. Big dinners and picnics with lots of good, hardy, homemade foods abounded on special occasions. And although Marge loved her family, city life always beckoned her.

And that city life called for Marge in her late teenage years when she met the handsome, smart, and kind Bill Kinder. The two of them fell in love and married on September 13, 1941. The couple moved into the town of Aberdeen where they welcomed son, Jerry and daughter, Marilyn. Bill worked in the newspaper business locally, while Marge tended to the children. They spent lots of time with extended family and friends. Years later however, Marge and Bill took on an adventure that changed their lives forever.

In the late fifties, they decided to come west and move to Tacoma, Washington where Marge’s brother, Bill and his family lived. It was a big move for the family and the wonders of the west coast and living in a much larger city astounded them. Marge soon fell in love with Tacoma and carved out a nice life for herself and her family. Bill was employed at The Tacoma News Tribune and Marge eventually took work in retail at the historic and famous Rhodes department store in downtown Tacoma. Marge loved working at Rhodes—she worked hard, lived and breathed the ideals of the store and it’s credo of superior customer service and made many wonderful friends. Marge stayed with the store until its demise in the 1970’s. Despite the store’s closure, Marge played an instrumental and leadership role in bringing together former Rhodes employees for reunions and luncheons to reminisce about the old days and being a part of the Rhodes family. Marge was also a part of the Retired Retail Clerks Association and enjoyed many social outings with this group, too. In fact, Marge stayed active in both organizations right up until her death. These were just some examples of Marge’s commitment to love and friendship. Unfortunately, these qualities were tested in her life and in true form, she rose to the occasion.

Friends, family, and neighbors meant the world to Marge and this loyalty and love was tested in the late seventies. Marge’s beloved Bill passed away suddenly and tragically in 1978. It was a tough time, and Marge leaned on family, friends, and neighbors to help. But shortly after this difficult situation, Marge emerged as a fiery independent spirit and her loyalty and passion towards friends and family deepened. It was at this time, she embarked on taking a senior aerobics class. This class began a two decades old legacy of aerobics, dancing, and close friendship. Marge was a proud member of the June Neville Dancers and performed at local venues all over the city. Again, Marge participated in aerobics to her death. An avid Seattle Sonics basketball fan, she won a contest as the “Sonics Grandma” and was honored during a home game! Her passions sustained her to the end.

There’s more. Her favorite and passionate things included luncheons and card games with dear girlfriends, trips with her son and daughter and their families, caring and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and helping her neighbors. She was a master gardener and kept up a large yard, fruit trees, a small pond, flowers, and a vegetable garden for many years. She was wonderful at sewing and baking. She loved holidays and seasons. Most of all, she loved all the people that touched her life. During this difficult time for her family and friends, we all take solace and comfort in the fact that she is reunited with her beloved husband, her parents, and siblings in another peaceful and loving place.

Survivors include Marge’s brother, Bill Melzark of Lake Tapps, son, Jerry (Mary) Kinder and daughter, Marilyn (Al) Bennett both of Tacoma. Grandchildren are Kim (Rick) Thompson of University Place and Bill (Marcy) Bennett of Tacoma. Great-grandchildren include Justin Thompson, Casey Bennett, Andrew Bennett, and Erin Margaret Thompson. She is also survived by nieces and nephews in Ohio, Minnesota, and Washington State.

Celebration of life will be held on Friday, January 8, 2010 at 12:00 PM at the Celebration of Life Center/Aspen Chapel at Mountain View In lieu of gifts, please donate to your favorite charity. Marge’s official obituary will run in The Tacoma News Tribune print and online editions January 7, 2010.

As Marge always said, “Never mourn the old. Only mourn the young.” While that’s tough advice to follow for her survivors, it is sensible and no nonsense and that’s what Marge always was and always will be in our hearts and spirits.


Lorraine Hart said...

Dearest Kim, condolences, love, and comfort to you and your family at this difficult and deep time. Your grandmother was a delight and an icon for younger women.

much love to you, Lox

Mizu Sugimura said...

Kim - So sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved grandmother whose talents, compassion and spirit are so well reflected in the eloquence and superb writing of her granddaughter Kim.

Kim Thompson said...

Thank you my friends.

Gigi S. said...

Kim, Deepest sympathies on the passing of your grandmother. Thank you for writing such a wonderful and heartfelt tribute.

I had a little 'start' when reading of her dancing with the June Neville Dancers. June is the mother of a dear and close friend and I've seen them dance several times over the years - so might have seen your grandmother doing her thing! They were always a joy to watch and I felt that I wanted to grow up to be just like them! You were fortunate indeed, to have a role model like her.

Hugs to you and your family. Gigi

Lorraine Hart said...

Kim, meet of my bestest friends. Hope to introduce you two sometime, properly. Lox

Terry Heath said...

What a touching tribute, thanks for sharing your grandmother's life with us.

Kim Thompson said...

Thank you, thank you Terry and Gigi. Gigi and I HAVE met and she's pretty and quite delightful.

Lorraine Hart said...

That's right, you have already met! Well...I'm glad you have lots of support. There was such a special bond between you and your grandmother...your voice always got warmer as you talked about her. I wish I could be with you tomorrow. Know that I will be, in spirit my friend. xoxoxox