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VaLaura M (Ernest) NibbelinkJanuary 31, 1919 ~ November 20, 2017 (age 98)
VaLaura Milburne Nibbelink, 98 of Harbor Springs, died at her home on November 20, 2017.
VaLaura was born on January 31, 1919 in London, Ontario, Canada and at the age of 13 months was adopted by her loving parents, Ralph and Ruby (Jones) Ernest. She grew up in Dearborn and graduated from Dearborn High School in 1937. She attended Stephens College, where she met her future husband. After the majority of her children were grown, she went to Oakland University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
On May 31, 1941 she married W. Fred Nibbelink at Christ Episcopal Church in Dearborn where the two made their home. The two visited Harbor Springs area to go skiing and in the mid 1960’s they built a chalet in Hidden Hamlet. In 1977 Fred and VaLaura moved north to Harbor Springs on a fulltime basis, making their home in Birchwood. Fred preceded VaLaura in death on April 1, 2009 after 67 years of marriage.
She was an active member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Petoskey, where she served on the Altar Guild for many years and still ushered until she passed. Crooked Tree Arts Center, where she served as a Past President, was a passion for her. Val was also active at the Birchwood Club, where she organized the monthly cooking classes for many years. She enjoyed playing golf and bridge, loved to knit, and was a curious and avid reader; you could always find her with a book in her hand!
VaLaura always had gratitude for those around her and thankful for everything people did for her. She loved telling stories about the war years and always remembered her grandchildren’s and great grandchildren’s names and birthdays. The happenings in her extended family brought joy to her. She will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved her dearly.
She is survived by 4 children, Dwight (Melissa) Nibbelink of Harbor Springs; Kristine (Robert) Meyer of O’Brien, FL; Patricia (David) Doran of Conway, SC; and Randall (Mary) Nibbelink of Anchorage; 17 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild, and by several nieces and nephews.
VaLaura was preceded in death by her parents and by her husband, W. Fred Nibbelink.
The family will receive friends at the Stone Funeral Home on Tuesday, November 28th from 5-8pm. A service celebrating VaLaura’s life will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Wednesday, November 29th at 11:00am, followed by a light lunch.
Those wishing to honor VaLaura’s memory are asked to make a donation to Stephens College in Colombia, MO or the Crooked Tree Fine Arts Center of Petoskey.