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Kay Bates Wietke

04/22/1929
02/12/2021

Kay Bates Wietke went to Heaven February 12, 2021 to join her son Christopher (1989) and her husband of 70 years, Ted (2020). Kay was always proud that she attended a different school every year from 7th grade through high school and loved every one of them. She graduated from Owosso High School, and Stephens College where she was President of her dorm. She was a charter member of Sweet Adelines and enjoyed singing with the chorus and in quartets. She served as a Board Member of the now defunct Grand Rapids Community Concert Association, as President of St. Elizabeth’s Guild at Grace Episcopal Church where she taught Sunday School, and she sang in the choir at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. She was a member of the Bissell Guild, Gerald R. Ford Republican Women, and a founder of the charity Operation Stork, where she became known as “Mother Superior.” She worked in the Forest Hills Public Schools for 21 years where she became a surrogate Mom and mentor to students and employees. When at home she most loved baking cookies/pies and making jams and jellies that she gifted to many people. She loved knitting while watching MSU football or basketball, and the Tigers on TV. Her love of reading started early, having skipped 3rd grade because of her advanced ability, and as an adult aimed for 2 or 3 books a week…some well written, others just for fun. Kay was devoted to her family, loved them deeply, and cherished her time with them. She was known for her clever writing ability, quick wit, common sense, and optimism. Kay is survived by children Paula (Jeff) McDonald, Ted “Tee” Wietke, Kim (Paul) Galdes; grandchildren Sean, Kevin McDonald, Emily (Sara) Dailey, Maggie (Scott) Barker, Christopher “Crick” “CJ” (Meg) Galdes, Claire Galdes; great-grandchildren Autumn, Norah, Cohen Christopher, Wren; brother Monte (Sandy) Bates; several nieces and nephews; and lifelong special friend Marty Arnold Sheerin. The family will hold a visitation on Wednesday February 17, 2021 from 11:00-1:00, with a service at 1:00 at O’Brien Gerst Funeral Home. Services will be livestreamed on our Facebook page. Burial and a Celebration of Life will be held in the spring/summer.  The family would like to thank the staff from Emmanuel Hospice and Porter Hills for their care. Memorial gifts can be made to Operation Stork. Checks should be made out to 2nd Congregational UCC, with Operation Stork/Kay Wietke on the check memo line. Please mail to 2nd Congregational UCC/Operation Stork 525 Cheshire NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.

Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Operation Stork

Checks should be made out to

2nd Congregational UCC

with Operation Stork/Kay Wietke

on the check memo line

Please mail to:

2nd Congregational UCC/Operation Stork

525 Cheshire NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49505

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2 Responses

  1. I was a student at Forest Hills and a former neighbor of Mrs. Wietke. I worked for some time as a student helper in the office with her and remember making a special turkey decoration with her that we were both proud of. She was always a very sweet and kind lady and I have fond memories of her. I am so sorry to hear of her passing. She lived a wonderful long life. She touched so many people in her years at the school.

  2. She was a pleasure in the office and did a great job In 30 years of teaching she was the
    best and so pleasant. Chris was a good student, child, Kim too.

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Make a Contribution

Memorial Contributions

Operation Stork

Checks should be made out to

2nd Congregational UCC

with Operation Stork/Kay Wietke

on the check memo line

Please mail to:

2nd Congregational UCC/Operation Stork

525 Cheshire NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49505