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Merene M. (Boltz) Conkey
February 12, 1939 ~ August 18, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Merene Margaret (Boltz) Conkey, 84, of Grand Rapids, MI, died peacefully at home and entered the Kingdom of Heaven on August 18, 2023. Merene was born to Mervyn and Irene (Crawford) Boltz in Tecumseh, Michigan on February 12, 1939. Merene enjoyed many things growing up in Tecumseh: her grandparents farm where she frequently “ran away” to; her summer vacations she spent in the Upper Peninsula visiting relatives; and Wamplers Lake.
She graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1956 and went on to graduate from MSU in 1964. While at college, she met her loving husband and soul mate Archie Conkey.
By the grace of God, their true love story began during a snow storm…when Arch dazzled Merene with his hospitality and his amazing breakfast-making skills. Then and there, they fell in love and never looked back. They had 63 wonderful years together and were thankful for every one of them.
Merene was the best wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She welcomed everyone into her home. The door was always open to anyone that wanted to join in on the Conkey-fun. There are many who consider her their second mom…which she always took as a huge compliment. She would cook huge family meals and no one could match her famous pot roast, tuna macaroni salad, cheese ball and shrimp curry.
Merene was known for her beautiful gardens. Her flowers were breathtaking and she loved sharing them with others. Merene also enjoyed all sports. She was an avid golfer, as well as a spectacular putter…not to mention she could hit a mean drive. She enjoyed many years of competitive tennis and bowling. She also taught many friends and family how to swim in the family pool.
Merene really loved her five children and their families: Cindy and Mark Hoekzema; Paul and Kristen (Asiala) Conkey; Jodie and Bob Rutgers; Rob and Carmen (Gehring) Conkey; and Ric and Monique (Ter Mors) Conkey. She has 10 grandchildren- Tyler Conkey; Lexi Conkey; Ryan Conkey; Megan Hoekzema; Evan (Melodie) Hoekzema; Delaney Rutgers (Jay Nadeem); Will Conkey; Rob Rutgers; Sam Conkey; and Mikayla Rutgers. She has 7 great-grandchildren (soon to be 8)- Nora Hoekzema, Naomi Hoekzema, Mila Hoekzema, Archie Cerajewski, Laila Scott, Mila Scott, and Ivy Williams. An extended part of her family is Brad (Nadine, Brianna, and Bryson) Bryker. She is survived by her brother Melvin (Ann) Boltz and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, her in-laws Hal and Christine Conkey, her sister Janis (Richard) Creswell, her sister Inez (Walter) Harger, her niece Beth Boltz, and her son-in-law Mark Hoekzema.
Funeral services will be held at Metcalf & Jonkhoff Funeral Home at 4291 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI on Friday, August 25 at 11:00am. Visitation will be on Thursday, August 24 from 2:00pm-4:00pm and from 6:00pm-8:00pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or Faith Hospice.