Anne (Finlaw) Holmlund, 89, beloved by her family and so many others, passed away peacefully in her home with her husband of 66 years by her side. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, the youngest of four children. The childhood stories she told included how much she adored her family, her upstate New York summer camp adventures, and how she realized she had perfect pitch when the piano was tuned and the names of the notes changed. As a child playing in Prospect Park, she imagined how wonderful it would be to live in the country someday. Years later, she would realize that dream and live on ten acres in Jamestown, MI.
After graduating from Manual Training High School, Anne went on to Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Before long, a handsome quarterback named John Holmlund, who was also from Brooklyn, caught this cheerleader’s eye. On April 15, 1955, they were married. During their marriage, they were blessed with four children and had the privilege of helping to raise two nephews for some years as well.
From an early age, Anne was gifted in and had a deep love of music. As she said, “God gave me such a fun talent.” The piano in her home was seldom silent as the sound of her and eventually her children’s music-making could be heard. Anne gave piano lessons to over thirty students weekly for several years. In 1989, she answered a little ad in the paper for a pianist. That ad led to Anne becoming an accompanist for the Jenison High School Choirs for over twenty years where she formed special bonds with many students. She also passed on her love of music to her children and grandchildren.
Anne was an avid walker and was known for walking four miles every morning, carrying her Bible while memorizing psalms. She had a great deal of energy and was an extremely hard worker. She cheerfully opened her home to everyone and inspired greatness in those with whom she interacted. The sounds of laughter among family and friends regularly filled the home. Her humble and giving spirit drew people to her and made them find the best in themselves. Anne had a large vocabulary, was a very good speller, and had an excellent understanding of grammar. She would playfully and truthfully correct the grammar of those around her, somehow without causing offense. Many relate their thankfulness in how she helped them. For decades, Anne and John would play Scrabble into the wee hours of the night. They were equally matched opponents who kept meticulous records of their 20 game tournaments.
Anne was a woman of deep faith and her love for God through her Savior Jesus Christ was the reason for the joy, peace, and hope that filled her soul no matter what she experienced. After retiring at the age of 80, her journey with Alzheimer’s began. For the next nine years, she navigated having a difficult disease while still blessing the lives of those around her, keeping her fun, non-complaining spirit. She lived out by example how to be content in all circumstances and for the joy set before her, endured patiently until at last she was able to hear: “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of the Lord.”
She is survived by her husband John Holmlund of Jamestown, MI; her children Jane (Jim) Pilch of Alexandria, PA; John (Kate) Holmlund, Jr. of Grand Haven, MI; Susan (Jesse) Guerra of Grand Rapids, MI; and Nancy (Doug) Kuiper of Hudsonville, MI; her grandchildren John, Jack, and Jared Pilch; Travis (Haley) Mast (and their daughter and Anne’s great granddaughter, Marlee), Elsa, Luke, Jacob, Breanna, Heather, and Naomi Holmlund; Milagro, Linus, and Judah Guerra; Elise, Isaac, and De’Airs Kuiper; and several beloved nieces and nephews. Anne was preceded in death by her parents William and Violet Finlaw, sisters Agnes Green and Rosemary Commeret Penn, and her brother William Finlaw. The family expresses its deep thanks to Wenda and Stephanie from Senior Support and all those who cared for Anne, allowing her to live all her days at home.
Anne Holmlund was a fountain of life and joy. She was a fantastic woman. She will be greatly missed.
Visiting hours will be 6:00-7:30 PM on Nov 11 with a Memorial Service at 11:00 AM on Nov 12, both at Cornerstone URC in Hudsonville. Livestream will be available at the following link: https://www.cornerstoneurc.com/ . In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Cornerstone United Reformed Church Music Ministry.