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Marie Thompson Stoline
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Birth: Apr. 1, 1940
Grand Junction
Greene County
Iowa, USA
Death: Oct. 25, 2012
Kalamazoo County
Michigan, USA

Marie (Thompson) Stoline passed away on October 25, 2012 after suffering a stroke on Friday, Oct 12 while saddling her horse in the pasture on her farm, Heartland. Her husband of 52 years, Michael R. Stoline, was by her side.

Marie was born in Grand Junction, IA on April 1, 1940. She was predeceased by her parents (Doc and Genevieve Thompson) and by her brother Charles. She is survived by her brothers Philip and Paul and their families.

Beginning with their first date on 5/5/55, Marie and Mike were married October 8, 1960 in Iowa City, IA where both were undergraduate students at University of Iowa. Marie is survived by their four children, Anne (Steven) Litwin of Perryville, MD, Amy (Timothy) Harrington of Kalamazoo, Michael "Ben" (Tracy) Stoline of Chesapeake, VA, Carrie (Stanley) Olson of Silver Spring, MD and seven grandchildren, Monica, Elliott, Stanley, Christina, Sydney, Madeline, and Jennifer.

She graduated with a BA in sociology from the University of Iowa in 1964, where she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Scholastic Honor Society. Marie and Michael moved to Glenwood Drive in Kalamazoo in 1967 with four children in tow (two in diapers) as Michael began a 44-year career at Western Michigan University. As a mother she was known for taking long walks with her children at Crane Park, reading stories, and so much more. The kids would often come home from school and find their mother singing folk songs with Mike, and playing her autoharp. The kids also remember evenings of singing and playing music at home with friends. Marie included the children into her wider world of neighborhood and family within Kalamazoo. In 1985, Marie bought a quarter-horse named Kozy, fulfilling her passion for riding. Marie and Mike moved to their Heartland country home in Texas Township in 1987 so they would be able to watch Kozy grazing over their morning coffee. Marie also enjoyed llamas and many enjoyed her "llama therapy" sessions at Heartland.

As the children grew older she continued her education at Bronson Hospital receiving her RN degree in 1984. This was followed by certification in Gerontology Nursing in 1989. As a nurse she worked at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and Vicksburg, and other healthcare centers. She was well-known to many through her affiliation with the Bronson Golden Care program. She retired from Bronson Hospital in 1995 and established a solo practice: Gerontology Nursing Services. With this business, Marie soon became known as the ‘go to person' for dealing with the "most sensitive and difficult" aging issues for families.

Marie and Mike visited many places together. Most recently Marie and Mike enjoyed special summer trips one on one with each grandchild, as each turned fourteen. Of special significance to Marie was her first visit to Russia at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Later, Marie assisted with the creation of the Kalamazoo-Pushkin Partnership, which has now become the Kalamazoo Russian Cultural Association. Marie hosted the first Russian Festival in her Heartland backyard in 1996. The 17th Russian Festival will be held at the WMU Fetzer Center on November 17, which will be dedicated in her honor. Marie delighted in hosting international visitors, learning about other cultures, and sharing the best of American culture with others. Marie's shared some of her special Russian experiences in her book The Fire and the Gold: Russian Elders share their Stories.

Marie's philanthropic and community work began more than 45 years ago and continued until her death. She was on the board of Catholic Family Services and served as Chair. She always enjoyed the joys of being with her PEAK sisters, and she was a Democrat to the core.

Marie's faith as a Roman Catholic was fundamental to her life. She has been an active member of St. Thomas More Church and saw her concern for the care of others as a way of continuing Jesus' healing ministry.

In this spirit, some time ago Marie was able to donate her bone marrow to a young lady in Missouri with leukemia, who survives because of Marie's gift of life. This young lady feels that Marie is in a way her ‘second' mother because she now possesses Marie's blood type for the rest of her life.

True to her values Marie was generous with her other resources. Her family has selected two tax-deductible causes that were important to her to which donations can be made in her memory in lieu of flowers: Trauma Recovery Associates (checks made out to Trauma Fund) , 4005 Canterbury Ave., Kalamazoo, 49006 ( and The Drug Treatment Court Foundation of Kalamazoo County, PO Box 50587, Kalamazoo, 49007 (

Gather with Marie's family and friends on Sunday, October 28, 2012 from 4 – 7pm at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900). In keeping with Marie's desire always to share, affirm and celebrate, a celebration of Marie's life will begin at 7pm. A funeral Mass will be held Monday, October 29, 2012 at 10am at St. Thomas More Church (1333 W. Lovell St)., Rev. Ken Schmidt celebrant. 
Created by: BW
Record added: Oct 26, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99645297


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