Obituary for Geraldine Ann Tensen

Geraldine Ann Tensen

Birth Date: Sep. 1st, 1931
Date Passed: Jun. 4th, 2018


Geraldine “Gerrie” A. Tensen, age 86 of Ravenna lost her valiant fight with cancer and won her eternal reward on Monday, June 4, 2018. With a life that spanned two continents and three countries Gerrie exemplified the effect a Christian woman could have on everyone around her. Her quick wit, love of sports, competitiveness and hard work ethic made a lasting impression that will be remembered by her family, friends and the communities in the Netherlands, Canada and United States. Born Gerritje Doppenberg in Ermelo, Netherlands, September 1, 1931 to Arend and Grietje (Beelen) Doppenberg, she was the sixth of nine children. Gerrie and her family endured many hardships growing up in a country that was occupied during WWII, which understandably had a profound impact on her. Rarely speaking of the difficult times, Gerrie instead shared her happy moments with her children and grandchildren. For example, as a child, she met the Queen of the Netherlands; the royal family was traveling through Gerrie’s town, and she ran up to say hello; and was told what a good girl she was. Gerrie met her husband Nicolaas “Nick” Tensen at their first Girl’s and Boy’s School joint reunion. Each of them was with a group of friends on the canal, when Nick remarked to a friend, “Who is the woman with the big smile?” Coincidently that friend was her brother. After marrying in Julianadorp, Netherlands, they immigrated to Canada. They landed in Halifax, on Nick’s birthday April 27, 1952. They brought with them a trunk of goods, a sewing machine and a bed. In 1961 Gerrie and Nick and their three children immigrated to Ravenna, Michigan. They moved into their present home on Gerrie’s birthday. They were finally able to realize their dream of owning their own farm. In 1964 their youngest child was born an American citizen. Gerrie, Nick and their three older children became citizens in 1966. She officially changed her name to Geraldine Ann Tensen. Gerrie would often joke that she was named after her daughter, Geraldine. Gerrie was active in the First Reformed Church of Ravenna. Throughout the years she was the Sunday School Treasurer, Ladies Guild President and Ladies Guild treasurer. In addition to these leadership roles she also taught Vacation Bible School and participated in small group bible studies. She was active in Farm Bureau Women’s Committee and community groups. She was a 4-H Leader for many years in the Ravenna Livestock 4-H Club and a Ravenna Schools PTA officer. She was also a registered Dutch translator for the Red Cross. Gerrie maintained her active life after retirement. She played tennis until she was eighty. She had a close relationship with her grandchildren, attending their school, athletic and 4-H events. She kept her Dutch heritage alive, instilling an appreciation of her Dutch ancestry in her many descendants and maintaining close ties with relatives in the old country. Regardless of her situations, to her last day, Gerrie shared her big smile with all. Gerrie was preceded in death by her parents, Arend and Grietje Doppenberg, son-in-law Dale (Margret) Link, brothers Lubbert, Jan, Gerrit, Willem, Arend, infant brother Albert and sister Gre. Gerrie is survived by husband Nicolaas J. Tensen of Ravenna; children Margret (Rick) Kingsbury and Geraldine (Arden) Eadie from Conklin, MI; Nicholas (Kathy) Tensen from Effingham, IL; and Arend (Paula) Tensen from Lyme, NH; sister Bernice (Jerry) Kass; sisters-in-law Annie Geertsema-Tensen, Trudy Leegwater-Tensen, Janet Doppenberg, Norma Doppenberg and Leona Doppenberg; brother-in-law Dick (Ellen) Tensen; twenty grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. Funeral Services for Gerrie will be conducted on Thursday, June 7, 2018 at 11:00am at the First Reformed Church in Ravenna with Pastor Steve VanderWoude officiating. Burial will be in Ravenna Township Cemetery. The family will be at the Throop Funeral Home of Ravenna on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00pm and 6:00 to 8:00pm to greet friends. Memorials may be directed to: Ravenna Fire Department or First Reformed Church. Go to: or Facebook @ Throop Funeral Home of Ravenna to sign the online guestbook. The Throop Funeral Home of Ravenna is in charge of funeral arrangements. 231-853-6511


2:00pm to 4:00pm and
6:00pm to 8:00pm on
Jun. 6th, 2018 at Throop Funeral Home of Ravenna
Map/Directions to Throop Funeral Home of Ravenna


11:00am on Jun. 7th, 2018 at First Reformed Church
Map/Directions to First Reformed Church


2:00pm on Jun. 7th, 2018 at
Ravenna Township Cemetery
Map/Directions to Ravenna Township Cemetery