Gertrude Zaagman-Bruinwood Oele

Profile Updated: June 18, 2015
Residing In: Kalamazoo, MI USA
Spouse/Partner: Jerry Lee Oele (GRCH class of '59)
Occupation (current & former): Medical Technologist - retired 2012
Additional Children Information: John, Julie and Jennifer Bruinwood with my first husband John Bruinwood (class of '59). Janet and Joel More…Oele with Jerry Oele (class of '59)

John Bruinwood married to Kim Visser - 4 children
Julie Bruiwood married to Charles Stroh - 3 children
Jennifer Bruinwood married to Mike Vos - 3 children
Janet Oele married to David VanderLugt -3 children
Joel Oele married to Emily Webster -3 children
# of Children:


# of Grandchildren:


# of Great Grandchildren:


Personal/family interests:

My personal interests are: Family, my children and grandchildren. I am involved in music being an organist in my church, Heritage CRC in Kalamazoo, and also teach piano lessons to some of my grandchildren. I love attending classical music concerts with my husband Jerry Oele. Travel is another interest of ours. We have traveled three times to Europe to sing with the Kalamazoo Oratorio Society. We also have been able to enjoy many vacations away from Michigan especially to warm weather destinations in the winter. I have enjoyed my part-time job as Medical Technologist at both Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids and over 30 years at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo.

Summary of personal history since graduation:

Attended Calvin College for three years, then interned at Blodgett Hospital in Medical Technolgy for completion of a BS degree. In 1964 married John Bruinwood. We had three children and I worked part time at Blodgett until the third child was born in 1970. In January of 1972 John died of complications from flu and pneumonia. I went back to part time work at Blodgett, one year after that.

In 1977 I met Jerry Oele (a bachelor) at a Christian Singles Club meeting. We started dating and had much in common, interests and life background. On May 27, 1978 we were married and have celebrated 33 years of marriage. We added two more children to my three, to make for a very busy family life. In 1980 we purchased the Joldersma and Klein Funeral Home in downtown Kalamazoo, fulfilling Jerry's hope of owning his own business. We lived above the funeral home 28 years, bringing up our family of five kids, running a 24/7 business, and being involved in church and community.
In 2008 we moved to a beautiful condo, and worked out a 5 year buy out plan for the Funeral Home business. We are now in our retirement years, transitioning to a new way of life.

School Memories you would like to share:

Freshman classes in the old Madison building feeling kind of isolated from the rest of the school.
Occasionally being asked to "pinch-hit" at the organ for chapel.
Many great teachers!

Gertrude's Latest Interactions

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Jan 30, 2021 at 4:33 AM
May 18, 2020 at 3:07 PM
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Jan 30, 2016 at 4:33 AM
Gertrude Zaagman-Bruinwood Oele added a photo to profile gallery. New comment added.
Dec 31, 2016 at 11:11 AM

Posted on: Jun 18, 2015 at 10:59 AM

Jan 30, 2015 at 4:33 AM
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Posted: Dec 31, 2016 at 11:08 AM
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:15 AM
March 2011 Fountain Hills Arizona
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:15 AM
January 2011 Southern Caribbean Cruise
Posted: Dec 17, 2013 at 1:15 AM
August 2010 - Entire family