Hopkins graduate Christine Hennip Behrens dies at 88

Hopkins High School graduate Christine Elizabeth Hennip Behrens died June 14. She was 88.

Born March 16, 1934, on the family farm in Ellsworth, to Gerrit and Mary (Siegers) Hennip, she and her family moved to Hopkins when she was 13. She graduated from Hopkins High School and Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing, beginning a 40-plus year career.

Christine loved being a nurse, and practiced her profession in hospitals, nursing homes, and psychiatric treatment programs. She especially loved taking care of “her boys” at Pine Rest’s adolescent unit. She maintained lifelong friendships with her fellow student nurses – often talking about how much fun they had in school.

She was a working mother, instilling in her four children a strong work ethic and providing an excellent example of work/life balance. After retirement, she continued to help others by volunteering on a mission trip to Russia; learning how to transcribe educational materials into braille; mentoring Sudanese refugees; reading to hospitalized patients; and driving those in need to medical appointments. She also was a talented seamstress and quilter, making most of her family’s clothes and creating beautiful quilts.

She married James Fredrick Behrens on Sept. 22, 1956, and together they raised four children in Grandville. The family expanded to include seven grandchildren and six (soon to be seven) great-grandchildren.

Preceding her in death were husband Jim Behrens; her parents; and siblings Janet Rutgers, Peter Hennip, and James Hennip.

She is survived by her children Amy (Larry) Hewitt, Jane (Marc) Longstreet, Mary (Tom) Scheidel, David (Rebecca) Behrens; grandchildren Katherine Longstreet (Jason) Davis, Lindsay Hewitt (Tom) Peck, Colleen Scheidel (Casey) Selzer, Jack Longstreet, Jake Scheidel, Megan Hewitt (Jon) Villasurda, Ian Scheidel; great-grandchildren Hampton, Oliver, and Freya Peck, Scarlett and Beau Villasurda, Sadie Jo Selzer, and Baby Davis, due in July. She also is survived by her sisters-in-law Connie Hennip and Bonnie Behrens Alward; and many nieces and nephews.

Anyone wishing to honor her memory is encouraged to make a donation to the Sunset Legacy Foundation. As a final act of generosity, Mom has donated her body to the University of Michigan Medical School.

A celebration of her life will be Wednesday, June 22, at Cook Funeral Home (West building), 4235 Prairie St. SW, Grandville. 

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