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Gertrude Edna (VanWestrienen) Ottobre, 86, of Big Rapids

 Gertrude Edna (VanWestrienen) Ottobre, 86, of Big Rapids, went to be with her Lord on Saturday, January 8, 2022.

She was born July 22, 1935, in Rodney, the daughter of Harvey and Gladys (Smith) VanWestrienen, and lived in the area her entire life.  For 17 years, Gertrude worked for Mecosta County General Hospital before retiring.

On September 1, 1956, Gertrude married Paul Ottobre Sr, and together they raised their family with love, strong faith, and prayers.  She enjoyed baking, embroidering baby blankets for the growing family, playing with her grandkids, and gardening with Daddy.  She filled the flower baskets on the porch in summers, liked feeding the birds, and loved to reminisce about her favorite stories of her loving husband and large family.  They will all miss her smiling face and hugs. 

Gertrude is survived by her husband Paul; their children, Terry VanWestrienen, Donna (Henry) Glover, Paul Ottobre Jr., Tony (Cindy) Ottobre, Cindy (Darrell) Wymer, Mike (Dorothy) Ottobre, Joe (Debbie) Ottobre, Phillip (Amy) Ottobre, Patty (Jim) Langell, Linda (Mark) Bolton, and Alice (Delmer) Steffes; 30 grandchildren; 62 great grandchildren; four great great-grandchildren; her sisters, Maxine (Elmer) VanAlstine and Pat Skipper; and many nieces and nephews, including a special niece Gladys (Dennis) DePew. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Margaret Kirshbaum, Alice VanderSchuur, Wilma Jean Holt, and Esther Watson, infant brother Charles VanWestrienen, and brothers Kenneth and Jack VanWestrienen Sr. 

The Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 a.m., Friday, January 14, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church in Big Rapids, with Father Jegar Fickel as celebrant. Spring burial will be in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery.  Gertrude’s family will greet friends beginning at 10 a.m. Friday at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in her name may be made to St. Mary/St. Paul Parish, or the Manna Pantry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church.  Care and arrangements are entrusted to the Mohnke Funeral Home in Big Rapids.  Share a memory or express condolences at

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