Life Story Service
Wednesday, December 27, 2023
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food, drinks and stories will be shared.
Life Story / Obituary
Generous, loving, and hopeful, Christine (Nichols) Rzanca lived a life rich in hope, family and friends. Chris welcomed each day as a gift and met life's challenges with confidence and faith that better times would come. Whether treasure hunting at the beach, making her family a home-cooked meal, curling up with her dog Taz, or cheering on her kids' and grandkids' hopes and dreams, Chris always led with her heart and was grateful for her blessings and always put others before herself. A cherished mother, grandmother, partner, and friend, Chris will long be remembered and so dearly missed.
1964 found the country staggering through continued Civil Rights uprisings and the war in Vietnam. It was also a year of progress and creative genius. During this extraordinary time in history, there was no greater hope for the future than in the home of Duane and Sharon Nichols as they welcomed their daughter Christine on August 24 in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Growing up in Berrien Springs and the Watervliet area, she made many lifelong friends. She was raised by her father after her parents divorced. He ran a tight ship at home as he formerly served in the Marine Corp. Her Grandmother Dorthea was a big influence on Chris and in many ways helped raise her. Later in life, she would teach her own children the loving ways of her grandmother. She would be an integral part of her children’s lives as well.
During her high school years she married and started a family. They welcomed their first born son Eric. Two years later their daughter, Krista was born. Due to the challenges of starting a family at such a young age, she attended night school with her husband Robert so they could both finish school and graduate with their diplomas. Chris would later earn her college degree.
Though her younger days were not always easy, she always had her children's best interests at heart and worked hard to provide the best life possible. She worked a variety of jobs to support her children and to give them the best possible life she could.
In the 90’s Chris moved her family to Paw Paw where she eventually remarried. Shortly thereafter she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease that eventually left her unable to work. Though it changed her life, she learned to live with the disease and never let it bring her spirit down. Always one to encourage others to be more trusting and to never give up. She truly lived her belief that if it's bad now, it will get better.
Chris was great with her hands and loved to create things. She enjoyed woodworking, crochet, quilting, painting, and many other crafts and hobbies over the years and especially enjoyed gardening. She even had a woodshop in the basement of her home where she would create many of her wood crafts.
She enjoyed taking rides on motorcycles, visiting any zoo she could, and couldn’t resist a visit to a casino from time to time. She deeply cherished a cross country trip to visit her mother in California.
Blessed to find love with, Mike Squire, Chris enjoyed 11 years of wonderful companionship with him. He came along at the right time in her life. Mike was very good to her, and they could talk about anything. Chris especially enjoyed the hobbies they shared like camping and trail riding in the jeep. They had a lot of fun spending time using their metal detectors and occasionally would find a hidden gem. She once found a watch valued over $400. Another time, she found a 1943 Mercury head dime on her grandson’s property.
Family was important to Chris, and she liked to be around family to support them any way she could. She had always been close to her dad, so it was no surprise she helped care for him during his struggles with Parkinsons Disease. She loved being a grandmother and spoiling them with not only with well spent time but with hugs and kisses. Later she was even more thrilled as she became a great grandmother with addition of Lucy and Jude. Chris and her daughter Krista talked almost daily on the phone like the best friends that they were, and her son Eric fondly recalls long walks on the picturesque shores of Silver Beach on Lake Michigan. Chris adored her entire family and cherished every moment she spent with them.
Chris found joy in the simple things, like being at the beach, cooking a meal, and her canine companion and protector, Taz. Everyone who was lucky to have eaten her steak and gravy and peach fluff dessert raved. She liked watching the daily soap operas, ghost shows, and haunted histories on TV. She enjoyed country music and occasionally some classic rock. Though our days with Chris were far too few, every moment we shared with her is a gift we will long treasure. May we find comfort in our many wonderful memories and the honor of carrying her legacy forward. In each moment generously give with your heart, enjoy time at the beach, have faith that our struggles will end, and sing along to a favorite country song. With this we keep Chris' loving spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired each of us.
Chris Rzanca died on Thursday, December 14, 2023, in Grand Rapids. She is survived by her 2 children: Eric Siler (Jamie Davis) and Krista Siler (Jon Homrich); 2 grandchildren, Joshua and Evan; 2 great-grandchildren, Lucy and Jude, her companion Mike Squire; her mother, Sharon; siblings Suzzan (David) Mays and Marc Kraus. She was preceded in death by her father, Duane Nichols. Cremation has taken place. Please join us at a Life Story Service at 4 pm on Wednesday, December 27, at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A reception where food, drinks, and stories will be shared will take place from 5-7 pm in the Life Story Center. Please visit Chris' webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.