Life Story Visitation
Tuesday, August 3, 2021
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Where Food, Drinks & Stories will be shared.
Mass of Christian Burial
Life Story Luncheon
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
11:30 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Burial will follow at Robinson Cemetery in Gobles.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Marian Alice (Flach) Woodin it is easy to see her dedication to her family and her resolve to always keep a positive outlook on life. Marian was a patient, loving, funny, kind, and helpful woman. You could find Marian always documenting life’s events through journals and pictures; her passion for photography began at a young age and continued throughout her life. Marian lived her best life spending time with her family, friends, and volunteering at her church. Many people will forever miss Marian, but her life and memories will be cherished and remembered by all.
Life in the 1930s was a desperate time for many Americans due to the Great Depression. Twenty-five percent of the workforce were unemployed, homes and cars that were purchased on credit were lost, and many people lost their investments in the stock market crash of 1929. To pass the time children would listen to the radio since nearly forty percent of families in America owned them. For Clarence and Anne (Feily) Flach, life was not easy during this time but was made a bit brighter when they welcomed their daughter, Marian, on September 25, 1932. The couple had a total of six children, three boys and three girls. Born in Kalamazoo, MI, and raised in Scotts, MI, life was not easy for the Flach family. Their home was on a farm, made of field stones, and had no indoor plumbing. Everyone used an outhouse and took baths in a tin tub that they kept in the mudroom at the back entrance to the house. Hot water was made tediously over a wood fired cook stove in the kitchen. The Flachs made money by selling peppermint oil from mint they grew, milk from the cows on the farm, and grain from the crops in the field. Aside from all the manual labor, a garden was maintained, and the livestock animals were attended to so that the family could use their resources.
Chores were never ending on the farm, but at least Marian had the family hunting Beagle, Sport, to keep her company. While life on the farm was always busy, Marian still always found time to spend with friends. She took several trips in her single years with friends from the Kalamazoo Singles Club. The club traveled to Mexico twice, the Seattle World’s Fair, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Canada. Marian kept in contact with her singles club girlfriends for her entire life. Countless letters, cards, phone calls, and visits serve as proof to what these ladies meant to Marian. She also had a pen pal in Mexico that she would write to often.
Marian attended Parsons Business School in downtown Kalamazoo, MI, and then began working for the paper company at Pitcher and Paterson, known at the time as KVP Sutherland. Working for the paper company served a very important purpose in Marian’s life considering she met her husband of 57 years while working there. Marvin Woodin was the love of her life, and the couple had four children together, three boys and one girl. Marian left the paper company after her first pregnancy, but once all her kids were in school, she went back to the workforce. She worked in the cafeteria at Kalamazoo Central High School, and then for the Kalamazoo Gazette Credit Union. Steve Flach, one of Marian’s many nephews, remembers requesting extra fries in the lunch line and Marian, being the kind woman she was, would sometimes oblige.
Attending a one room schoolhouse as a child is something that very few people get to experience. Marian is one of the lucky ones and attended Pavilion #4. Marian, along with three other ladies, decided to document the history of the one room schoolhouse and wrote a book that was eventually published. Many of the children who attended Pavilion #4 would attend the reunions at Milham Park in Kalamazoo; Marian was always one of the key people involved in planning all the reunions.
Church was always an important part of Marian and Marvin’s lives. Marian wouldn’t even skip Mass while on vacation! The couple attended St. Augustine Catholic Cathedral in downtown Kalamazoo. Marian was actively involved with the St. Agnes Founding Home and the Marian Guild, and was a long-time usher at her church along with Marvin. She also rang bells for Comstock Community Center Ringers.
Photography was always a hobby near and dear to Marian’s heart. The love for photography began young and never went away. She documented countless family events and trips through her pictures. At the beginning of her marriage, Marian developed her pictures into slides. She would then put on a slide show for her side of the family at Christmas time. Each year Marian would host a Flach Christmas dinner at her house; after dinner at those parties, Marian would show a slide show. Marian enjoyed remembering all the wonderful times while on trips. Documenting daily activities on trips and vacations through journaling was important to her. Many amazing trips were experienced by Marian and her family; road trips, camping, Hawaii, and a big Alaska road trip were just a few memorable experiences.
Clogging was another hobby that Marian enjoyed. She would clog with the Celery City Cloggers at the Applefest in Schrier Park, at the Festival of Lights in Wings Stadium, and at local auditoriums for audiences. While Marian and Marvin wintered in Florida, Marian would clog at the RV park that they stayed in. The couple also enjoyed spending free time participating on a bowling league and belonged to a square dancing group for many years.
Family birthdays were always made brighter by Marian’s delicious cakes. Really any event was an excuse for one of her cakes….wedding showers, baby showers, and anniversaries. Marian took great pride in cooking good meals for her family and canned her own fruits and vegetables. Not every daughter gets to say that her mom sewed her wedding dress, bridesmaids’ dresses, and flower girl dress, but that’s exactly what Marian did for her daughter, Laura’s, wedding. Sometimes Marian would even take on sewing work for neighbors and friends to make some extra money for her family. Hosting a yearly garage sale in May was another way that Marian brought in some additional funds for the household. Nothing stopped this yearly event from taking place, not even the tornado in 1980!
For Marian’s 80th birthday, her family planned a party for her at a park in Kalamazoo. Both the Flach family members and the Woodin family members were in attendance as well as many neighbors and friends. The memorable party took place during the summer and Marian declared it was the first birthday party she ever had! Throughout life Marian was always one to be happy and keep a positive outlook. Naturally, her easy-going personality allowed her to have a calm attitude, even in times of stress. Marian was always making her family laugh with her timeless sense of humor. Marian made any activity better whether it was shopping with her sisters or friends, hosting family events, going on vacations, or volunteering at church. In the words of Pope Francis, “It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.” Marian Woodin lived her life giving to so many people and exuding kindness to all.
Marian Woodin, at the age of 88, passed away peacefully at her home on July 29, 2021, following 10 years of dementia. She was preceded in death by 3 siblings: Rev. LaVern Flach, O.S.A., Gerald Flach, and Marcelline Fleck; 3 in-laws: Dorothy Flach, Lawrence Fleck, and Linda McDonald; nephew, Thomas Fleck, and niece, Mary Flach. Surviving are her husband of 57 years, Marvin Woodin; 4 children: Mark (Amanda) Woodin, Scott (Loretta) Woodin, Dale (Lisa) Woodin and Laura (Mike) Bowling; 12 grandchildren: Jeffrey, Kristen, Hannah, Austin, Alyssa, Emily, Sarah, Heather, Holly, Mackenzie and Bryce; 2 siblings: Helen Fleck and Donald Flach; and 21 nieces and nephews. Please join us at a Life Story Visitation where food, drinks and stories will be shared on Tuesday (AUG 3) from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday 10 AM at St. Augustine Cathedral. Lunch will follow at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home with burial at Robinson Cemetery in Gobles. Visit Marian’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made St. Augustine Cathedral or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.