Tuesday, August 3, 2021
11:00 AM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Burial at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park.
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.
Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo
PO Box 50614
Kalamazoo, MI 49005
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Nancy Flipse was a vibrant and generous woman to know and love. She modeled a life rich with hard work, putting others first, and being an exceptionally loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Her warm personality, cheerful demeanor, and infectious smile will forever be remembered by her many special friends and loved ones.
Despite the Thirties being marked by tough economic times, the decade also saw an expansion of new technologies. Aviation, radio, and film were making great strides. Bringing great joy to their own world, Kleetis and Anna (Albert) Ruse welcomed home their newborn baby girl, Nancy Ann, on August 1, 1936, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Born the second of four children, her birth brought much happiness to her loving parents.
Growing up, Nancy lived a childhood filled with many lasting memories. Her father worked as a printer at the Kalamazoo Valley Paper (KVP) Mill to provide for the family. She had many fond memories of her time fishing with her dad and hunting together over her growing years. Studious as well as ambitious, she attended Roosevelt Junior High School where she remained close with many of her friends there. Nancy enjoyed being chairwoman of the Roosevelt Annual Reunion well into her later years. Active during her adolescence, she also enjoyed playing softball competitively. Well-liked by her classmates and teachers alike, Nancy was proud to graduate with the Class of 1954 from Kalamazoo Central High School. Her positive experience in school led her to further her education with dreams of becoming a teacher.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the man who would steal her heart forever, Jack Flipse. The two of them had a special bond and hit it off right from the start. Happily engaged, they married on May 24, 1958. Together they raised two wonderful children, Michelle and Michael, who were their pride and joy! They shared many special memories together as a family. Nancy instilled in them the value of treating others with kindness and putting others first. Holidays were especially important and Nancy went all out to ensure her family was appreciated. Many of their traditional gatherings were well thought out and planned as she always wanted to make the most of their special time together. Whenever she had something to say, Nancy would often write letters to family members to let them know her feelings. She modeled this for her children as well as the valuable lesson that life shouldn't be taken too seriously. Her philosophy was to live for the moment, and never take a single day for granted!
A natural with children as well as people in general, Nancy worked with disabled children as a teacher at Croyden Street School. These years offered her beautiful and rich rewards that carried her long into her retirement years. Once retired, Nancy followed her passion for ceramics, opening up her own shop, Nan Jac’s Ceramics, which allowed her to teach classes out of her home five days a week. She was drawn to ceramics of wildlife and Native Americans. Although it was sometimes hard to let go of her treasures, she often sold her ceramics at area arts & crafts shows.
It was no surprise that a woman of Nancy’s demeanor was a charter member of the Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo. Her natural ability to care for others and encourage them in shaping their world made her many close relationships with young people throughout the community. Thrilled to participate year after year, Nancy had perfect attendance for all thirty years she was a member. Her active and dedicated involvement shaped much of the club's current practices in many ways.
As much as she relished in her years as a mother, Nancy was over the moon when grandchildren entered her life. She enjoyed many years taking care of them on weekends and enjoying time together in the warm summer months. She always shared her special talents of painting and crafts. Even as a great-grandmother nothing seemed to slow her down as she continued baking cookies and sharing special moments with her great-grandchildren as well.
When it came to relaxing, Nancy held many special pastimes. She loved to knit and read romance novels. Throughout her life, family was especially important to her. Nancy became curious about her dad’s family and spent countless hours tracing his ancestry back to the 1600s. Her efforts were rewarded when she enjoyed connecting with family in Stod, a small town in the Czech Republic. Thoughtful as well as generous, she also enjoyed shopping and even shipped gifts to friends and relatives all over the world. With a strong interest in world news and politics, Nancy followed Cable News Network (CNN) for most of her up-to-date information on a wide variety of topics. Despite her busy lifestyle, it was clear to anyone who knew her that her family meant the world to her.
Nancy left a legacy of unconditional love through many small acts of love. Her ability to accept life’s challenges, her spirit of adventure, and her wonderful sense of humor, will be dearly missed. May her loved ones reflect on her warm memories with great happiness and may they honor her life by always looking for the good in others.
Nancy Ann (Ruse) Flipse, of Kalamazoo, MI passed away on July 24, 2021, with her family at her side. Nancy is survived by her husband, Jack E. Flipse; her children: Michelle O’Brien and Michael Flipse; her grandchildren: Sara (Chad) Goodrich, Jessi Bogren, Chelsie (Will) Deming, and Zack Flipse; bonus granddaughter, Star (Bryan) Simpson-Mueller; great-grandchildren: Conner and Abby Goodrich, Alexandria and Gabriel Deming, Cash and Jett Simpson-Mueller, and Emilee Storm; her sisters: Betty Blum and Judy DeBoer; as well as many loved cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Sherri Tucker.
Please join us for a Life Story Visitation on Monday, August 2, 2021, 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where services will also be held Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at 11 AM. Burial at Mt. Ever Rest Memorial Park. Visit Nancy’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive favorite memories, photos, and sign her guestbook. Memorial contributions can be made to the Breakfast Optimist Club of Kalamazoo (BOCK), or a charity of your choice.