Obituary: Jeanette Bostrom, 93, Branch.

October 22, 2018

Obituary: Jeanette Bostrom, 93, Branch.

Jeanette A. Bostrom, 93, of Branch, passed away peacefully on Sept. 26, 2018 at her home living with family.  She was born in 1924 in Kalamazoo, MI to Charles N. Hoag and Cora B. Hoag née Roe.  Jan was the middle child of 3 children.

Jan’s story is that of faith in God, strength, and determination amidst an early life of desolation.  Her mom, a quiet, caring person, was often quite sick.  At age 4, her parents divorced.  At age 6, her mom passed away.  Then she and her siblings were passed back and forth between her maternal grandparents’ and her dad and stepmom’s homes.  These transitions took her back and forth from South Haven, Jackson, Detroit, Florida, and Georgia.  In spite of insecurities, she had many fond memories of living on her grandparents’ farm and also of her parents.  She learned to trust God and look for the best in things.

At age 16, Jan moved near her parents and half-brother.  She became a live-in nanny or helper caring for others’ children or cleaning homes.  Some homes scared her; others treated her well.  Though frequently moving, she had kind teachers loaning textbooks so she could complete high school.

In 1943, Jan joined the Army U.S. Cadet Nursing Corps during World War II with a full scholarship to attend Mercy Nursing School (University of Detroit).  After finishing her registered nurse training, she was sent to work for the U.S. Department of the Interior at Talihina Indian Hospital, Muskogee, Okla.

Then Jan, wanting to be a missionary, went to Northwestern Bible School in Minneapolis, Minn. during Billy Graham’s presidency.  Working part-time as a nurse, she barely survived financially.  Not even owning a pan to cook in, she would often just boil a potato in a tin can for supper.

After graduation, she was all set for the mission field but had one final obstacle to overcome.  Missions required marriage.  Proposals started coming.  The first was from a guy who was lots of fun until he ended up in jail!  The second and third were from a man also desiring mission work, but he was just, well, too boring.  He ended up a devoted, life-long friend, albeit single and heart broken.

During this time, Jan met Clara Masterman, also a nurse, who became like a sister to her.  They shared fun at work, traveling adventures, and support through difficult times.

One day Jan visited a friend in Branch, Mich. and met and fell in love with Jacob Bostrom, the postmaster, who was the perfect blend of fun and seriousness.  They recently celebrated 57 years together.  They never went anywhere without the other.  They also included their daughters, Carol and Rebecca, in everything.  Family was their love and priority.

Jan spent many years helping and teaching ladies’ Bible studies in the churches of Trinity Evangelical Free Church and Calvary Baptist Church in Ludington.  In her most recent years, she enjoyed the fellowship of those at Lake Community Bible Church in Baldwin.

Jan was a scholar most of her life.  She really enjoyed learning, reading, and music.  At age 76, she had maintained her nursing license for 53 years.  She worked as a nurse for 22 years.

She was very independent, protective of her family, and always willing to help others in need even to the point of her own sacrifice.  She was very kind and loving.  Jan was well loved and respected by many.

Jan is survived by her daughter, Carol, and husband, Jerry Buffenbarger; her daughter, Rebecca, and husband, Steven Johnson.  She is also survived by her granddaughters, Morgan Johnson. Caitlyn and husband, Matthew Morrison, McKenzie Johnson; and her great-granddaughter, Milah Morrison; her half-brother, Phillip and his wife, Carole Hoag; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jacob D. Bostrom, Jr.; her parents and step-mom, Charles and Cora Hoag née Roe and Leona Hoag-Winn née Scarlett; her sister, Margaret Bair; and her brother, Kenneth Hoag.  She is mourned and will be greatly missed.

Visitation will be held Saturday, October 27, 2018, at 2 p.m. with the memorial service at 3 p.m. followed by a luncheon, all at Lake Community Bible Church, 8033 Central Park Blvd., Baldwin.

If you would like to make a donation in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Lake Community Bible Church.  Thank you for all your kindnesses at this time.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.OakGroveLudington.com.

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