Obituary of Velma Jean Sturtevant
HUDSON – Velma Jean Sturtevant, 89, passed away on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.
Velma was born on August 23, 1931, in Hudson, Michigan, to Leslie and Bernice (Brinkerhoff) Britten. She was in the Class of 1949 at Hudson High School but left early to marry Arthur C. Sturtevant on March 12, 1948, in Angola, Indiana. Throughout the years, she met regularly with “The 49ers,” girls from her high school class. In the 1980s, she returned to school and finished the last few credits to earn her high school diploma.
Arthur and Velma resided together in Hudson Township until he died in 2015. Later, she moved to Holt to live with her daughter Denise, who tirelessly cared for Velma, kept her active and on the go, and then especially made sure she was comfortable and loved at the end. The family appreciates this dedication to all of Velma’s needs.
As a girl, Velma helped on the Britten farm on Union Road, where she survived scarlet fever, had a pet lamb, and thrilled to the store-bought bologna that her aunt brought from the city. During World War II, while her brother was off to war, Velma, along with her mother and many other women and girls, worked at the pickle factory in Hudson. She remembers seeing a train filled with German prisoners of war coming through Hudson at that time.
After marrying at 16, she was a homemaker and mother, first living upstairs above her in-laws on the Hawks Nest Farm on Carleton Road in Hudson. In 1951, when Art and Velma got their own 109-acre farm on Hughes Highway between Clayton and Hudson, their family grew. Velma fed the farm animals, milked the cows, tended the garden, canned, cooked, sewed, drove the farm equipment, and hauled loads in trucks. In 1968, they moved into the house they built on a corner of the Hawks Nest.
Velma was a bus driver for Hudson Area Schools for 19 years and also transported many loads of band members, teams, field trips, and summer swimmers. For decades, Art and Velma served the Hudson Township Board of Elections, where she clerked at most elections.
She was a lover of antiques and had collected well over 100 kerosene oil lamps with diverse patterns and delicate glass Easter eggs. She loved knitting, crochet, and embroidery, and she leaves many with baby sweaters and booties, embroidered pillowcases with finely crocheted lace, afghans, tablecloths, and sweaters. She enjoyed reading books and newspapers, a nice cup of tea, garage sales and flea markets, going out to eat and for ice cream, crosswords and word puzzles, watching her hummingbirds, traveling around Michigan in the RV or hotels, shoe and purse shopping, peanut butter pie, visiting Sauder Village and Shipshewana, gospel sings and fiddle contests, and family gatherings.
Velma is survived by one son, Gary (Amy) Sturtevant of Adrian; two daughters, Denise Sturtevant of Holt and Anne Sturtevant (James Albert) of Midland; one grandson, Mark (Shayna) Sturtevant of Addison; one great-grandson, Jake Sturtevant; her sister-in-law, Gaytha (Sturtevant) Salamin of Ann Arbor; and many dear nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her mother and father; her brother, Richard Britten; her sister, Ruth Osburn; and her oldest daughter, Nancy Sturtevant.
Interment will take place in Maple Grove Cemetery in Hudson on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. with Rev William Van Valkenburg officiating. (Please mask and social distance.) Online condolences to the family may be offered at www.eaglemarryfuneralhome.com. Memorial donations may be made to the Salvation Army, the Lenawee Humane Society, your local pet rescue, or the Hudson Carnegie District Library. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Eagle-Marry Funeral Home, Hudson.
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