This old obituary is for of one of our 1900 century housewives. This obituary is indicative of the heavily Dutch heritage for the area.
6 August 1879 Fremont Times Indicator
Died, July 30th, Dena, wife of Art A. Van Arendonk, aged 45 years. The deceased was a very estimable woman, and was greatly beloved by her neighbors. She leaves a husband and five children to mourn her loss. She was consistent member of the Dutch Reformed church and met death with calmness and fortitude. Rev. Mr. Vander Mulen, of Muskegon, preached an impressive sermon in the Holland language supplemented by appropriate remarks in English. We join the many friends in sympathizing with Mr. Van Arendonk in his affliction.
Very nice that the minister was able to give some appropriate remarks in English! Many of the residents of this area at that time were from the Netherlands and would have appreciated the “impressive sermon in the Holland language.” The tradition still holds in the area. A few years ago when an Amish wife and mother died when her house exploded, there was a large turnout for the funeral. Services were held in several area locations, only one of which was conducted partly in English while the rest were strictly in their own Germanic dialect.