Marcella Raak

Obituary of Marcella Faye Marie Raak

Marcella Faye Marie Gearhart Raak (Marcy), 82, of Lakeview, MI, died on October 11, 2020 at Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital Rehab and Nursing Center in Lakeview, MI, with her husband by her side. The family is grateful for the love and excellent care Marcy received over the past 2.5 years, but most especially during recent times when circumstances did not allow them to be present with her. 

Marcella was born in Diamond Springs, MI on October 10, 1938 to Rev. William and Mildred (Jones) Gearhart. Beginning in middle school, her older brother Ezra paid for her to have piano lessons with Dr. Anthony Kooiker at Hope College. Marcy was always grateful for the gift. After graduating from Holland High School, she married Truman Raak; they recently celebrated 63 years of marriage. 

Many learned to play the piano with Marcy as their teacher. While in Kalamazoo, she played piano in the showroom at Grinnell’s, drawing people in to the store. Her love of Steinways was contagious, and she became their top salesperson as her customers chose what she felt was the best piano; it was a special day when she bought her own. 

Marcy shared her gift of music at the Reformed Churches she and Truman served: Faith (Lanark, IL), Knapp Street (Grand Rapids, MI), Twin Lakes (Kalamazoo, MI), Abbe (Clymer, NY), and Faith (Brookings, SD), as well as the Lakeview United Church of Christ (Lakeview, MI). 

Marcella’s love, faith, and music were intertwined. Playing straight from her heart, she created medleys of hymns and popular tunes that testified to her deep, abiding faith in the love of Christ. One after the other, her songs would flow, giving comfort to all who listened. Marcy spoke quietly, listened well, and had the ability to see the good in everyone. 

Surviving are her husband Rev. Truman Raak of Lakeview, MI and their children Melissa (Ernest Nardone) Raak (Lyndhurst, NJ), Christine (Richard) Schurkamp (Grand Haven, MI), Jodell Carlson Raak (Chip) Perkins, Stephanie (Stephen) Holt (Westfield, NY), Heather (Dwight) TenHuisen (Grand Rapids, MI), Hope (Dick) Stritzinger (Clymer, NY), Matthew (Mary Ensell) Raak (Menomonie, WI), Joshua Raak (Lakeview, MI), and Kathryn Raak (Burton, MI). Marcella is survived by her sister-in-law Virginia (Ezra) Gearhart (Grand Rapids, MI), numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Many called her “mom,” and she considered them the children of her heart. 

Marcella was preceded in death by her eldest son Bradley Raak, granddaughter Abigail Raak, and great grandson Dante Garcia, as well as her beloved parents, brothers and sisters-in-law: Rev. Forrest and Ann Gearhart, Ezra Gearhart, Lawrence Gearhart, Nancy (Gearhart) Vernon, and Margret (Gearhart) Prince. 

Marcella will be laid to rest privately by family at the Altona Cemetery in Lakeview. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date when friends and family can safely gather together to honor her life. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Marcella’s memory to: Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital RNC Foundation, 418 Washington, Lakeview, MI 48850, or to your local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

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