The recent passing of our mother has brought to mind so many wonderful memories of her and us as a family. She was the ultimate mama bear. She could rip a phone book in half with her bare hands…literally. She never hesitated to standup against anything or anyone who tried to harm her children. She was the first in our family to receive Jesus as her Savior, and after this we knew we also now had the strength of her prayers to God defending us and keeping us safe.
Marianne Vanderwerf (Massey) was born on March 11, 1936 in Orange, NJ. She grew up on North Day St. with her mother, grandmother, and younger brother (Bobby). She graduated from Orange High School in 1954. She married her sweetheart, Kenneth Massey in 1958 and started a family in 1959. Later, having lived in Englishtown and ultimately Whippany, she made life-long friends wherever she went. She is survived by her husband (Kenneth Massey), her brother (Bob Vanderwerf), cousins (Todd Landi & Curtis Landi), her children (David Massey, Pamela Clay, Laura Fagan, & Craig Massey), her grandchildren (Michael, Chris, Alana, Lyndsay, Natalie, Kiana, & Sebastian), three great grandchildren (Jack, Hannah, & Olive), many nieces and nephews, and a multitude of friends.
She was a hard-working housewife and mother. When our family needed extra income, she would get up in the wee hours and prepare newspapers in bundles and deliver them to the newspaper delivery boys. Then she would come home and prepare her kids for the day. She made our clothes, cooked our meals, cleaned our house, and she even painted, wallpapered, made window treatments, and cut wood trim, all to make our house a home.
We love you, Mom. We will miss you. But we know you are in a place of perfect joy. You are with the One whom you have loved and served for many years. You are no longer bound by a body that didn’t function. You are young and free; and we will see you again.
Proverbs 31 is a perfect embodiment of everything that Marianne was to her family and those who knew her.
“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
Proverbs 31:10-31 NIV