Iva J. Lewis, 68, of Grawn, passed away Monday, April 3, 2017 at Munson Medical Center surrounded by her family. Iva was born on Friday, Sept. 17, 1948 to the late John and Jessie (Duell) Hamstra in Bay City.
At an early age she developed a desire to learn and was a self-starter. These qualities were with her throughout her life. In her professional life she took upon responsibilities above and beyond her job title and taught herself skills necessary to excel.
Iva had an amazing work ethic. She worked at Chef Pierre, Asguard Goodwill, D & D Contracting, Menards, the Blair Township Office as deputy clerk and an election official and at the New Approaches Center. She was also a certified emergency medical technician for Blair Township.
She volunteered countless hours to the Munson Auxiliary, Grawn fire department women's auxiliary, Northwestern Michigan Fair as past director, treasurer and a lifetime member, the Northwest Michigan Recreational Snowmobile Council as treasurer, Grand Traverse Snowmobile Club as secretary, a certified Michigan snowmobile safety instructor, the Michigan Snowmobile Association and a camp host at Interlochen State Campground. The Northwestern Michigan Fair was an important part of her life. She enjoyed helping the youth of 4-H and was proud to have purchased a pig for 12 years straight, often paying above market prices. She was instrumental in revamping the museum at the fairgrounds and was the driving force behind the new nursing/baby changing building at the fairgrounds.
Iva will be remembered for her infectious personality, warm smile and gentle laugh. She was quick to offer help to all those who were in need, whether it be a loved one, close friend or a stranger in front of the line. She had a quick wit and never let the opportunity for a joke or prank to go by. She enjoyed her grand and great-grandchildren, watching NASCAR, racing stock cars at a young age, any outdoor activity including hunting, 41 years at deer camp was very special to her, fishing, snowmobiling, camping and riding her Polaris side-by-side. She loved animals, with her favorite being the Clydesdales. She enjoyed gatherings of friends and loved ones and was known as the "Queen of the Potluck," with her taco salad and pistachio pudding the star of the show.
Iva is survived by the love of her life, Milton Lewis, of Grawn; daughters, Michelle Jokinen, of Traverse City, and Kimberley (Doug) Nash, of Traverse City; sons, Robert (Maquel) Lewis, of Traverse City, and Aaron (Allison O'Grady) Lewis, of Traverse City; brother, John (Pam) Hamstra, of Traverse City; 14 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren, with one on the way. She will be missed by her dear friend and partner in crime, Bobe McPherson.
She was preceded in death by her dad, John Hamstra, who passed when Iva was just 14 months old; mother, Jessie (Duell) Hilts; stepfather, Lee Hilts; and son-in-law, Charlie Jokinen.
A memorial service to celebrate Iva's life will be held on Saturday, April, 29, 2017, at 4 p.m., with visitation beginning at 3 p.m., at the Northwestern Michigan Fairgrounds.
It was Iva's dream that a pavilion be built at the Northwestern Michigan Fairgrounds food court. Those wishing an expression of sympathy in Iva's name will help her dream come true and are encouraged to give to the Northwestern Michigan Fair, PO Box 83, Grawn, MI 49637.
Please share your thoughts and memories of Iva with her family by way of her online guestbook at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on April 9, 2017