Mona Eve Erickson was born in Plainwell, Michigan on October 9, 1949, to Joseph and Rose Bourdages. As the second child and oldest daughter of 6, her caring and helpful nature blossomed from a young age. She grew up on Jersey Street in Plainwell, where she enjoyed a very happy childhood. The family has fond memories of singing Christmas carols throughout the neighborhood during the winter. In the summers, they had swimming lessons on Pine Lake. Her summer jobs included working at Dean’s ice cream, the Paris bakery, and the 131 Drive-in concession stand, and she also enjoyed babysitting.
She graduated from Plainwell High School in 1967. She then attended Nazareth College where she studied voice and Sociology. She also did graduate studies at Western Michigan University in Social Work. She has lifelong friends from college and the years after as she lived and worked in Kalamazoo. She took memorable trips to Switzerland, Montreal, the Kentucky Derby, and Washington D.C. with friends.
She had a vibrant and lengthy career in Human Resources where she helped so many people and picked up even more friends along the way. Mona was one of those people that made instant connections and left such an impression on those who came into her life.
Mona dedicated her life to her family. She has said the best memories of her life were those she spent with her children and grandchildren. Mona had two daughters, Amanda and Kelli, with Greg Erickson. She raised her girls to be strong, independent, and caring for others. She helped them succeed in school, work, marriage, and life, and was always their biggest supporters.
Throughout her life, Mona maintained loving relationships with all of her siblings. She liked to travel and spend time with her brothers and sisters and their children. Whenever the family got together, music was sure to ensue. Mona was gifted with a beautiful singing voice, and would often join the choir at St. Margaret’s. Her siblings Ron, Bonnie, Robin, Joline, and Brian have enough happy memories and stories of times with Mona to fill several books. Mona could also be counted on to organize family gatherings and keep the large family close knit. She was always there with a listening ear, shoulder to cry on, or a smile to celebrate every success.
Later in life, she loved living close to Kelli and Jon and her presence was felt constantly. Between family dinners, gymnastics competitions, football games, and beach days, Mona was an integral part of Logan and Kendall’s upbringing and loved supporting Kelli and her family this way. Logan and Kendall spent lots of quality time with their Mimi and they will especially miss going on walks with her, swimming at her pool, and spending the night at her house.
She also enjoyed twice-annual trips to Arizona to see Amanda & Adam, and cherished her time with her youngest granddaughter, Bianca. Mona stayed close with Amanda despite the distance, and was grateful for her nightly FaceTime calls with their family. She shared a love of shopping with her daughter, Amanda, and one of their most memorable trips was a pilgrimage to the Pioneer Woman Mercantile in Oklahoma.
Mona had many amazing qualities that she displayed throughout her life. Generosity: everyone always had a seat at her table and was cared for when in her company - from her daughter’s friends to her neighbors and colleagues. Empathy: everyone’s feelings were considered. Compassion: she helped without judgement. Reason: she gave the best advice and most everyone in her inner circle sought her opinion when needed. Style: she threw amazing parties where every detail was covered and made it seem effortless.
In her free time, she loved the sun and being outside. She would take frequent walks, sometimes with a neighbor or a friend. She loved to swim and was never far from a body of water. She was always mindful of her community and helping those in need, a trait she inspires in her family as well. Most recently Mona organized and led a team of ladies who volunteered to wash and deliver clean clothes for foster children.
To know Mona was to love her, and her heart had room for so many in return. Thank you to everyone who offered support, comfort, and prayers during her final days. To say she will be missed is a tremendous understatement, but her legacy will endure through the positive impact she has made in our hearts.
Mona Eve Erickson was born on October 9, 1949 and died on June 19, 2023 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mona’s family includes her children: Amanda (Adam) van Brenk and Kelli (Jon) Stuifbergen; 3 grandchildren, Logan, Kendall, and Bianca, and 5 brothers and sisters: Ron (Randi) Bourdages, Bonnie (Gary) Herbert, Robin (Butch) Abshire, Joline Bourdages, Brian Bourdages; as well as many nieces and nephews and relatives in the US and Canada. Mona was preceded in death by her loving parents, Joseph and Rose Bourdages. Visit with her family and friends who she loved so much on Thursday, June 22nd from 4-7pm at the Avink, McCowen, & Secord Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. A funeral mass will be held on Friday, June 23rd at 11am at Saint Margaret’s Catholic Church: 766 Farmer St. in Otsego. A luncheon will follow and then the burial will be family only. Memorial donations can be made to St. Margaret’s Catholic Church or Christian Neighbors. While visiting Mona’s memory page at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please sign the guestbook or leave a memory.