Mary Christine “Chris” Ziems

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died November 7, 2018

Mary Christine “Chris” Ziems, 86, of Gladstone, died at her home Nov. 7, 2018 after a life blessed with quality and quantity. She was born Dec. 19, 1931 in Chicago, IL, the daughter of Robert and Ola Mae (Tillery) Brown.
Chris was raised in Chicago, graduated from North Park Academy in 1949, and the Illinois Masonic School of Nursing in 1953. Her career as an R.N. included jobs in Chicago, San Diego, Laurium, and 27 years as a Nursing Supervisor at St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba. She married Kenneth M. Ziems in Chicago on Nov. 29, 1952. Ken preceded her in death on Sept. 20, 2012.
After Ken’s discharge from the Navy, they settled in Gladstone where they raised their 5 sons and daughter. Chris valued her children and was actively involved in their lives through scouting, sports, band and school events. She often joked that she spent lots of time with her kids because she could never find anyone to take them off her hands.
Chris and Ken enjoyed traveling and toured much of the country in their 5th wheel camper after they retired. She was proud of her Irish heritage and was able to visit Ireland and London as well.
Chris participated in water aerobics at the YMCA for a number of years and made many friends in the class. She liked to knit and sew, was a very talented quilter, and created many keepsake quilts for family members. Chris truly appreciated her fellow quilting friends as well. She continued to read and quilt until her failing health prevented these activities over the past months. She also enjoyed frequent visits from her grand dog Cato, who trained Grandma Chris to get her treats from the fridge.
Chris is survived by her 5 sons: Michael (Debra) of Milwaukee, WI; Patrick (Paula) of Austin, MN; Todd (Ann) of Morogoro, Tanzania; Grant (Lois) of Gladstone; and Lance (Andra) of Negaunee, MI; and a daughter, Christee (A.K.) Khan of Kalamazoo, MI. She is also survived by her sister Frances (William) Franz of Chicago, 15 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband and parents.
A memorial service for Chris is planned for Sat., Nov. 24, 2018 at First Lutheran Church in Gladstone. Visitation is scheduled for 11 AM, the Funeral Service at noon with a luncheon to follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to SON-International which provides clean water to people in Tanzania (, or Friends of the Gladstone or Escanaba Public Libraries.

8 Tributes for “Mary Christine “Chris” Ziems

    Mom was fiercely supportive of education around the world, especially for women and girls. She made and filled hundreds of school bags to help keep kids in school. I love it when people come up to me and tell me that they were in the hospital and Mom took such good care of them. I will miss her wisdom and her Irish wit. God speed Mom.

    I met Chris through water aerobics at the Y, and as we were both avid readers we’d swap book recommendations. She introduced my to some authors I never would have discovered on my own! While I’m sorry to say I did not know her well, her strength and intelligence are the qualities that first come to mind when I think of her. My condolences to her family.

    I always enjoyed talking with Chris. She was a member of the water aerobics group my mom belonged to. They were quite the Aqua Dolls. Fun loving and true friends. Chris was a very special gal. A life well lived.

    Dear Patrick and family….what a green thumb she had! I always looked forward to Spring and viewing her gorgeous Iris! She was my nurse at OSF many, many years ago and had a heart for helping! I know how you will will miss her and, Pat I know the dear moments you spent together will last in your heart forever. Knowing we shall all meet again, helps takes away some of the pain left by those leaving us. Our love and prayers are with you all.

    To all of Chris’s kids I am saddened to hear of mom’s passing .as All the mom’s of the 1500 block of Montana Ave are passing on we will always have our fond memories of Chris Lilian and Helen taking turns either scoulding or praising or just calling us for lunch. We would stop everything or else. Love and hugs to all.

Post a Tribute

Your email address will not be published. Tributes are moderated before posted. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.