CADILLAC — Deann Sikkema Jenkins of Cadillac passed away unexpectedly Friday, May 29, 2020 at Munson Cadillac Hospital. She was 63.
Deann was born in Clare August 10, 1956 to Andrew John and Marjean (Winchell) Sikkema, who survive her. She grew up in Midland and Farwell, graduating from Farwell High School in 1974 as Class Valedictorian. Continuing her education at Central Michigan University she earned a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics Education in 1979 and a Master's Degree in Educational Administration in 1994.
Her career began at Marshall Greene Middle School in Birch Run, teaching mathematics and algebra as well as coaching girl's basketball and softball. While in Birch Run, she became active in the Michigan Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) eventually serving as the recording secretary. Due to her work in curriculum development, NASA selected her to attend the NEWMAST program at the Goddard Space Flight Center and presented her with an Honors Teacher Award.
Deann was named to Who's Who of American Teachers by her former students in 1990. In 1994 she moved to Linwood and became Assistant Principal at Pinconning High School, but continued her work in curriculum development, working with the Regional Math and Science Center at Saginaw Valley State University. The year 2001 brought her to the Cadillac Area where she was employed as Principal at the Middle (later Middle and Elementary) school of Mesick Consolidated Schools. She retired in 2010. Her professional memberships in addition to the MCTM were with the Michigan Education Association and later the Michigan Association of School Administrators
On August 18, 1979 in Mt Pleasant she married her husband John who survives her. Other survivors are siblings, Andrew M. (Laura) Sikkema of Marquette and Janice (Michael) Jenkins of Farwell; and sister-in-law, Jennifer Jenkins of Menominee. Nieces and nephews include Andrew P. Sikkema (Jessica Beauchamp) of Raleigh NC, Erin Sikkema (Darynn Adams) of Marquette, Daniel (Maegan) Jenkins of Clare, Jonathon (Ashley) Bradley of DePere WI, Allyson Bradley of New Orleans LA; great-nephew, Tanner Adams of Marquette; and great-niece, Eliza Bradley of DePere WI. She was preceded in death by grandparents Andrew K. & Mary Sikkema and Robert and Marie Larder.
Deann enjoyed cooking, boating, gardening, spending time with family and sewing where she assisted Janice at Elm Creek Ltd. in Farwell, operating the long arm quilter and completing quilt cover kits for display. She also volunteered at Munson Cadillac Hospital. But it was her love of skiing that blossomed in the Cadillac area. To spend more time with John, she joined the Caberfae Peaks Ski Patrol in 1984, was named Outstanding Candidate by the WMIII Section in 1985, elected CPSP Representative in 1999 and named Outstanding Patrol Representative for the Western Michigan Region in 2003 and 2005. Because of her leadership, the patrol was designated the National Outstanding Small Patrol in 2006, an accomplishment of which she was justifiably proud. The after-effects of cancer treatment eventually caused her to retire from the patrol in 2016. In recognition of her distinguished patrol career, Caberfae Peaks included her in its inaugural Ski Patrol Hall of Fame.
She was an avid and unwavering fan of her Detroit Lions and devoted to her furry companions Enga and Jackson.
The family is being served by the Farwell Chapel of Stephenson-Wyman Funeral Home. Cremation and internment in Surrey Township Cemetery will take place on Friday, June 5, 2020 in a private family ceremony.
A celebration of Deann's life will be held at 2 p.m. at Caberfae Peaks on her birthday, August 10, 2020.
In lieu of flowers or other tributes, mourners are asked to contribute to the Mesick Consolidated Schools Scholarship fund earmarked "Deann Jenkins‘, c/o Superintendent's Office, 581 South Clark Street, Mesick MI 49668. The funds will be available to assist deserving women students (where appropriate) pursuing higher education in the STEM fields.
Online condolences may be left at www.stephenson-wyman.com.