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Margret Prince

Obituary for Margret Prince

March 22, 1927 - April 11, 2020
Holland, Michigan | Age 93


Margret Prince, 93, of Holland, died on April 11. Born Klara Magdalena Greiner in Ulm, Germany, she was the second oldest of five children. Her father worked as the assistant to the manager of the local opera house, and as a child she participated in many productions. As a teenager, she trained as a hairdresser, but at 17, was drafted into the German Army, serving as a radar operator in the mountains of Czechoslovakia during World War II. Near the end of the war, she was captured as a prisoner of war by the American troops and taken to an internment camp for two weeks before being sent home.

Shortly after, she met and married her first husband, Ezra Gearhart, an Army intelligence officer. In 1948, along with an infant daughter, she immigrated to his hometown of Holland, Michigan. She Americanized her name to Margret and taught herself English from television and comic books. She found work in a beauty salon, and over time, became an entrepreneur, owning and operating four beauty salons (two with an attached dress shop) at various times over 30-some years: the Arcade, Campus Miss, and Margret's Coiffures in Holland and Chic Salon in Zeeland. She had a strong work ethic and considered her success the embodiment of the American dream. "The United States can offer anything and everything an individual could want," she once said in a newspaper interview. "But you must be willing to work and go without to achieve."

In 1968, Margret married her second husband, George Prince. They lived in East Lansing and spent summers in Macatawa, sharing a love for boating on Macatawa Bay and Lake Michigan, golf, tennis, and socializing with friends at Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, Holland Country Club, and Walnut Hills Country Club in E. Lansing. In later years, they spent their winters in Tequesta, Florida, where Margret continued her reputation as an outstanding golfer with a flair for entertaining, famous for her rum cakes, mango chutney, and German potato salad. She had a natural green thumb, evident in her abundant gardens and prolific houseplants.

Margret was preceded in death by her husband, George; daughter Michelle Gearhart; and grandson Travis Gearhart. She is survived by two daughters, Georgia (Bud) Timmer of Holland, and Renée (Richard) Levy of Syracuse, NY; grandchildren Matthew (Sang) Timmer, Todd (Jennifer) Timmer, Megan (Rus) Blondin, Cassidy Gearhart, Sarah Gearhart, Jordan Levy, and Molly Levy; six great-grandchildren; stepson Rick Prince of St. Thomas, V.I.; and her younger sisters Sonja Cebrian and Rosemarie Bruggeman, both of California. A family memorial will be held at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to a charity of one's choice.

Arrangements are by Langeland-Sterenberg, 315 East 16th Street, Holland, MI 49423. To leave condolences for the family please visit

Arrangements By

Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home

315 E 16th St
Holland, MI 49423
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