Christine VanderZalm Kittleson

November 19, 1921March 16, 2013

Passed away March 16, 2013 at the age of 91. She was born in Lansing, MI November 19, 1921. Her father was Theodore Peter VanderZalm, MD of Grand Haven, MI (deceased 1973). Her mother was Emma Mason VanderZalm of Blanchard, MI (deceased 1964). She is survived by two sons, Kevin Peter Kittleson, MD and his wife Leanna of Sandpoint, Idaho and Kyle Mason Kittleson, PhD and his wife Stephanie of Williamston, Michigan and one granddaughter, Kelsey Marie Kittleson of Sandpoint. She graduated from Lansing Central High School in 1939 and received her BS from MSU in Chemistry in 1943. Christine was an enthusiastic member of Plymouth Congregational Church while growing up. She was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and the Gamma Phi Beta Honorary Chemistry Society. In 1945 she graduated from Northwestern University with an MS in Physical Therapy. She worked at Percy Jones General Hospital in Battle Creek and in 1946 founded the Physical Therapy Department at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. She was an accomplished, competitive, horseback rider and enjoyed most outdoor activities. She married Arthur Clausen Kittleson, MD (of Las Cruces, NM) in 1948. They moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in the early 1950s. She was busy raising two boys and worked as a physical therapy volunteer in the U of M Hospital. She was a member of the First Congregational Church where she taught Sunday school for many years. She was a member of the U of M Faculty Women’s Society, Secretary of the Washtenaw County Medical Auxiliary, a County delegate to the GOP convention for four years, led three Girl Scout Troops, two Cub Scout Dens, and was the Secretary of the Ann Arbor Amateur Hockey Association for seventeen years. In 1974 Christine returned to Lansing where she rejoined Plymouth Congregational Church, as a member of Bishop Circle, and sang in the choir for 27 years. She was active in the Sparrow Hospital Guild, Lansing City Club, and the Lansing Country Club. She happily spent many weeks each summer at her cottage with family and friends on Lake Margrethe near Grayling, MI. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 22nd at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, 900 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing, MI 48912 with the Rev. Joy Baumgartner, of Plymouth Congregational Church, officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, those desiring, may make contributions in memory of Christine to the United States Equestrian Team Foundation at or PO Box 355, Gladstone, NJ 07934-9955. The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at


  • Funeral Service Friday, March 22, 2013
  • Visitation Friday, March 22, 2013

Christine VanderZalm Kittleson

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Sarah Martin Morath

April 2, 2013

Kyle & Kevin: I am sorry to learn about your mother's passing. My mother has just passed as well. There is a wonderful reunion of Lake Margrethe ladies in Heaven for sure. What wonderful memories we have!

March 22, 2013

Kevin and Kyle, we are so sorry for your loss. Chris was a good friend and we will miss her. Love, Bobbe

Kim Whitacre

March 22, 2013

Kyle, Kevin, and the Kittleson Family,

I am dearly sorry for your loss. I met Christine in the 1980's when I was in my mid twenties. What started out as a client-stylist relationship turned into a lasting friendship. Christine and I found we had alot in common and that we both had horses growing up. We both had memories of summers spent boating at our families cottages and we both had two sons. Over the years, Christine and I shared  many family stories and adventures. Talking about her Granddaughter Kelsey knowing how to play hockey, and having a horse always brought a smile to her face. 

I will always have fond memories of Christine, she was a terrific lady, and my dear friend. She will be greatly missed.

March 22, 2013

Sorry for you loss.

Pete Kempf (USNR Ret'd)

Dave Korroch

March 20, 2013

My brother and I used to house-sit for Mrs. Kittleson in Lansing and visited her a number of times at the cottage in Grayling. One of my fondest memories is of her teaching me how to drive on that dirt road in an old Bronco (manual shift on the "tree" as I recall). Bouncing down the road and grinding gears, while she was laughing and calling out when to shift- I was terrified of wrecking but she was having a blast! A gentle soul with a spark that I am blessed to have known.

My sincere sympathies to Kevin and Kyle.

Steve Banghart

March 19, 2013

Kevin and Kyle: Your Mom will be missed. She led a life well lived. My best wishes to you and your families.

March 18, 2013

Kyle, Kevin, and families.....we are so sorry for your loss! Christine was very dear to us. She was a pillar of strength for her family and communities. Her home was always open for us. All the wonderful memories will not be forgotten. Peace be with you!

Jim, Mary Jo, Kevin and Bryan LaPointe
Ann Arbor, MI