Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm missing you.

Perhaps it's a bit morbid, but I wanted to post the obituaries of some of my residents, the most recent ones to pass away. I miss them and love them. Yup.

Nellie Van Roekel

Nellie Alida TerLouw was born on November 23, 1907, near Sully, Iowa. In 1918 she and her family moved southeast of Pella, Iowa where she graduated from the Pleasant View Country School. On March 29, 1933, she was united in marriage with Richard Van Roekel, a son of Gerrit and Minnie Van Heukelom Van Roekel. They were united in marriage at the farm home of her parents, Nickolas and Ida Van Houweling Ter Louw. Following their marriage they began farming her parents‚ farm southeast of Pella. They then purchased their own farm east of Pella in the late 1940‚s where they raised their two children: Ronald Lee and Linda Joy. They farmed for 40 years and in 1970 moved into Pella. Nellie and Richard enjoyed traveling and were privileged to make several significant trips on tours. They served as councilors at the American Missionary Fellowship Youth Camp, also known as the Chariton Bible Camp, for several years and then became active with The Gideons. In March of 2001, Nellie and Richard became residents at the Griffin Nursing Center in Knoxville, Iowa where they were cared for until becoming residents in the Long Term Care Unit at the Pella Regional Center in Pella in January of 2002. Richard passed away there on June 16, 2004, at the age of 96 years. They were privileged to share over 71 years of married life together. Nellie spent the remaining years of her long, active life in the Long Term Care Unit reading, doing word search, and participating in crafts and other activities. She was most insistent on being outdoors in the mornings and evenings, when at all possible. Her long life ended peacefully there on Thursday morning, November 13, 2008, 10 days prior to her 101st birthday. Nellie is survived by her two children, Ronald Van Roekel and his wife, Mary Lou (Van Wyk) of Otley and Linda Witzenburg of Pella, 4 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Nellie was the last surviving member of her original family and leaves just one sister-in-law, Esther (Henry) Roorda of Pella. She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Van Roekel; her parents, Nickolas and Ida TerLouw; her parents-in-law, Gerrit and Minnie Van Roekel; her brother, Gysbert TerLouw and his wife, Winnie; two sisters: Stella and her husband, Harry Boot, Jeanette and her husband, Marion De Bruin; and the following sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Louis and Chistine Van Roekel, Stevanna (Van Roekel) and Dave Roorda, Henry A. and Wilma Van Roekel, and Tena (Van Roekel) and Henry C. Roorda. Nellie had been active with the Pella Community Hospital Auxiliary and the Third Reformed Church of Pella and was a charter member of the Heartland Reformed Church at Pella.

For those desiring, memorials may be given for The Gideons Living Memorial Bible Plan .

Margaret Nunnikhoven

Margaret Lois Spence Nunnikhoven was born on December 1, 1913 to Joe and Nellie Grant Spence in Madrid, Iowa. She died on Sunday, November 2, 2008 at the Pella Regional Health Center-Long Term Care reaching the age of ninety-four.

Margaret graduated from Madrid High School and later attended American Institute of Business.

On March 21, 1936 Margaret was united in marriage with Antonie (Tony) A. Nunnikhoven in Polk City, Iowa. To this union six children were born: John, Joe, Marcia, Tom, Nelda, and Steve. She and Tony lived in Burlington, Iowa for sixty years, before moving to Pella in the late 1990’s.

Margaret enjoyed being a volunteer. She was active both at Hospice and as a hospital volunteer. She also enjoyed crocheting, gardening, cooking, tending to her houseplants, and holding babies. She would often be singing in the kitchen with a hymnbook propped on the window sill above the kitchen sink. She loved the Lord and her Bible was well worn. Margaret had confessed the Lord as her Savior at an early age and was in fellowship with those Gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in Pella.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children and their spouses: John and Betty Nunnikhoven of Chester, Vermont; Joe and Patricia Nunnikhoven of Ladera Ranch, California; Marcia and Paul Thomas of West Orange, New Jersey; Tom and Kathy Nunnikhoven of Cordova, Tennessee; Nelda and David Pealer of Pella; and Steve and Marika Nunnikhoven of Mediapolis, Iowa; sixteen grandchildren; nineteen great-grandchildren; one sister, Ruth Emmans, of Seattle, Washington.

Preceding her in death: her husband, Antonie Nunnikhoven in 2002; her parents; brothers: John and Henry Spence; and her sister, Merna Kaiser.

Memorials may be given to Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, Illinois or Bethany Christian Services, Pella, Iowa.

Esther Bettger was born on September 8, 1922, in Mound City, SD, a daughter to John & Karolina Aman. In her early years, Esther attended school through grade 8 and worked as a telephone operator until 1946 when she married Victor A. Bettger in Herried, SD. Following their time at the Univ. of South Dakota in Vermilion, the Bettgers relocated to North Dakota in 1951. While living in Stanton for 21 years, Esther was kept busy raising a family, operating family businesses, and serving at her church. Prior to moving to Pella, IA in 2003, Esther lived in Roseau, MN, and St. Louis Park, MN. Victor preceded her in death in 1981. Wherever possible, Esther was available as a counselor and sought situations where she used her abilities to help individuals in many ways.

Esther is survived by her brother Walter Aman, Beaverton, OR, and by her four children and spouses: Tom & Kathy Bettger, Boise, ID; Ken & Pam Bettger, Pella, IA; Dan & R’Shelle Bettger, Rothschild, WI; and Cheryl & Carl Lyons, Fredericksburg, VA. Esther has 12 grandchildren and one great grandson. The longing of Esther’s heart to be with her Lord and loved ones in heaven was granted October 31, 2008, when she moved quietly from this life into the next. Esther was 86 years old at the time of her death.

In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family prefers memorials for First Baptist Church in Pella or Hospice of Pella.

Louesa Vander Zyl

Louesa Baarda was born on September 22, 1913, on a farm near Reasnor, Iowa. She was an only daughter born to John and Sarah (Duinink) Baarda, having two older brothers, Frank and Fred. They moved to another farm near Kellogg, Iowa when she was two years of age. She and her two brothers attended grade school in nearby Taintor, Iowa until 1926 when they moved to Newburg, Iowa. Louesa helped with the family farming until she was united in marriage with Floyd Vander Zyl on January 16, 1935, in Sully, Iowa. Louesa was baptized and had made profession of her faith at the First Reformed Church in Sully. Louesa and Floyd lived in Sully until moving to Pella, Iowa in 1937 where they became life-long members of the First Reformed Church of Pella. It was at this time they had three children: Phyllis Elaine, Eunice Lynn and Eldon Lee, known as Tony. After all their children were in school Louesa worked at the Pella Maid Rite, then the Central Park CafĂ© and, until her mid-seventies, in the kitchen at the Pella Community Hospital. She enjoyed work and would have never retired were it not for health problems. Floyd retired as an accountant, tax preparer and real estate agent in 1974 at which time they sold their home and eventually became residents of Fair Haven East. During this time they were involved at the Senior Citizens Center in Pella. Floyd passed away December 17, 1993. Louesa was very active in the First Reformed Church and was a charter member of the Christian Opportunity Center volunteer corps where her daughter, Phyllis, had worked for a time. Louesa was very generous in helping others and was quick to do things for them. She loved to bake and shared her bread, quick breads, Christmas fruit bread and pecan tassies. She won ribbons for her favorite angel food cake made without a mixer. In her later years she was thrilled to be blessed with two grandsons, Mathew and Mark, and was proud to see them grow to be fine young men. Louesa became a resident in the Long Term Care Unit at the Pella Regional Health Center in 2005 where her daughter, Phyllis, had been a resident for 15 years and passed away there on July 20, 2002. Louesa’s friends were very important to her, especially Guitta Graber, and she appreciated their visits in these last few years while residing there. Louesa passed away on Thursday morning, October 16, 2008, at the advanced age of 95 years. She is survived by her daughter, Eunice and her husband, Jim Van Tuyl of Bella Vista, Arkansas, her son, Eldon Vander Zyl and his wife, Cindy of Ames, Iowa and their two sons, Mathew Vander Zyl of Dallas, Texas and Mark Vander Zyl of Iowa City, Iowa. Louesa was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd and her daughter, Phyllis Vander Zyl; her parents, John and Sarah Baarda; her parents-in-law, Menze and Jennie (Vander Hart) Vander Zyl; and her two brothers, Frank and Fred Baarda.Arrangements by Van Dyk- Duven Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at

For those desiring, memorials may given for the Dialysis Department of the Pella Regional Health Center or the Hospice of Pella Comfort House in Pella

Louise Hallenbeck

Della Louise Straight was a native of Taylor County, Iowa. She was born on June 1, 1919, to the late Truman and Ida Fern Standley Straight at Platteville, Iowa. D. Louise Straight attended the Platteville Country School and graduated from Blockton High School in 1936. Louise then attended Maryville State Teachers College in Maryville, Missouri. This qualified her to teach in rural schools in Missouri and Iowa. To aid in the war effort during World War II, Louise moved to Dayton, Ohio where she gained military clearance to join a secretarial pool at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Afterwards she resumed teaching in New Market, Shenandoah, and Bedford, Iowa. It was while teaching in Shenandoah that Louise met Shenandoah High School band director, Vern Robert Hallenbeck. The two were married on July 6, 1954 at Louise’s family home in Platteville. After years of teaching, the Hallenbeck’s lived for a few years in Lebanon, Missouri and Townsend, Montana. In 1968 they moved to Pella, Iowa where Louise became secretary to the then President of Central College, Dr. Kenneth Weller and Vern became assistant librarian at Central College. Louise was a member of the Central College Auxiliary, the Second Reformed Church, the Business and Professional Women of Pella and Chapter BU of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. In 2003 Louise became a resident of Vriendschap Village in Pella and as her health began to fail, the Long Term Care Unit at the Pella Regional Health Center. She passed away there on Monday evening, October 13, 2008, at the age of 89 years. Louise is survived by her nephew, Jon K. Vogel and his wife, Sydney, of Arvada, Colorado, and their children: Julia Potwin of Coronado, California, James Vogel of Denver, Colorado and Sarah Louise Thomas of Arvada. Louise helped raise her nephew, Jon Vogel, when Jon lost his father when he was two years of age. She also spent much time with her cousin, Glen Straight’s children: Pam Browne of Bedford, Iowa, Claire Sawyer of Littlefield, Texas and Mary Louise Everhart of Williamsburg, Iowa. Glen Straight was raised as a brother to Louise. Louise was preceded in death by her husband, Vern R. Hallenbeck, who passed away on December 23, 2003; her parents, Truman and Ida Straight; her sister, Eleanor Vogel Hicks of Stockton, Missouri and her cousin, Glen Straight. Louise loved and depended on her neighbor and close friend, Karen Hudson of Pella and one of her great loves was a Husky named ‘Jackie’. Louise was a natural giver all of her life and will be greatly missed. Arrangements by Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at

For those desiring, memorials in her memory may be designated for the Platteville Cemetery at Bedford, Iowa or Central College in Pella

Valentine Mathes, 102 of Pella, died Nov. 18. Funeral services will be Sat., Nov. 22, 1:30 p.m. at First Reformed Church in Pella. Fellowship time follows the service. Visitation will begin Friday afternoon at Van Dyk-Duven Funeral Home, with famiy present from noon until service time on Sat. at the church. Memorials may be designated for Words of Hope, a Reformed Church radio ministry broadcast, or the Covenant House, a home for runaway children.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post, I started my career in nursing after finishing a associate degree in nursing from
associate degree nursing schools

nelda pealer said...

I am honored that my mother, Margaret Nunnikhoven, was listed in the residents you miss. She was a good mom and even though in her last years she could not communitate verbally she still was known for her sweet nature.
Nelda Pealer