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Esther's Story

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Esther Irene Grootveld was born on Aug. 9, 1915, on a farm near Knoxville. She was the youngest of thirteen children born to Henry and Effie (Plate) Grootveld. The family moved to an acreage near Pella in 1920. Esther attended the Pella public schools and graduated from Pella High School in 1932. She taught in the rural schools in the Pella area for four years. Esther was united in marriage with Harris Vande Noord on June 4, 1937, in Pella. They moved to Grinnell in 1942 and Harris was employed by the Phillips 66 Petroleum Company. Esther taught for the Grinnell-Newburg School System in their country schools. She was among the last of the early rural teachers in Iowa. She was affectionately known by her students as "Miss Esther", even to this day, and many kept in touch with her long after finishing school. Esther and Harris were blessed with two children, Edwin and Richard. For the majority of her adult life, Esther was active in a variety of church and community organizations. Some examples include: twenty five years as a Sunday School teacher in the Grinnell Methodist Church; at the First Reformed Church in Pella, she was a member of the Elizabeth and Hope Circles; she loved to play the organ and piano, and for years she played at church and school events; another great love was singing, especially hymns. Esther was also a long time member of the TTT. Among her family and friends, she was known as an excellent cook and baker, and a person with a quick wit. Harris passed away in September of 1965, and Esther continued living in the Grinnell family home until 1971. At that time she and Marion De Zwarte, her brother-in-law, were married on Dec. 12, 1971, and they moved to Pella. Marion passed away in November 1977, and Esther continued to live in the Midtown Apartments where she and her sister, Janet Steenhoek, shared their lives together as sisters and best friends. As Esther advanced in age, she became a resident at care facilities in Pella until her death on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, at The Cottages. She had just recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Esther was truly a lady; always gracious, giving, and loving. She never failed to take time for others: to provide sympathy, compassion, comfort, or help someone in need. She will be remembered by all whose lives she touched. Esther leaves her two sons, Ed and Rhonda Vande Noord of Boulder, Colo., and Richard and Diane of La Jolla, Calif. Ed and Rhonda have two children: her granddaughter Kimberly Daugs (Dennis), and her three great grandchildren Hadyn, Olivia, and Esther; her grandson Scott Vande Noord and her two great grandchildren, Dallas and Harris. She also leaves three step children: Eloise De Zwarte (John)of Granville, Ohio, and her grandchildren: Dave, Judy, and Tom; Lola and LeRoy Van Weelden of Osage Beach, Mo., and her grandchildren: Lowell, Lynn, Kelly, and Stuart; and Roger De Zwarte of Howell, Mich., and her grandson, Ryan. Esther was preceded in death by her two husbands, her parents, and her five brothers and seven sisters and their spouses: Jake and Belle Grootveld, John and Roxie Grootveld, Cornie and Laura Grootveld, Minnie and Dick Hugen and Bertha Hugen, Cora and Andrew (Brooks) Klyn, Margaret and Bill Vande Voort, Hattie and Abe Vander Beek, Herman and Joan Grootveld, Bill and Eva Grootveld, Janet and Gerrit Steenhoek, Mary and Robert Ver Ploeg, and Helen (Marion) De Zwarte. With Esther’s passing, this is the last of a beloved family generation. Family committal service was held at the Oakwood Cemetery in Pella. Memorial service was held on Monday, Oct. 26, at The Cottages in Pella. Memorial contributions may be designated for the Activity Programming Fund at The Cottages or the First Reformed Church in Pella. Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on  October 29, 2015
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