Irma's Story

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Irma Mae Shinofield was born on December 16, 1925, at Oskaloosa, Iowa. She was the daughter of Arthur and Lavona (Caylor) Shinofield. Irma received her high school education in Oskaloosa. Irma and Henry Lester Groenenboom were introduced to each other by mutual friends and they were united in marriage on March 31, 1946. To this union five children were born: Leslie Ann, who was born on June 27, 1947, and died the next day, Gayle Lee, who was born on January 6, 1949, Sally Ann on August 4, 1951, Mark Lester on May 11, 1957, and Scott David on November 29, 1959. Irma and Les began their married life together farming south of Pella, Iowa. Irma was a telephone operator and then worked as the secretary for the Pella Chamber of Commerce. For many years she employed as the office manager at Iowa Electric Light & Power Company in Pella. Following Lester's retirement in 1986 they moved to Forsyth, Missouri in 1989. Irma enjoyed collecting glass antiques and had been active with Weight Watchers and the Red Hat Ladies. In 2006 she and Les returned to Iowa where they made their residence in Pleasantville, Iowa. Lester passed away at the Pleasantville Care Living Care Center in Pleasantville on December 13, 2011. Irma was very proud that they had 65 years of married life together. In January, 2013, she became a resident at Northern Mahaska Specialty Care Center in Oskaloosa, Iowa. She passed away there on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at the age of 90 years. Irma is survived by three children: Sally A. Noble of Ames, Iowa, Mark L. Groenenboom of Viborg, South Dakota, and Scott D. Groenenboom and his wife, Amy (Blakeman) of Leighton, Iowa. Irma leaves seven grandchildren: Rhonda (Bielema) and her husband, Bill Watkins, Dr. Gary Dean Bridges, II and his wife, Jodi, and Angela Bridges, Joshua Groenenboom, and Jeffrey Groenendoom and his wife, Michelle, Joseph Groenenboom and his wife, Serenity and Samuel Groenenboom and his wife, Christina. Her family has grown to include the following great-grandchildren: Faith Watkins; J. J. Watkins; Zachary Bridges; Cameron Bridges; Cecelia, Quinn, Jack McDermott; Abby and Chloe Groenenboom; Evelyn Groenenboom; Azariah Groenenboom; and Jonas, Aria and Xavier Groenenboom. Irma was preceded in death by her husband, H. Lester Groenenboom; her infant daughter, Leslie Ann, and the untimely death of her second child, Gayle L. Bielema, on June 3, 1982, following a lengthy illness at the young age of 33 years; a grandson, Steven Eric Bielema, who died on April 17, 1974, at the age of two years; her son-in-law, Tom Noble, who died on July 26, 2006, and her son-in-law, Steven J. Bielema. Irma was the last surviving member of her original family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Lavona Shinofield; her siblings: Arthur Shinofield and his wife, Margaret, Lloyd Shinofield, and Virginia and her husband, Chris Christensen; along with her parents-in-law, Arie and Helen M. (Scharff) Groenenboom; two brothers-in-law, Arie Wm. Groenenboom and Gysbert H. Groenenboom and a sister-in-law, Cornelia M. Van Donselaar. Irma was a charter member of the Trinity Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. Funeral services were held on June 22 at Van Dyk-Duven Funeral Home in Pella.
Published on June 24, 2016
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