Ireton, IA: Rena Holtrop, 91 of Ireton, Iowa passed away at Hillcrest Health Care Services in Hawarden, Iowa on Saturday, March 02, 2019. Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 7, at the First Reformed Church in Ireton at 10:30 AM with Rev. Doug Van Aartsen officiating. Burial will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery of Ireton. Visitation, with the family present, will be held prior to the funeral service from 9:00-10:00 AM at the church. Porter Funeral Home of Ireton has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.
Rena Holtrop was born on the farm outside of Alton, Iowa on October 16th, 1927 to Andrew and Handreka (Vande Hoef) Kool. She lived in the Hawarden / Ireton area her entire life. She married Fred Holtrop in 1948, after he returned from the war. She was an avid seamstress, sewing beautiful quilts for her children, and grandchildren and loved to read. She and Fred traveled all over the United States, with her favorite spots being the oceans, the redwood forests, and the endless blue skies of the prairies.
Rena was a wonderful mother, and a loving grandmother who loved to cuddle with her grandchildren. If she didn't see them often enough, she got " Hungry for them! " She graduated from high school at the age of 16, and despite a desire to go into teaching and / or nursing, took a job with the city of Hawarden to help her widowed mother. She always brought home every dime she earned to help her mother support her three siblings. Rena also worked for the Ben Franklin store in Hawarden, earning $1.50 for a week’s work! Later in life, she worked as a janitor, and later as a cook for the Ireton Christian school. The sight of children always brought a smile to her face, and she was known to sneak treats to them before lunch, if they were hungry!
Rena was a friend to all, and never turned a hungry child or anyone else away from her table. She was a woman of many earthly sayings, including, " Always save a few dollars back for a rainy day, Enjoy your days and spend time with your children, You need not work all the time, some will wait till tomorrow, Give of yourself for many need you, Give back to the Lord, and spend time in prayer. Remember that tough times pass and tough people last! " And again, in her own words, " Keep Psalm 42, especially verse 11 in your heart.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister Johanna, and her two brothers, Marvin and Adrian. She leaves five sons, Larry and Brenda of Great Bend, Kansas, Daryl and Sandy of Maurice Iowa, Gary and Madonna of Ireton, David of Ireton, and Mark of New Hampshire. Other survivors include 10 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. Goodbye Mom, we hope the lilacs are always in bloom, the sun shines off the clouds, and the trees and grass are lush where you're going.