Rock Valley, IA: Gertrude Koedam, 95, of Rock Valley, Iowa, died Monday, July 25, 2016 at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 28, 10:00 a.m. at First Christian Reformed Church of Rock Valley with Rev. Matthew Haan officiating. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery of Rock Valley. Visitation with family present will be held Wednesday, July 27, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at First Christian Reformed Church of Rock Valley. Condolences may be left for the family at www.porterfuneralhomes.com.
Gertrude was born November 30, 1920, south of Rock Rapids to Leonard and Wilhemina (Rozeboom) Klarenbeek, the third child of 11 children and the first daughter. She knew first hand about the country school as she attended 1st through 8th grade in a one-room schoolhouse. As the oldest daughter, she was a vital helper for her mother being the bread baker of the family. When Gert’s sister got older, they took over her jobs and she was able to leave home and work for other people in their homes.
Gert met her husband, Bill, through friends. Their friend/church groups would overlap sometimes and they would get to see each other. What attracted her to Bill was his easygoing nature. When Bill went into the Army, she wrote to him almost every day. When he returned home from the war in 1946, the two were married on February 20, 1946 in Alvord, Iowa and moved onto a farm in South Dakota. They moved many times to many different farms over the years. Being a farm wife meant there were many times her husband needed a hand with something, and sometimes he literally meant a hand that wasn’t as big as his.
Gert had paid attention growing up helping her mother and therefore had become a great cook. That might even mean butchering a chicken for the dinner! She collected quite a number of cookbooks over the years and enjoyed looking through them and finding new things to prepare. Gert enjoyed visiting with family and friends and was a faithful member of the First Christian Reformed Church in Rock Valley. Bill passed away on January 14, 1981.
Gert is survived by her 6 children, Merle (Ruth) Koedam, Alvord, Iowa; Vernon (Laura) Koedam, Alvord, Iowa; Shirley (Arnie) Van Voorst, Canton, South Dakota; Wes (Margie) Koedam, Alvord, Iowa; Gloria (Mike) Bomgaars, Inwood, Iowa; and Kenny (Amy) Koedam, Inwood, Iowa; 20 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren, 1 great great grandchild; 3 sisters, Jen (John) Keizer, Sheldon, Iowa; Liz (Gary) Dokter, Sioux Center, Iowa; Ann (Jim) Wielenga, Hull, Iowa; 2 brothers are Gerrit (Geneva) Klarenbeek, Rock Valley, Iowa; Clarence (MaryAnn) Klarenbeek, Rock Valley, Iowa; brother-in-law, Elmer Koedam, Sioux Center, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, brothers, Ray, Dick, Lane, and Bill, and sister Wilhemina.