Cover photo for Glenn Peter Pollema's Obituary
Glenn Peter Pollema Profile Photo
1951 Glenn 2024

Glenn Peter Pollema

January 7, 1951 — June 17, 2024

Woodward, Iowa


Woodward, IA: By God’s amazing grace, Glenn Peter Pollema, age 73, entered eternal life on Monday, June 17, 2024, at the Woodward Resource Center in Woodward, Iowa. A funeral service will be held Saturday, June 22, at 10:30 AM at the First Reformed Church in Rock Valley, Iowa with Rev. Roger Voskuil officiating. The service will be livestreamed at Burial will follow at Hope Cemetery of Hull, Iowa. Following the burial, the family will return to the First Reformed Church in Rock Valley for a luncheon and time of visitation.

 Glenn Peter Pollema was the son of Peter and Gertrude (Te Slaa) Pollema of Hull, Iowa. Glenn was named for his mother, Gertrude and father, Peter. Despite everyone’s best efforts and through no fault of Glenn or his parents, Glenn was born very prematurely on January 7, 1951, at the Le Mars Sacred Heart Hospital in Le Mars, Iowa. He stayed in an incubator there for about 3 months until he weighed 5 lbs. In April, Glenn arrived home, a loved and cute boy to his parents and siblings. He was baptized in the Middleburg Free Grace Reformed Church on May 13, 1951, by Rev. Ellsworth C. Dykstra.


 In August 1951, his parents took him to their local doctor because they suspected he was not seeing things. The doctor confirmed what was feared. Prolonged time in incubators at that time was believed to cause blindness.


 Glenn moved with his family to the Inwood, Iowa area in the spring of 1952. Although Glenn never spoke, he loved music and could “hum” perfectly many of the tunes played or sung repeatedly in his home. His siblings and parents doted on him and gave him much attention and love.


 With the help of Glenn’s uncles and aunts and the Rev. Martin Hoekman, his parents relentlessly sought help to educate and raise this special child. In 1956, Glenn and his mother spent a month in Michigan at a school where they worked on getting Glenn to eat solid foods, obey simple commands, potty training, etc. Glenn was further evaluated and spent time at Elim School for Handicapped near Chicago, Vinton School for the Blind, Institute of Logopedics at Wichita, Kansas, all to no avail. 


 Glenwood Resource Center in Glenwood, Iowa, became his home in June of 1961 for the next 40 years. In 2000, Glenn’s siblings moved him to Westview Home, Hope Haven in Rock Valley, Iowa, so they could be nearer to him. After 9 months of trying to address his needs in every way, Hope Haven determined they could not. They thought his unhappiness and behavior might be homesickness. So Glenn was readmitted to Glenwood and it was reported he laughed when he got into his old home! The staff and caretakers there knew him well and were able to give him what he needed.


 In 2022 Glenn was transferred to the Woodward Resource Center in Woodward, Iowa. The family is very grateful to these institutions for the staff who assisted Glenn with his needs, cares, and had good knowledge of a daily routine that suited Glenn. At its best, Glenn’s story has been heart breaking in many ways. Yet evidenced is the fact that God’s grace was sufficient (II Cor. 12:9) through every trial and step of life.


 Glenn is survived by two sisters, Freida Vander Sluis and Helen (Lyle) De Zeeuw of Rock Valley; brother, Willis (Evelyn) Pollema of Bellflower, California; sister-in-law, Harriet Hanenburg of Edgerton, Minnesota; twelve nieces and nephews, Dorinda (Scott) Sorvig, Darla Olson, Sheila (Dan) Brooks, Steven (Julia) Pollema, Janelle (Chris) Vierick, Joel (Connie) Pollema, Brian (Julie) Pollema, Donna (Jeff) Schwieger, Amy (Jeff) Savage, Stan (Abby) De Zeeuw, Pierce De Zeeuw, and Paige (Brad) Smit; and many great nieces and nephews.


 He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Gertrude; brother, Henry Pollema; and brothers-in-law, James Vander Sluis and Lee Hanenburg.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Glenn Peter Pollema, please visit our flower store.
Glenn Pollema Memorial Folder.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

First Reformed Church of Rock Valley

1501 16th St, Rock Valley, IA 51247

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 2930

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree