Lois Elaine (Vande Brake) Byker was born November 21, 1935, to Eibert and Agnes (Den Ouden) Vande Brake, on the family farm near Sioux Center, Iowa. She passed away on October 30, 2017, at The Cottages in Pella, Iowa. Lois was united in marriage to Gilbert Byker in Orange City. To this union they were blessed with four children: Kevin, Dan, Mischelle and Sharon.
Lois Byker was born on the family farm where Sioux Preme Packing is located today. Her parents taught her hospitality at an early age as they sheltered hobos in their barn during the Depression. Her father was killed in a tractor rollover accident when she was seven. Lois learned how to sew from her Grandma Den Ouden and used those skills to provide clothing for her family and many others. She made the wedding gowns for her two daughters and altered many other gowns for the students during her volunteer work at RGBI in Texas.
She volunteered at the Ireton Christian School Cash for Trash program while her children attended there. She also volunteered at the Hawarden Hospital Thrift Store and was a hospice volunteer. Lois loved to go traveling and camping with Gib. They did many mission projects, and together they worked for the Red Cross, CRWRC, and the Rio Grande Bible Institute. She often helped Gib with his wood projects. The sanding, staining, and finishing touches on his wood working were her contribution to priceless treasures. Lois enjoyed being around family and attending grandchildren’s activities. She was a very giving and compassionate person. She loved to open her home to entertain visitors. Her faith was very important to her. Lois committed her life to Christ in high school and lived out her faith in word and deed wherever she went.
Even though the cruel disease of Alzheimer took much away from her, she remained strong in her faith and pleasant in nature. She continued to be a fighter, never giving up. Her smiles of recognition delighted her family.
Those left to cherish her memory are:
Kevin and Meralee Byker, Blaine, Washington
Dan and Sharon Byker, Hawarden, Iowa
Kristen and Tim Vande Griend
Cacey and Matt DeKam
Mischelle and Tom Boersma, Homewood, Illinois
Brooke and Brian Dowling
Sharon and Jeff Dahm, Pella, Iowa
Jacob and Taeler Dahm,
Lois is also survived by her sister-in-law Nelma Byker, her brothers-in-law Gerrit and Tracy Byker and Stan Oolman, and many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Gib, her parents, three sisters: Jane and Elmer Huber, Retha Oolman, Phyl and John Kempema; brother-in-law Marion Byker; three grandchildren: Andrea Byker, Isaiah Dahm and Jasmine Dahm, and one great grandchild Elorah Vande Griend.