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1930 Wilma 2024

Wilma D. Van Zanten

November 3, 1930 — February 26, 2024

Rock Valley, Iowa

Rock Valley, IA: Wilma D. Van Zanten, 93, of Rock Valley, Iowa, passed away Monday, February 26, 2024, at Whispering Heights of Rock Valley. A visitation with the family present will be held Saturday, March 2, from 9:30-10:30 AM at Calvin Christian Reformed Church of Rock Valley. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, at Calvin CRC with Rev. Dave Van Kley officiating. The service will be livestreamed at https://calvincrcrv.org/watch-live/. A luncheon will be held after the funeral service with burial to follow at Valley View Cemetery of Rock Valley.

 

   The family prefers memorial gifts be directed to Hegg Health Center of Rock Valley or the Friends of Rock Valley Park Project. Porter Funeral Home of Rock Valley has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements for Mrs. Van Zanten. 

 

   Wilma Van Zanten was born on November 3, 1930, near Rock Valley, Iowa, to Charles and Anna C. (Kooistra) Kooima. The family lived in Lebanon and Hawarden, Iowa for a time, and then moved back to Rock Valley. In 1941 when Wilma was eleven years old, they moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan for work opportunities. In 1946 her father moved the business he founded, Kooima Machine Works (now Total Component Solutions) from Michigan to Rock Valley. Wilma was not happy about the family moving to Iowa. However, one month after the move she met Cornie Van Zanten while “cruising” the block after church on a Sunday night as was the habit back then, and that changed her attitude quickly! Wilma graduated from Western Christian High School in Hull in 1948. During high school and after, she worked at the “shop” doing bookkeeping and payroll.  

 

   Cornie and Wilma were united in marriage on June 14, 1950. Nine months later daughter Char (Charlene) was born in 1951; in 1955 Larry Dean was welcomed into the family followed by Randall Lee in 1957. When Larry and Randy were 5 and 3 years old, they were diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and doctors at the University of Iowa recommended that the boys go to a place for children with severe disabilities and as parents they wouldn’t be able to see them for 7 weeks. Cornie and Wilma said, “no way!” and took the boys home. The boys attended school and traveled all over the country with the family, wheelchairs in tow. While there were many challenges, the joys far outweighed them for Cornie and Wilma. Larry and Randy passed away at ages 9 and 12 due to respiratory issues. After the boys had passed, son Chad Evan entered the family via adoption in 1971.

 

   Wilma was often referred to as a “good old sock” by family members. She was a wonderful caregiver to many through the years, including her mother, mother-in-law, aunt, niece, and great niece with trips to the doctor or treatment and other physical needs. She was always ready to help family and friends and never complained.   

 

   Cornie was killed in a car accident on December 18, 2017. Throughout their marriage, Cornie and Wilma never missed a night of praying together on their knees before going to bed. They never questioned the Lord and trusted in Him to help them through life’s challenges.

 

   In anticipation of her 90th birthday, Wilma wrote her autobiography, “Be Not Dismayed”, which had been a long-time goal for her. It’s an uplifting depiction of her life and attitude. Wilma embraced technology and computer skills and preferred it over housekeeping.

 

   Wilma entered Whispering Heights in May of 2023 and passed away on February 26, 2024, at the age of 93.

 

   Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Char (Dixon) Granstra; son, Chad Van Zanten; grandchildren, Allison (Chad) Vander Haar, Troy (Katie) Van Roekel, Darla (Bob) Vander Plaats, Darin (Lori) Granstra, and Dolan (Cherish) Granstra; 17 great grandchildren; and 12 great-great grandchildren. Also surviving Wilma are her siblings, Leona Aardema and John C. (Helen) Kooima; siblings-in-law, John (Mary) Van Zanten, Albert (Harriett) Van Zanten, Albertha (Dick) Moorlag, Vern (Geneva) Van Zanten, and Tony (Donna) Van Zanten. She will also be missed by many nieces and nephews.

 

   Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Anna C Kooima; husband, Cornie; sons, Larry and Randy; parents-in-law, Tony and Fannie Van Zanten; infant sister, Francis Kooima; sister, Judy Lytle; brother, Jack Kooima; great grandson, Lucas Vander Plaats; as well as dear extended family members.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 2, 2024

9:30 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Calvin Christian Reformed Church

1804 17th Ave, Rock Valley, IA 51247

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Calvin Christian Reformed Church

1804 17th Ave, Rock Valley, IA 51247

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

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