Geraldine Dykhuis, 75, passed away Monday, Apr. 14, 2014, at her farm where she was happiest, north of Pella. Memorial services were held Apr. 18 at Pella First Reformed Church. Interment preceded the services in the Oakwood Cemetery at Pella. In keeping with the family desires, memorial contributions in her memory may be designated for the Pella Sports Complex or Marion County 4-H.
Geraldine Mae Veldhuizen was the youngest of four children born to Jacob H. and Marie Van Zee Veldhuizen. She was born on Mar. 3, 1939, in Prairie Township near Taintor. Gerri attended a country school through the fifth grade before moving to the Peoria Christian Grade School where she was president of the eighth-grade class. At 13 years old, Gerri and her family moved to a new home on North Main Street in Pella. While she was in high school, she worked at Carpenter’s Drug Store serving ice cream. She graduated from Pella Christian High School with the Class of 1957 and was employed at Harry Fitch Photography in Oskaloosa.
Gerri continued correspondence with her high school sweetheart, Arnold Dykhuis, with frequent letters after he was inducted into the United States Army. On Apr. 3, 1959, they were united in marriage at the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella. Following their marriage, they began farming north of Pella where they raised their four children. She became a colon cancer survivor after diagnosis and treatment at the age of 39.
Arnold enjoyed farming and was doing just that when he passed away unexpectedly at the young age of 48 on July 22, 1982. Gerri continued living on their farm and pursued other employment to supplement her family. From 1988 to 2008, she worked as a certified nursing assistant and unit secretary at the Pella Community Hospital. While at the hospital, she was known as the most genuine and caring person by her colleagues and patients. She always had a smile and never a negative word. Gerri enjoyed spending time with her 16 grandchildren and attending their various activities. Her children and grandchildren fondly remember spending time with Gerri in the kitchen.
From dandelions to roses, she always had flowers on the table. Family meals and devotions were a special part of daily life; Gerri was constantly encouraging her family in their faith. She was a huge supporter of 4-H, participating as a child, then as a parent, and later as a group leader. Gerri was a joyful, generous, and kind woman who was loved by many. Her sociable personality allowed her to enjoy card club with dear friends for over 40 years. She also loved going to lunch, traveling, shopping, and making crafts with her friends. The church and her faith in God were central parts of her life. She was baptized in the Peoria Christian Reformed Church and was a member of the Pella First Reformed Church. Gerri taught Sunday School, served as a Pastoral Care Elder, was a member of the Hannah Circle, and enjoyed singing in the choir.
Those who will cherish her memory are her four children and their families: Linda Groenendyk of Pella, Deb (Tom) Anderson of Pella, Jeanne (William) Verhoef of Andover, MN, and Arlen (Kellie) Dykhuis of Waukee. Of her original family she leaves her brother, Henry (Alma) Veldhuizen of Sully; her sister-in-law, Henrietta Veldhuizen of Pella; along with the following sisters-in-law and brother-in-law: Mildred (Dykhuis) Boyd, Galen and Wilma Dykhuis, and Shirley (Dykhuis) Van Rees, all of Pella.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arnold; her parents; her brother, Leonard Veldhuizen; and her sister Gladys and her husband Marvin Vander Molen.
Gerri lived her life to the fullest and will be remembered for her incomparable generosity, hospitality, and ability to make all those around her feel loved and well cared for. Her life wholly represented what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”