Bonnie Lou Westerkamp, 80, of Pella passed away Mar. 8, 2023. Memor-ial service was Saturday, Mar. 11, at Trinity Reformed Church, Pella, preceded by interment in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella. Memorials have been designated for Riverside Church in Knoxville and Wesley Life Hospice of Pella.
Bonnie was born Feb. 21, 1943, to Kenneth and Carolyn (Roorda) Vander Linden in Pella. Bonnie lived in the Pella area her entire life and was a 1961 graduate of Pella Community High School. She became a member of First Reformed Church as a teenager, and it was there that she was united in marriage to Howard Peter Westerkamp on Jan. 19, 1962. Later, they joined Trinity Reformed Church where she faithfully loved the Lord and served the congregation and community by serving meals for Tulip Time and other occasions. She was a charter member of her beloved Love Circle for 45 years, and she always looked forward to the monthly gatherings with her friends where they took turns leading the Bible lessons. Music was a huge part of Bonnie’s life. She taught piano lessons to neighborhood kids, loved playing piano/organ duets and playing for the choir, and just recently resigned from playing piano regularly for services at church.
Howard and Bonnie were blessed with three sons: Harris, Bryce, and Vance. They farmed near Pella all their married life, and their sons were all involved in various aspects of their farming and business operations over the years. No matter what role she was asked to do, she was a willing helper. Cooking for all the guys, keeping up with all the bookwork, and looking for every reason to get outside and help with any and all farm-related tasks were all parts of her daily routines. When the guys weren’t keeping her busy, she found much satisfaction in growing vegetables in her garden, planting flowers, and mowing her lawn. She loved everything about the farm, and her ears were always perked toward the daily happenings. Even when she moved into town in 2018, her lawn, garden, and home were still her pride and joy. In her later years, she also started doing some traveling with her friends known as “The Golden Girls” and even surprised us all by announcing a planned trip to Israel with friends at one point. She leaves behind a host of friends and family who will fondly remember a lot of special memories.
It is not lost on us that God called Bonnie home in the spring exactly 12½ years after He called Howard home in the fall, their favorite seasons. We think of the verses in Ecclesiastes 3, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under Heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.” It only seems fitting for their time here on earth to end in this way, and we can only imagine the joy on her face as she enters this most perfect final beautiful season of eternal life.
Those left to cherish her memory are her children: Harris (Jacki) Westerkamp of Blue Grass, Bryce (Cherie) Westerkamp of Pella, and Vance (Stephanie) Westerkamp of Davenport; her grandchildren; and her great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her three sisters-in-law: Deb Vander Linden, Mildred (Clifford) Vos, and Norma (Wayne) Van Dyke; nieces and nephews; extended family; and many friends.
Bonnie was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brother Leo Vander Linden; her parents-in-law Peter H. and Nellie Westerkamp; and her sister-in-law Francene Rooda.