Grace Van Kooten, 89, passed away Apr. 4, 2023, just a few weeks before her 90th birthday. Funeral services were held Saturday, Apr. 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Pella. Interment followed in Oakwood Cemetery, Pella. For those desiring to honor Grace’s memory, contributions should be made to Legacy Thrift (Bibles for Missions) or Mission Firefly in Hazel Green, AL.
Minerva Grace Arkema Van Kooten was born Apr. 22, 1933, on a farm near Lynnville, the 10th of 12 children born to Oney and Katie (Bruxvoort) Arkema. She was baptized at Sully Christian Reformed Church where she later made profession of her faith.
Grace grew up on the farm and attended Sully Christian School and then two years at Pella Christian High School. She and Harris Van Kooten attended the same church and started dating; a fond memory of Grace’s was double dating with friends. Harris and Grace were married Aug. 6, 1953, at Sully Christian Reformed Church. When Harris enlisted in the Air Force in 1956, Grace traveled with him to some of his stateside assignments.
Grace and Harris raised six children on farms north of Searsboro. Grace provided amply for her family by tending a huge garden each year and by making afghans and quilts—all of her children and grandchildren have at least one or two! Once her children were older, Grace cleaned houses in Grinnell. She loved to cook and bake for her family, and everyone knew there would be something good to eat when they stopped by.
The couple moved to Pella in 1995, and Grace continued to clean houses in the Pella area. Grace and Harris then became members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella. She enjoyed hosting missionary families and later loved volunteering at the Bibles for Missions Thrift Store. At all stages of her life, Grace was involved in Bible studies and often said she and Harris raised six children in faith by God’s grace. One of her favorite Bible verses was one that she had recited at eighth-grade graduation: “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Grace was a faithful wife and mother who loved the Lord.
She is survived by her six children and their families: Kraig (Jennifer) Van Kooten of Harvey, Keith (Nancy) Van Kooten of Caledonia, MI, Kent (Valerie) Van Kooten of Pella, Kelvin (Tammy) Van Kooten of Pella, Kelly (Elizabeth) Van Kooten of Chatham, IL, and Gwenda (David) Klyn of Harvey. Grace is also survived by several siblings: June Rozendaal, Alan Arkema, Lewis and Jean Arkema, and Edwin and Leona Arkema.
She was preceded in death by her husband and two great-grand-children: Yvaine Van Kooten and Israel Samson, as well as by her siblings and their spouses: John and Iva (Harthoorn) Arkema, Bernard and Cornelia Arkema, Marjorie and Freeman Van Gorp, Dormand and Beulah Arkema, Betty and Earl Dykema, Nelson and Dorothy Arkema, Hermina and Henry Rolffs, Junior Rozendaal, and Lorraine Arkema, as well as Harris’s siblings: Don and Clarine Van Kooten, Celia and Marvin Zylstra, and Muriel and Gary Tromp.