Pearl Terpstra, 95

Pearl Terpstra, 95, formerly of Sully, died Jan. 1, 2015, at St. Francis Manor in Grinnell. Funeral services were held at Sully First Reformed Church on Tuesday, Jan. 6. Interment was in Sully Cemetery.

Pearl Luella Vander Beek was born Jan. 14, 1919, in Pella. Pearl was the first of four children born to Antonie P. and Tunnie (Goemaat) Vander Beek. When she first started school, Pearl could not speak English, but eventually did, and she graduated from Sully High School. Pearl and Nelson Terpstra began dating, and in January 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army. He was stationed in Artesia, CA, and Pearl traveled by train to be near him. During one of his weekend passes, Nelson hitchhiked to the home of the late Rev. Richard A. De Jong where Pearl was staying, and he married them on July 25, 1942. Pearl then returned to Sully where she lived with her parents while Nelson was serving in New Guinea in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Following his discharge on Dec. 26, 1945, Nelson rejoined Pearl in Sully where their three sons were born. Nelson then became one of the original owners of the Community Lockers in Sully along with his father-in-law, A. P. Vander Beek, and Everett Jackson. Nelson remained active in the business, “We freeze to please,” along with his son, Warren, until May 2001. During this time, Pearl was a faithful and devoted help mate, wife, and mother. The Vander Beek family was blessed with gifted and natural musical talents. Pearl, along with her two younger sisters, Verna and Sylvia, often sang trios, and she and her brother, Abe Vander Beek, sang together at countless funerals. Pearl also played the piano and learned to play the organ for services. She used to love to listen to the Driftmier ladies on the “Kitchen Klatter” radio show. In later years, Pearl enjoyed doing needlework and sewing. On May 15, 2001, her husband Nelson passed away, and following his death, Pearl became a resident at Hilltop Manor in Pella. As her health needs changed, she became a resident at the Pella Community Nursing Home and St. Francis Manor in Grinnell.

Those left to cherish her memory are her three sons: Warren (Alma) Terpstra of Sully, Harvey P. Terpstra and his fiancee Rebecca Jackson of Ames, and Douglas (Jaci) Terpstra of Puyallup, WA; seven grand-children; 11 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Sylvia Van Genderen of Newton.

She was preceded in death by her daughter-in-law, Mary (Harvey) Terpstra; her parents; her parents-in-law, Harry P. and Jennie (Huyser) Terpstra; her sister, Verna, and her husband, Glenn Elscott; her brother, Abraham H. Vander Beek and his wife, Sara Rose; her brother-in-law, Claris Van Genderen; and three nephews: Loren, Harlan, and Harris Lee Terpstra.

Pearl was a lifelong member of Sully First Reformed Church. She will be remembered as a kind person, a lover of babies, a great grandma, a loving mom and wife, a washer of her sisters’ faces, and the low voice of the Golden Girls.


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