Hermina “Mina” (Kooiman) DeBruin, of Lynden, passed away on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the age of 94.
Mina was born on May 21, 1927, to Willem and Jennigjen (Hubers) Kooiman in Pease, Minnesota. Mina’s parents had four girls before Jenngien passed away when Mina was only 4 years old.
Willem remarried to Violet Evelyn Ruud in 1933 and they had six children together. Mina often talked of the hard times the large family experienced during the depression years and she spoke of witnessing the birth of her twin half-sisters born at home.
On Nov. 2, 1944, Mina married John Peter DeBruin in Alvord, Iowa. While farming in Iowa, Mina and John had six children: five boys and one girl.
Mina often spoke of how they did not have running water in the house until 1955 and that use of an outhouse was routine.
In 1959 the family moved from Iowa to Everson, Washington where they continued farming and had one more boy.
In 1966 they sold the family farm to the oldest son, and they bought another farm near Sumas.
In 1983 John and Mina retired, moved to Lynden, and sold the family farm to the two youngest sons.
Mina delighted in her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She was an excellent cook and baker which she did daily for her large family.
Mina was a hardworking, strong-spirited woman who enjoyed her family first, but also enjoyed working at JC Penney for many years, and later at Celebrations! and Van’s Hardware.
She volunteered at The Hope Chest often and she was a charter member of the Lynden Netherlands Reformed Church.
When she could no longer attend church in person she listened to the service over her phone.
Mina was preceded in death by her husband John in 2002, son Robert in 2012, daughter-in-law Kathy in 2003, grandson Graham in 1987, grandson Nicholas in 1988, sisters Gertrude in 1991 and Cornelia in 2004, stepbrothers Dennis in 1994, James in 2012, Ronald in 2013, William in 2014 and stepsister Elaine in 2016.
She is survived by her children, Pete (Bonnie) DeBruin, Dave (Shelly) DeBruin, Roger (Diane) DeBruin, Jerry (Georgia) DeBruin all of Whatcom County, Bill (Catherine) DeBruin of eastern Washington, and Jane (Larry) Hyatt of Arizona; 19 grandchildren; and 40 great-grandchildren. Also survived are her sister Jennie, stepsister Evelyn and sisters-in-law Helene, Marlys, Arlene and Rhonda and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
We want to thank the staff at Meadow Greens for lovingly caring for mom the last six years and we want to thank Hospice for their loving care in the final days.
Family visitation will be at 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16 at Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
A Graveside service will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 17 at Monumenta Cemetery followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at the Netherlands Reformed Church, 8581 Depot Road, Lynden.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local Hospice.
You are invited to share your condolences and memories in the online guestbook at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Lynden.