Reka Janet Engels, 85, transitioned into glory from this earth to be with her Heavenly Father and Savior on Sept. 1, 2019, at the Christian Health Care Center.
She is survived by her dear and faithful husband, Herman Engels, and their five children: Michael (Sally) Engels, Craig (Mary) Engels, Terence (Sharon) Engels, Janele (Bruce) Haan and Michele (Shawn) Davey; their 17 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; Reka’s brothers and sisters, William (Ila) Mouw, Art (Lois) Mouw, Ada (Dave) Groen, and Betty (Corliss) Smidt. She was preceded in death by her sister Harriet (James) Vogel.
Reka was born in Hospers, Iowa, on July 16, 1934, to William and Elizabeth (VanHofwegen) Mouw. She graduated from Bellflower Christian High School in California in 1952. She worked at California Bank in Bellflower and Bellflower Escrow Co. combined for two years before attending Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she met her future husband. During that time and as an exemplary student, Reka was granted a teaching certificate after two years. She was married on Oct. 25, 1955, and started teaching at Walker Christian School in Michigan in a classroom combined of first, second and third grade children. Reka had a heart for children, music and ministry, and after establishing roots in Escondido, California, she started a child evangelism study, inviting unchurched youth into her home to teach them about God’s love through songs and scripture. While in California, Reka and Herman started their family. She also did the bookkeeping for her husband’s plumbing business and ironing for members of the church.
In 1971 they moved to Washington where they had their fifth child, and Reka managed apartments that her husband had built along with their three sons. She lived a full and blessed life, filled with love and vigor, and is now resting peacefully in her heavenly father’s arms, singing her favorite scripture, Psalm 34.
“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:3-5.
Any gifts or donations can be made to the Christian Health Care Center of Lynden on Reka’s behalf. Thank you for your loving care.
Visitation was on Monday, Sept. 9, at Gillies Funeral Home, followed by a family-only graveside committal at Monumenta Cemetery of Lynden. A homecoming memorial service for Reka was at 2 p.m. in United Reformed Church of Lynden.
Funeral arrangements were by Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.