Winifred Vander Giessen, at age 98, experienced the longing of her heart and went to her eternal home on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020.
She was born Aug. 16, 1921, in Manhattan, Montana, to parents John and Gerdeen (Ungersma) Telling.
She met Lawrence Vander Giessen at church and after asking him about the care of her African violets they began to date. After a time, Winifred married the love of her life, Lawrence, on Dec. 6, 1973, and thereby she inherited five children: Marcia, Lorna, Larry, Gary and Louis.
She was a no-nonsense personality, but you knew she loved you. Her happiest times were being married. She took great delight in making “homemaking” her new job and loved to try new recipes out on “her boys,” Gary and Louis, who were still living at home. They were very happy to have a mother again! She and Lawrence had a large garden and a beautiful yard. She loved Lawrence and was a huge blessing to him.
She was a longtime member of Bethel CRC. A prayer warrior, she was always praying for the people she met. She loved to talk about the Lord, had a heart for missions and was very generous. Winifred always felt that God directed her path and strived to do as she was led. God granted her a clear mind and the ability to enjoy reading until shortly before her passing.
Prior to marrying Lawrence, she worked as an in-home care attendant in Lynden. She was always active in her church and taught Sunday School in Montana as well.
Winifred was preceded in death by her parents, brother Homer Telling, infant sister Johanna, great-granddaughter Vylit Vander Giessen, nephew Chuck Postma, and brothers-in law Al Postma, John Hayes and Ralph Kingma.
She is survived by daughters Marcia Schouten (Marion “Bob”) and Lorna Molenaar (Les); sons Larry (Iva), Gary (Linda) and Louis (Alice); 15 grandchildren, 34 great-grand- and 10 great-great-grandchildren; beloved sisters Mickey Kingma and Charlene Postma; sister-in-law Ann Telling of Montana; numerous nieces and nephews; and her faithful friend Maria and her family.
We are grateful for the kind visits and love of her Bethel family, Pastor Steve Van Noort, and friends. We also thank the Christian Health Care Center and staff for the loving care given to Henrietta. We are grateful for God’s provision of Arliss, her roommate, as they shared their love for Jesus.
You are invited to join family and friends for visitation at Gillies Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5. The memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Bethel Christian Reformed Church.
Memorials are suggested to your favorite charity.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.