Frances Evelyn Veldhuizen, 89, of Oskaloosa, was holding the hands of her four children when she died Tuesday, January 9, 2018, at MHP Hospital in Oskaloosa. Frances was born May 10, 1928, on the family farm in New Sharon. Following her 1946 graduation from Lacey High School, she attended Central College in Pella and earned her teaching certification from Iowa Teacher College (now UNI) in Cedar Falls. She secured a job teaching in Leighton?s one room school house and it was in Leighton that she met her husband, LeRoy. They were married on October 3, 1954 and were blessed with nearly 64 years together. After her marriage, Frances devoted herself to the care of her family until she returned to education in the early 70?s. She was employed as librarian and then school secretary at Lincoln in Oskaloosa for over 20 years.
Frances was the fifth of seven children born to John and Trina Heslinga and was reared on the family farm during the Depression and World War II. Frances recalled countless anecdotes of the challenges and experiences of that era. Family, faith, and hard work were the constant themes of her recollections and those values prevailed in her adult life. Until the last week of her life Frances was always in motion, tending to her home, garden, church activities, and many friendships. She was an accomplished baker and store-bought bread was unheard of in the Veldhuizen house. When her children were young, clothing for herself and her daughters was skillfully sewn by her loving hands. Each summer vegetables were grown in an enormous garden and preserved for winter. She was proud of maintaining a comfortable home and enjoyed having family and friends gather there. Many have enjoyed the Veldhuizen family tradition of massive wiener roasts by the creek.
Frances and LeRoy enjoyed a long, healthy, and active retirement until his death in 2017. After LeRoy?s passing, Frances stayed in the family home where she was lovingly cared for by Brian and Cindy Veldhuizen and Mary Grace. She recently moved to Fairfield to reside with Brian and Cindy and was endlessly grateful for their devotion and attention. In addition to her husband, Frances was preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Andrew Veldhuizen; a great grandson, Jude Grace; four brothers, Gerald, Warren, John, and Clyde Heslinga; and two sisters, Louise Rozenboom and Johnita Clinton.
Her family includes her four children, Constance (Garry) Soper of Brick, New Jersey, Mary Grace of Altoona, Brian (Cindy) Veldhuizen of Fairfield, and Lisa (Keith) Allen of Austin, Texas; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. in the Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa with Reverend Jon Nelson officiating. There will be a family prayer service on Saturday morning at 9:45 in the east lounge of the church. Burial will be in the Evergreen Cemetery near Leighton. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation will begin Friday morning after 10:00 in the Bates Funeral Chapel and will continue until 2:30 p.m. At 4:00 p.m., visitation will resume at Central Reformed Church with the family present until 6:00 p.m. Friday evening to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be made to Central Reformed Church or MHP Hospice Serenity House.
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