October 10, 1919 - December 17, 2018
Irene Jeanette was born in Harrison, SD to Jane and Marinus Bobeldyk on October 10, 1919. She was named Irene after “Rene”, her father’s nickname. She was the seventh of eleven children. Eight siblings lived to adulthood and she endured to be the last family member. Mom’s first home was on a farm near Corsica, SD where she lived until age 8. Her family then moved to Armour, SD so her father and brothers could run a gas filling station. She was only 13 years old when her father died. To help her family, Mom earned money babysitting, cleaning homes, and doing odd jobs. She quit school in the 10th grade to go live with her married sisters Jennie and Marie to lessen the impact on her mother. Instead of returning to school, she took almost any job to contribute to the household income. Finding work was not easy during the Great Depression. To earn money some of her jobs included plucking chickens, being a nanny, a dishwasher, and a cook. Her salary was often only $2.50 a week but she felt good that she could contribute. She eventually worked for WPA (Work Projects Administration, a New Deal agency) where she learned to sew clothing. In 1938 Mom moved to Rock Valley, IA to live with her brother Hank. Mom met John Van Boeyen, another 100% Hollander, at a youth group gathering at church. Theirs was a short courtship and Mom eventually joined Dad “on the road” as he worked road construction jobs in various locations around the country. They married June 26, 1939 in Davenport, IA. Their first home was a motel room. They went on to live in a travel trailer, a railroad car, and several small homes they could afford to rent. She never complained about her means because she was with Dad, the love of her life. After starting a family, Dad took a truck driver/salesman job so he did not have to follow road construction projects while the family grew. Lyle and Larry were both born in Mitchell, SD, Betty and Bill in Huron, SD. While the truck drivers were on strike in the summer of 1953, the family took a vacation to Washington state to visit Mom’s sister Alberta Dodeward. They fell in love with the area and thought it would be a great place to put down roots and finish raising their family. They bought a home in Manchester, WA where they enjoyed going fishing and the views of Seattle, Blake Island, and Mt. Rainier. They made many long-lasting friendships in the community and lived in the same house, remodeling in it several times, until 1991. When all of us were in school, Mom went back to work painting home interiors, hanging wallpaper, as a short order cook at the Let’s Eat Café, upholstering furniture with her sister Alberta, and finally as a clerk at Hilltop Grocery. Mom said she worked many jobs in her 99 years but none was more important than being a mother. After retirement, Mom and Dad moved into a home next door to Lyle Sr. in Port Orchard, WA so they could watch over each other. Mom and Dad were married 72 years before his passing in 2011. Lyle Sr. was her attentive primary caregiver during the later years. Mom survived breast cancer and overcame many other health issues during her long life. At one time Mom was a member of Manchester Community Church where she taught Sunday School classes. She made beautiful things whether they were sewn, crocheted, knit, or crafted. Mom fully enjoyed get-togethers with family and friends and always contributed to events with her lively conversation and tasty food creations. She loved to collect cookbooks from garage sales and second-hand stores and always seemed to be trying a new recipe. She was well known for her delicious potluck party contributions. Her two most favorite recipes were her sister Alberta’s Funeral Potatoes and sister Jennie’s Carrot Cake. She also thoroughly enjoyed traveling and spending time with her Ramblin Eagle RV camp club friends, cheering for the Mariners and Seahawks, having a daily Sudoku puzzle competition with Lyle, and watching from the beginning, every episode of General Hospital. Mom was a proud Democrat who kept up with current events and was very disappointed that she could not witness the first woman being elected President of the United States. Our Mom was devoted to our Dad and had a profound love of family. She was a resilient and persevering woman with a great mind. We all loved her practicality, creativity, strong spirit and valued her teaching us to be independent. Mom instructed us to always do the right thing and practiced the Dutch trait of not giving up easily until her very last days. Her love extended to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and she was always interested in their lives and so very proud of their accomplishments in school, college, and sports. Great-granddaughter Megan’s middle name of Jean was chosen to honor Mom. Our mother passed to her new life quietly on her own terms while in her home with her caregivers, Lyle, Betty, and Lisa whose constant presence assured she was always surrounded with love. She is survived by children Lyle Sr., Larry (Dee), Betty (Bob Kieburtz), Bill (Vicki), grandchildren Lyle Jr. (Cyndy), Derek (Traci), Lisa, and Sheri Larson, great-grandchildren Judy, Chase (Cindy), Brett, Kyle, Dustin Pleskun, Katie Larson, and Megan Larson, sister-in-law Louise Kooima and numerous nieces and nephews. A family graveside service was held on December 21, 2018. In lieu of flowers, contributions to SK Western Little League, Attn. Van Boeyen Field, at P.O. Box 32 Port Orchard, WA 98366 is preferred. After a truly wonderful life we are certain our Mother earned her wings during the season of bells. Peace be with you Mom as you join Dad in your Lord’s garden. You will be in our hearts forever. We love you Mom. Lyle, Larry, Betty and Bill PS. Please visit our Dad’s obituary also on the Rill Chapel website. We hope you enjoy the pictures we added and encourage you to contribute photos and comments to both Mom and Dad’s tribute pages.
Irene Jeanette was born in Harrison, SD to Jane and Marinus Bobeldyk on October 10, 1919. She was named Irene after “Rene”, her father’s nickname. She was the seventh of eleven children. Eight siblings lived to adulthood... View Obituary & Service Information
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