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Arthur Zylstra

December 5, 1937 ~ December 4, 2017 (age 79)

 Arthur Zylstra was born to Jake and Artie Zylstra in Sibley, Iowa on December 5th, 1937. He lived in Sibley with his parents and four siblings until the age of 7, at which point the family moved to a farm a few miles northwest of Edgerton. Soon after Art’s 13th birthday, tragedy struck with the sudden death of his father, Jake, who suffered a heart attack in a snowstorm on March 12, 1952. As Art was very young and no man was present to run the farm, his mother saw no option but to sell their farm. She would be surprised by her son’s reaction: Art had offered to drop out of school and operate the farm under his mother’s supervision. They farmed there together for 3 more years, before his mother eventually sold the farm and the family moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There, Art worked for Sioux Steel for one year. With his heart still committed to farming, Art purchased a farm not far from where his family had lived. He continued farming with his mother, working the land and milking cows. When Art was 18, he also worked at Hallet Gravel Pit to supply more income, due to a small grain crop. Although much of his childhood had been lost, Art retained a playful, mischievous nature. He was known to pull pranks with his friends. He also enjoyed roller skating and bowling. On May 28, 1968, Art married Christina Van Wyhe at Steen Reformed Church. They had three children: Kim (Ron) Menning, Kevin Zylstra of Edgerton, Minnesota, and Kristi (Kraig) Scholten of Hills, Minnesota. Christina passed away on June 13, 1996. He was later united in marriage to Mary Ann Klarenbeek at the First Reformed Church on January 27, 2001. Through this marriage, Art gained 3 daughters: Brenda (Brent) Wassman of Ocheyedan, Iowa; Linda (Ron)Van Grootheest of Edgerton; and Julie (Dean) Hartle of Cottonwood. After the couple was married, Art moved to town.   Art continued to farm with his son, Kevin, until poor health forced him into retirement in 2008, at the age of 69, giving him and Mary Ann time to enjoy traveling. Art was a member of the First Reformed Church in Edgerton, where he served as a Deacon and an Elder. Art moved to the Edgebrook nursing home on April 17, 2016, where he resided until his passing at age 79 years, 11 months, and 30 days.  He passed away, just 10 minutes short of his 80th birthday. His favorite hymn was “Take Time to be Holy.” Art was preceded in death by his first wife, Tina, his parents, brother John, infant brother Jacob, and sisters Jean, Shirley, and Pearl. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, three children, three stepchildren, five grandchildren, nine stepgrandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and two step-great-grandchildren.

 

Art is remembered for his smile, kind words, and helping hands.  He was a faithful servant of the Lord.  Even though his life was not an easy one, he was never down hearted - even when his body would not allow him to do all that his mind desired.  He was loved deeply and sincerely and will be greatly missed by many. 

 

 

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