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Bertha Christoffels

December 16, 1921 ~ December 11, 2018 (age 96)

Bertha Christoffels was born to Aart and Maggie (Van Pykeren) Spronk on December 16, 1921 near
Beaver Creek, Minnesota. She was raised on a farm near Beaver Creek and Steen, Minnesota and
attended country school, graduating from 8 th grade. She had always hoped she could go on to high
school, but she was needed to help with farm work, so she was not able to fulfill that dream. A young
man from church, named Louis Christoffels worked for her Dad for a short time and eventually found
work for several years on dairies in southern California until he joined the U.S. Army in 1941. They were
married on December 11, 1942 in her parents’ home. As with many couples during the years of World
War II, they had to face separation when he was sent to the European Theater. Their first child was
born on the day he embarked for Liverpool, England, and he took part in the Invasion of Normandy in
June of 1944 and in the famous Battle of the Bulge. After he was discharged in 1945, he came home to
meet his son for the first time, and they began farming with his father-in-law. In 1950 they moved to a
farm near Hardwick, Minnesota which they later bought and developed into a dairy farm. They sold the
farm and moved into a newly built house in Edgerton in 1971 where Bertha started her own business
called “Bertha’s Sewing Center”. At first the business was in her basement, and later she rented a
building on Main Street. Owning her own store was ideal for her interests in sewing and stitchery; it fit
well with her life-long interest in many sewing projects. Her children will never forget the famous
polyester “leisure suits” that she made for each son and son-in-law! In 1976 she sold her business and
became certified as a CNA. She then worked at the Pipestone County Hospital until she and Louis
moved to a senior community called Leisure World in Seal Beach, California. While there she cleaned
houses and took stitchery classes, especially in hardanger, enjoyed traveling in this country and in
Europe and was active in the church. She and Louis were passionate about Christian education on all
levels, supporting Edgerton’s Christian schools and Dordt College. Louis died on October 20, 2000, and
she persevered with family and church activities. On May 15, 2004 Bertha married Gordon Bakker in
Bellflower, California. This was a wonderful blessing for her, but Gordon died two months to the day in
July of that year. She continued in her home in Leisure World until September 6, 2008 when she moved
to a cottage at the Artesia Christian Home. She was greatly blessed while there by many faithful friends
and companions, especially because she could be near her daughter Twyla and son-in-law Elroy Vander
Ley who were both employed there.


Bertha was a member of Bethany Christian Reformed Church of Bellflower. She was baptized and
professed her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in Steen Reformed Church. She said that she was
especially moved to think seriously about her life and faith when the minister preached a sermon on
Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s Wife.” While living in Edgerton she was a member of Bethel Christian
Reformed Church, and when she moved to California, she became a member of Trinity Christian
Reformed Church of Artesia (where LeRoy was pastor). She took her church membership seriously
because she took her God and Savior seriously, and she believed salvation and daily living were “only by
the grace of God.” She sent all her children a note about ten years ago indicating that her memorial
service should be centered on the gospel of grace alone through Christ alone and to the glory of God.
Her final words sum up the highest longing in a believer’s heart – to be in the presence of our Lord and
Savior: “I am going to heaven today.” She did in fact depart this life to be with Christ that day, Tuesday,
December 11, 2018 – also the day of her 77 th wedding anniversary and her father’s birthday.
She is lovingly remembered by her six children and their families which includes 58 great grand children:

LeRoy (Dorothy) Christoffels of Worthington, Minnesota

Ben (Jill) Christoffels
Dani, Lauren, Alexa
Elizabeth (Jonathan) Kobes
Madeleine, Bethany, Johannah, James
Hannah (Nathaniel) Vander Wier
Makayla, Kyra, Caleb, Ethan
Joshua (Karen) Christoffels
Levi, Miriam, Naomi, Olivia
Rebecca (Seth) Van Dyke
Rhianna, Trace, Kyler, Justiss

Markay (Dave) Lyon of Ripon, California
Annserita Vos
Alexa (Dwight) Green, Taylor
John (Julie) Lyon
Remington, Rider
Davinia Lyon
Torre, Savannah, Bode Blohm

Twyla (Elroy) Vander Ley
Michelle (William) Robison
Kayla, Jenna, Landon
Monica (Edward) Hawkins
Kaitlyn, Matthew, Ryan
Mark (Alison) Vander Ley
Hutson, Harrison, Isaac, Anna

Dwayne (Pat) Christoffels
Michael (Amy) Christoffels
Brady, Megan
Eric Christoffels
Madalyn, Blair
Jennifer (Eric) Post
Jordan, Dylan, Preston
Kylee (Jason) Buller
Brayden, Myah

Virgil Christoffels
Sara (Jeremy) Tims
Lauren, Sydney, Brietta
Nathan (Holly) Christoffels
Kennedy, Peyton, Parker

Meredith (Gregory) Dekker
Abby (Jeff) De Weerd
McKenna, Kylan, Brynn, Dawson
Justin (Jennifer) Dekker
Isabelle, Natalie

Adam (Lauren Wilson) Dekker
She is also remembered by a brother-in-law Ray Roozeboom of Rogers, MN, a sister-in-law Daisy
Astlund, of Pipestone, MN and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her granddaughter Teresa Lyon, her husband of 57 years
Louis Christoffels, her  great grandson Jacob Noah Christoffels, her daughter-in-law Cheryln Christoffels, her
grandson-in-law Kent Vos and by her sisters Geneva (and Louis) Cleveringa and Henrietta Roozeboom,
and her brother Gerrit A. Spronk, by her husband’s twelve brothers and sisters (and their spouses).

 


Donations may be made to:

Edgerton Christian School
PO Box 210, Edgerton MN 56128
Tel: 1-507-442-6181
Email: eces@iw.net
Web: http://www.edgertonchristianschool.org/


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