Rena Masselink was born to John and Tena (Beckering) Hibma on July 3, 1920, on a farm northeast of Edgerton. It was the Great Depression and times were hard, but Rena had many fond memories of family and friends while growing up. She loved going to country school and liked to remind her children that she walked 2 ½ miles to school every day.
After graduating from the eighth grade, she was disappointed that she did not have the opportunity to continue her education. Instead she worked as a hired girl for several families in the community. She especially liked helping her Aunt Jennie Schelhaas with her growing family.
On November 14, 1943, Rena married George Masselink at the First Christian Reformed Church in Edgerton. They attended First CRC until 1947 when they became charter members of Bethel CRC. Rena continued to be an active, faithful member there.
George and Rena settled on the Masselink farm located on the Valley Road between Edgerton and Chandler and raised their family there. These were busy, happy years. Rena’s hands were always busy with cleaning, sewing, baking, cooking, canning, gardening, and entertaining the city relatives that came to visit in the summer. She made a beautiful afghan for each of her grandchildren as a high school graduation gift. Her life was always about serving others.
George and Rena retired to Edgerton in 1983. George died in April of 1986. Rena continued on in their home, spending time with family and friends. Rena moved to the Edgebrook Independent Apartments in April of 2007. She continued to live an active independent life there for eleven years. One of her greatest joys was having her family over every week for the noon meal after Sunday morning church service. This tradition continued until Rena moved to Edgebrook Care Center July 1, 2018, at the age of 97. She continued to reside at Edgebrook until she entered her eternal home on August 29, 2019, at the age of 99 years, 1 month, and 26 days.
Rena’s family is thankful for her long, blessed life. She was a woman of deep faith and she has passed on that rich legacy to the generations that follow her. Her life verse was, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Rena is survived by her four children: Thelma Grande, Apple Valley, Minn., Howard and Glenda Masselink and Robert and Esther Masselink, Edgerton, and Marlys and Roger Kroll, Sioux Center, Iowa; 13 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; one son-in-law, Norman Grande; 2 sisters, Wilhelmina and Gertrude; and three brothers, Ray, Clarence, and Jim.
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