Evelyn Helene Blankers (Den Ouden, Veldman) was born on July 3, 1935 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Rev. Herman and
Flora (Ezinga) Veldman. When Evie was young, her family moved to Western Michigan, where she lived until 8 th
grade when the family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Evie and her family returned to Grand Rapids,
Michigan a few years later, and she graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School in 1953. Though her family
moved frequently as her father took calls from different churches, Evie enjoyed wherever she lived.
Evie moved to Edgerton, Minnesota with her family after high school, and it was at an Edgerton roller rink that
she met Cornie Den Ouden. Evie and Cornie were united in marriage on March 15, 1955 at First Christian Reformed
Church and made their home in Edgerton where they welcomed three children: Rod, Donna, and Lyn. The family
traveled to Michigan each summer to visit Evie’s family. During these years, Evie spent time canning vegetables
and playing organ at First CRC. Evie and Cornie enjoyed welcoming many grandchildren into their family.
After 40 years of marriage, Evie said goodbye to Cornie as he went to be with the Lord in 1995. She continued
living in Edgerton and working at Fey Industries until 1998 when she retired after over 20 years and married John
Blankers, whom she met at a local grief support group. John and Evie made their home on the Silver Hills Farm
outside Pipestone, Minnesota before moving into town, where they lived until John passed away in 2010. They
enjoyed traveling and spending winters in Arizona.
Evie lived in Pipestone, Minnesota until she was admitted to Pipestone Hospital and later Avera Hospital in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she peacefully went to be with her Lord on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the age
of 87 years, three months, and three days.
Evie was a talented pianist and organist, who could play almost any song by ear and shared her gift with many
others, including her own piano students. She was a devout member of Pipestone CRC, she was rooted in her faith,
and she believed playing piano was her ministry. Evie had played during the church service the week before she
died. She was also a frequent visitor of Ridgeview Care Center to play for the residents. Evie’s grandchildren would
often comment on her unique and identifiable way of playing the keys. She had a very warm appreciation for
Handel’s “Messiah” and enjoyed playing the recording on Sunday mornings before church. She loved baking
cookies and hosting at her home where “coffee’s comin’ down” was a frequent phrase. Evie delighted in her many
grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was often happiest with a baby in her arms. She was also a meticulous
seamstress and enjoyed making clothes for herself and others.
Evie is lovingly remembered by her son Rod (Evie) Den Ouden of Rock Hill, South Carolina and children Julie
Den Ouden, Sheila Chery, and Brian (Meagan) Den Ouden; daughter Donna (Mike) Muilenburg of Elkhorn,
Nebraska and children Kelli Muilenburg, Scott (Becca) Muilenburg, Corey (Cassie) Muilenburg, and Stacia (Zach)
Veenstra; daughter Lyn (Don) Vande Polder of Kansas City, Missouri and children Samantha (Zach) Schmitz,
Madeleine (Syrus) Yeung, Olivia Vande Polder, and Jack Vande Polder; 9 great-grandchildren; sister Joanne Huisken
of Grandville, Michigan; step-children Jerry (Mary) Blankers of Lake Wilson, Minnesota, Judy (Bill) Steuck of
Pipestone, Minnesota, Carol (Kim) Hintermeister of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Keith (Lori) Blankers of Maquon, Illinois,
Sally (Ken) Feuchtenberger of Hancock, Minnesota; 14 step-grandchildren, and 34 step-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her first husband, Cornie Den Ouden; her second husband, John Blankers; her
parents, Herman and Flora Veldman; her sister, Elaine Van Dyke; and an infant sister.
Evie was dearly loved, and many were dearly loved by her. She will be missed.
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