Jennie (Vander Top) Van Essen… was born to John William and Gysbertje (Ver Hoef) Vander Top on January 10,1928, in Murray County, MN. She attended country school in District #57 until fifth grade, when she transferred to Edgerton Christian School, where she later graduated from eighth grade. Jennie professed her faith in Jesus Christ as her Savior at First Christian Reformed Church in Edgerton, MN; and remained a member there for the rest of her life. She married Nelvin Van Essen on January 12, 1947. Following their marriage, they lived on the farm 2 miles east of Edgerton where the landmark letters J.V.E still lie on the hill. Nelvin and Jennie were blessed with seven children and enjoyed 57 years of marriage together.
Jennie had a busy life on the farm as a homemaker and she often helped with farm chores. She participated in Bible studies and loved to serve. She was known for her hospitality and there was always room at the table. She enjoyed the fellowship of friends coming to make quilts. Those quilts blessed many lives around the world. Jennie blessed her family members with many craft and sewing projects, including quilts for each grandchild and great-grandchild. “Grandma-Great” cherished time spent playing games with family. Her heart was filled when the whole family gathered for holidays and special occasions. Her family is eternally grateful for the legacy of faith she lived out each day and passed on to them. Jennie entered hospice care at The Cottage in Luverne, MN on Friday, March 20, 2020, and went to her heavenly home on April 9, 2020.
She is lovingly remembered by her seven children, Ron and Deb Van Essen of Ripon, CA; Virg and Faye Van Essen of Edgerton, MN; Ken and Diane Van Essen of Yankton, SD; Elaine and Lloyd Prins of Edgerton, MN; Gloria and Brian Top of Sioux Falls , SD; Marcia and Ryan Achterhoff of Orange City, IA; and Evonne and John Top of Luverne, MN; 23 grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren, three step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband (2004), three brothers: John, Dick, and Jake, and daughter-in-law Willie Van Essen.
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