Bertha (Stuursma) Roose, the fifth of five children born to Jan J and Dirkje (Postma) Stuursma, was born May 22, 1918 in Peoria, Iowa. She passed away on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at the age of 101.
She grew up in Peoria, Iowa. At the time of her birth the Peoria Christian Reformed Church was a young church comprised of Dutch immigrants, who worshipped in the Dutch language. On June 13, 1918, the church was burned to the ground by arsonists who feared that the Dutch language speakers were sympathetic to the Germans during World War 1. Worship was temporarily transferred to one of the horse barns on Church property where, she recently acknowledged with a smile, she was baptized.
She received her education at the Peoria Christian School, graduating from the eighth grade. As a young girl she worked at the Peoria General Store which was owned by her father and later her brother in law. She made profession of faith at the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. As a young woman she exhibited musical talents and assumed organ playing duties at the church, a skill that was largely self-taught. As she told it, at that time the church organ was an old-style pipe organ that had to be provided with air by a pumper who climbed into the rear of the organ and manually pumped the air into the bellows. She also played the piano for quartets and musical groups for much of her life. She was a member at the Peoria church until 1974, when the family moved to Pella, Iowa. She and Wilbur then joined Calvary Christian Reformed Church.
On February 18, 1941 she was united in marriage to Wilbur Roose. To this union were born six children, one of whom died in infancy. She and Wilbur farmed from 1941 until 1974, first near New Sharon for about two years, and then west of Peoria for the balance of the years, during which time she was a homemaker, wife and mother. She and Wilbur retired from farming in 1974. While living near Peoria, Bertha was active in a number of church social groups. She participated actively in the women’s Bible study society and helped with numerous church functions, both at the Peoria church and later at Calvary Christian Reformed Church, which she joined in 1974 when the family moved to Pella.
In Pella, Bertha and Wilbur were residents of Grand View Homes from April 1996 until November 2002, when Wilbur became a resident in the Long-Term Care Unit of the Pella Regional Health Center and died in 2004. Following the death of Wilbur, she continued living at Grand View until December of 2013, at which point she became a resident at the newly constructed Cottages in Pella.
Bertha was preceded in death by her parents JJ and Dirkje Stuursma, her brother John, who died in childhood and three sisters Effie Dahm, Ella Andringa, and Jeanette Andringa. She is survived by five children and their spouses, Leon and Jana Roose of Crete Illinois; John and Karen Roose of Lake City Colorado; Mae and Henry Bork of London Ontario; Ernie and Esther Roose of Peoria Iowa; and Timothy and Sharon Roose of Pella Iowa. In addition, she has ten grandchildren and twenty great grandchildren.
Her many friends and family celebrated her 100th birthday in 2018, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Until recently she was able to participate in family visits and get-togethers, when finally, her mental state and hearing began to decline, making it more difficult for her. Still, at the age of 101 she could play the piano and would comment when the piano was out of tune. Nothing stirred her soul more than singing a Dutch Psalm that she had learned in her youth. She will be fondly remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to many, as well as for her courage, faith in God and good spirit in later life as she struggled with many health problems. In short, she was a wonderful mother.
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