Edith Mae Jonker was the fifth child born to Peter and Rachel Jonker on June 29, 1929. She joined a family of three older sisters and one older brother: Cora, Matilda, Wilma, and James. Edith lived on the Jonker farm, attending the Peoria Christian School through the eighth grade and graduated at a young age because she took sixth and seventh grade together. She attended the Peoria Christian Reformed Church where she made profession of faith and was also an organist in her teenage years.
Edith attended a wedding of a friend, and at the wedding a young man named Arthur Meppelink said, “I am going to marry that beautiful lady.” On June 3, 1948, they were married in the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. On May 20, 1949, Art and Edith were surprised with the birth of twin daughters, Judith Ann and Jewel Diane. Art and Edith were blessed with 69 years of marriage.
Art and Edith lived on a 100-acre farm southeast of town which they took over from Art’s dad, Herman. Edith was a stay-at-home mother and shared in all the farming activities as Art was a grain and livestock farmer. Many a summer month would find her driving tractor to bale hay in the extreme heat. In addition, she had a huge garden which, of course, included canning all the produce.
She was also busy as a Sunday School teacher, Ladies Aid member of the Christian High Ladies Auxiliary, Happy Quilters at church, Helping Hand Mission Society, Adult Bible Study, 1st CRC Book Club, and accompanist for the church choir. She was also President of the Ladies’ Edification Meetings.
When the girls entered high school, Edith began taking lessons from Dr. Davis Folkerts. Many a Monday morning would find her at 6:00 in the morning at church practicing the organ. It was then that she began playing for worship services at First CRC. She was a determined student and was soon an accomplished organist. As well as playing for services, she played for weddings, funerals, and for students at school for Solo and Ensemble Contests for many years.
Edith was a wonderful home maker. Jonkers were known for being good cooks, and she carried out that tradition to perfection! Every Saturday evening would find her whole family, which by now included two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren at the home place enjoying Mom’s wonderful food. Many fun hours were spent out at the farm being entertained by Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa made two horse carts and the grandkids were thrilled with many an enjoyable ride.
Art and Edith enjoyed traveling, doing some on their own and some by planned bus trips. Then they took up camping and many weeks and weekends would find them out at Lake Red Rock enjoying beautiful scenery and visiting with neighboring campers. They were also busy in their retirement years keeping up with grandchildren’s activities at school. They were very proud of their accomplishments.
Life can hand us some great difficulties and it was the same for Edith, as she lost her Mother at age 54. Then she lost her daughter Jewel at 56 from cancer, which was extremely difficult for her and then her son-in-law Duane in June of 2017 and her husband in November of 2017. Edith’s encouraging words were, “when the mountains are too high and valley’s too deep, you look to Jesus for refuge.” He was her Rock and Refuge throughout her life.
Family left to cherish her memory:
Daughter: Judy De Vries
Son-in-law: John Henderson
Kristine and Steven Sparks
Rachel and Scott Renaud
Susan and Joe Roozeboom
Stephen and Lacey Henderson
Jackson, Wyatt, and Dylan Renaud
Elena, William, Adriana, and Estella Henderson
Cole, Sadie, and Violet Roozeboom
To send flowers to Edith's family, please visit our floral section.
Pella Christian Grade School Library Fund
Pella IA 50219
Crossroads Prison Ministry