Floral 14


Erma Tuinstra

July 4, 1930 ~ December 15, 2018 (age 88)

Erma Mae De Jong, daughter of Bert E. and Nellie (Paltzer) De Jong, was born on July 4, 1930, on the family farm in the Sand Ridge area of Lake Prairie Township near Pella, Marion County, Iowa. Erma was baptized at the First Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa. In 1932, the family moved to Elk Creek Township in Jasper County, Iowa. They became members of the nearby St. Andrew's Lutheran Church where Erma was confirmed, formed many life-long friendships and was a member at the time of her death.

In the spring of 1932, the DeJong family moved to Sully, Iowa, where her parents were in business and Erma attended grammar and high school at the Sully Schools. Erma always felt blessed to live a happy and carefree childhood, full of love and happiness.

During World War II, a handsome young sailor arrived in Sully on leave to visit his family, Erma had met the love of her life, Donald Lee Tuinstra. At the end of the war, they were married. They were blessed with three children; Sandra Kay, Pamela Sue, and Michael Lee. When Don and Erma were married, he went into business with his father at the Sully Implement store. In 1956, they purchased the John Deere dealership, Farmers Sales Company, in Grinnell, Iowa, which they owned until their retirement in 1971.

After their retirement, they made homes in Spencer, and Lake Okoboji, Iowa; wintering in Fort Myers Beach, Florida, before establishing a residence in Mesa, Arizona. In the spring of 2011, they moved permanently to Pella, Iowa.

A few months after Don’s death in 2011, Erma moved to the Pella Manor. While each home they lived in held special memories of friends and family, it was Clear Lake she especially enjoyed with her children enjoying the lazy, crazy days of summer and Okoboji where she shared her love of the water with her grandchildren.

On December 15, 2018, at the age of 88 years, at the Comfort House in Pella, Erma went to be with her Heavenly Father.  She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom affectionately called her NaNa:

Sandra (Thomas) Pearson of Clive, Iowa

            Todd (Jennifer Paulus) Pearson of Urbandale, Iowa

                        Hailey and Avery


Pamela (William) Ferguson of Pella, Iowa

            Julie (Benjamin Jr.) Safratowich of Burnsville, Minnesota

                        Tre’ and Doran


Michael (Barbara Elwood) Tuinstra of Cheyenne, Wyoming

            Jennifer (Kenneth) Fechtner of Lakeville, Minnesota

                       Brayden, Brooklynn, Brielin

            Stephanie (Christopher) Brown of St. Charles, Iowa

                      Brantley and Breslyn

She is also survived by step grandsons, Michael and Jeffery Ferguson and families, two nephews, one niece and two first cousins along with Don’s two nieces and one nephew.

She was preceded in death by her husband and soulmate, Donald Lee Tuinstra, her parents Bert De Jong and Nellie De Jong Irish, her step father Clifford Irish, her sister Leona and husband Bernie Menninga; and brother Willard and his wife Henrietta De Jong, and her in-laws Matthew and Jeanette Tuinstra along with Don’s three sisters and husbands.  

Donations may be made to:

Hospice of Pella
Pella IA

St. Andrew's Lutheran Church
Sully IA