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Lois Elaine (VandeBrake) BykerNovember 21, 1935 ~ October 30, 2017 (age 81)
Lois Elaine (Vande Brake) Byker was born November 21, 1935, to Eibert and Agnes (Den Ouden) Vande Brake, on the family farm where Sioux Preme Packing is located today. She passed away on October 30, 2017, at The Cottages in Pella, Iowa.
Lois's parents taught her hospitality at an early age as they sheltered hobos in their barn during the Depression. Her father was tragically killed in a tractor rollover accident when she was seven and her mom stayed on the farm with the four girls for many years.
Lois was united in marriage to Gilbert Byker in Orange City. Together they lived in Michigan and North Carolina before settling on a family farm in northwest Iowa between Hawarden and Ireton. While living there, they welcomed four children: Kevin, Dan, Mischelle and Sharon. Lois was a wonderful homemaker, she had a large garden and made delicious meals for her family.
Lois learned how to sew from her Grandma Den Ouden and used those skills to make clothing for her family and many others. She made the wedding gowns for her two daughters and altered many other gowns for the students during her volunteer work at RGBI in Texas.
Lois volunteered at the Ireton Christian School Cash for Trash program while her children attended there. She also volunteered at the Hawarden Hospital Thrift Store and was a hospice volunteer. Lois loved to go traveling and camping with Gib. They did many mission projects, and together they worked for the Red Cross, CRWRC, and the Rio Grande Bible Institute. She often helped Gib with his wood projects. The sanding, staining, and finishing touches on his wood working were her contribution to priceless treasures.
Lois enjoyed being around family and attending grandchildren’s activities. She was a very giving and compassionate person. She loved to open her home to entertain visitors. Her faith was very important to her. Lois committed her life to Christ in high school and lived out her faith in word and deed wherever she went.
Even though the cruel disease of Alzheimer’s took much away from her, she remained strong in her faith and pleasant in nature. She continued to be a fighter, never giving up. Her smiles of recognition delighted her family.
Those left to cherish her memory are:
Kevin and Meralee Byker, Blaine, Washington
Dan and Sharon Byker, Hawarden, Iowa
Kristen and Tim Vande Griend
Cacey and Matt DeKam
Mischelle and Tom Boersma, Homewood, Illinois
Brooke and Brian Dowling
Sharon and Jeff Dahm, Pella, Iowa
Jacob and Taeler Dahm,
Lois is also survived by her sister-in-law Nelma Byker, her brothers-in-law Gerrit and Tracy Byker and Stan Oolman, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband Gib, her parents, three sisters: Jane and Elmer Hubers, Retha Oolman, Phyl and John Kempema; brother-in-law Marion Byker; three grandchildren: Andrea Byker, Isaiah Dahm and Jasmine Dahm, and one great grandchild Elorah Vande Griend.
Many Hands For Haiti
709 Main Street, Pella IA 50219
Rio Grande Bible Institute
4300 US-281 BUS, Edinburg TX 78539