Beulah Margerite was born to George and Bertha (Hollander) De Groot on February 16, 1928. She was the third of nine children. She grew up on a farm by Rose Hill, Iowa. From K through 7th grade, Beulah attended Brush College School. Beulah recalled that the school was over 2 miles away and they usually walked. Her 8th grade year, she attended Mauch Chuck and after that she went to work. She worked for families in the area. When a baby was born, Beulah helped the family with the cooking, cleaning and caring for the older children.
On February 15, 1957, she was married to Gary De Graaf. They started married life on a farm south of Prairie City and a few years later moved to a farm east of Prairie City where their children grew up. They were blessed with four children: Donna Rae, Linda Jean, Steven John, and Keith Wayne.
She loved to bake. She baked all the bread and buns that her family ate. She gave freely of the works of her hands. She initiated her own version of parent-teacher conferences by inviting teachers to her home so her children could 'enjoy' a meal with his/her teacher. She had a huge garden and canned or froze enough vegetables and fruits to eat for a whole year. She loved to sew and embroider. In her retirement years, she embroidered enough quilt squares so that she was able to make a quilt for each grandchild. She loved to interact with people. She reached out to people who were new to the church. She worked at Clearview Manor in Prairie City and Hilltop Manor in Pella. She made many friends with her co-workers and the residents.
She loved family. Friday nights were often spent at her parent's home in Rose Hill, Iowa, where cousins played together and became friends. She was thrilled when relatives from the Chicago area stopped in. Beulah always had food stored in her freezers so that she could have a meal prepared (including cookies and dessert) within a matter of minutes. It was also a treat when her siblings would make a trip to Des Moines and stop in on the way home. A snack was always offered even if they were only planning to stay "just a few minutes".
She loved her children and grandchildren and made an attempt to attend every program, concert, or ballgame that they participated in. The older grandchildren were able to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa on the farm while the younger grandchildren spent time at their home in Pella.
Her faith in God was most important in her life. The faith carried her through during the hard times in life. Her love for God and others was evident by the activities that she was involved in. She willingly helped out with activities at church and the Christian schools where her children attended. She was a member of the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church until she and Gary moved to Pella in 1995, when they became members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church.
In her later years, it became apparent that her memory was failing her. She struggled to recall names and facts. She began to rely on Gary to help her make sense of the confusion in her mind. They became residents of Crystal Heights Care Center in Oskaloosa in October 2016, when Gary could no longer care for her and himself. Gary passed away on February 25, 2017. Beulah managed without him as best as she could but she continued to look for him.
Plans to celebrate her birthday were cancelled when it became apparent that she was no longer aware of family and events. A few days later, her family gathered at her bedside and about 10:00 on the morning of February 21, she quietly slipped from this life into the presence of her Lord.
She is survived by her children, their families, and three brothers and three sisters-in-law. Kenneth De Groot, Lee and Carolyn De Groot, Howard and Donna De Groot, and Martena De Groot.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and Gary's parents, Gerrit and Wilhelmina De Graaf. Also her sister, brothers, and in-laws Josephine (Dick) Hardeman, Ray, John (Dorothy), Clarence (age 15 months), Gary (age 11 days), Darlene and Linda De Groot.
Beulah’s children and their families:
Donna and Bill Vande Weerdhof, Rose Hill
Jaynee and fiancé Saif Grafke
Derek Vande Weerdhof
Linda and Ron Schuring, Pella
Mary and Jon Landon
Ethan, Nora, Elsie and Mason
Chris and Kayla Smith
Matt and Tara Schuring
Kaeley, Kaeleb, Kaelyn, Kaenan
Nichole and Chris Kapler
Hudson Lorensen, Kenedi, Brooklyn, Boden, Collins Kapler
Steve and Janice De Graaf, Pella
Lisa Shacklett and fiancé Kory Schreiner
Austin, Collin Hawkins
Teri and Ed Trunnel
Sara and Mark Richards
Parker, Jaxon, Aubrie
Logan and Rees Beaver
Keith and Jean De Graaf, Pella
Jordan De Graaf
Carlee and Ryan Flack
Raquel De Graaf and fiancé Josh Vos
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Pella Christian Grade School
Oskaloosa Christian Grade School