If you are reading this, I have entered the eternal city.
Esther (Steenhoek) Ver Meer was born at Mahaska County Hospital to Walter and Anna (Van Zee) Steenhoek October 27, 1947. She was the fourth of their living children. The family lived on a farm two miles north of Leighton, Iowa. She was baptized November 1947 at the Leighton Christian Reformed Church. She attended Black Oak #6 school for two years then attended Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School graduating in 1965. She was taught by her parents to love God and be honest.
Recognizing her interest in music, she began piano lessons at the age of five and organ lessons at ten. Esther was a member of the 4-H club, Leighton Happy Hearts, and did a team demonstration and had an article win a blue ribbon at the state fair. She loved to help her father outside and was part of the haying crew by conditioning, raking and bailing during her teenage years. During high school, she loved singing in a trio, choir, basketball and softball. She made profession of her faith in 1964. She loved Bible camp and later enjoyed being a counselor for several Calvinette camps.
On June 23, 1965, she married Owen Dean Ver Meer at the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella. She joined Owen in raising crops and livestock. They had three children and were taught to help on the farm.
Owen and Esther bought their home farm in 1973, which is two miles north of Leighton, Iowa and next to her childhood farm. They are members of Faith Christian Reformed Church.
She was the organist for over 50 years to many churches. She worked ten years at the Home Health department of Pella Regional Health Center. Esther was involved with church, school and community boards.
In the late 1970s, Esther began volunteering with the women’s pork organization and later was a state officer. In 1982, she was appointed to the National Pork Board, a six year appointment. In 1987-88 she was elected president. She traveled to 22 different states and two foreign countries for pork producers.
Esther had five special friends, some of which were her friends since 2nd grade, the rest during high school. Since the year 2000 they met monthly for lunch and went on a yearly vacation together. They called themselves “the Six Pack”.
Owen and Esther built a new home in 2006. She landscaped around her new home and yard. Esther enjoyed cooking, canning and freezing, sewing for family and friends. She also enjoyed quilting and sewing for missions later in life. Esther loved entertaining family and friends for meals and overnight.
She was diagnosed with Multiple System Atrophy in January 2016 and participated in a three year research at Mayo Clinic. She died November24, 2021. Esther donated her brain to Mayo Clinic after her death. She will be remembered for her smile to all she met.
She was preceded in death by two infant sisters, her parents Anna (Van Zee) and Walter Steenhoek, her sister and brother-in-law Betty (Steenhoek) and Pete Hessing, her parents-in-law Jeanette (Vander Wal) Ver Meer and Anthony Ver Meer, and her brother-in-law James Van Engelenhoven.
Esther is survived by her husband, Owen, her three children, and seven grandchildren:
Michael and Janet (Hiemstra) Ver Meer of Pella, Iowa
Rachel Ver Meer
Dominick Ver Meer
Bradley and Brenda (McNallan) Ver Meer of Savage, Minnesota
Lauren Ver Meer
Alexandra Ver Meer
Julie (Ver Meer) Wester and Richard Wester of Lynden, Washington
Her brothers and wives: James and Sheryl Steenhoek, and Loren and Marge Steenhoek of Pella, Iowa; her sister-in-law: Carol Van Engelenhoven of Pella, Iowa; and her brother-in-law and wife: Eugene and Sandra Ver Meer of Pella, IA.
Thank you to all who gave me care. May God receive all praise.
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Pella Christian Grade School
Pella Christian High School
300 Eagle Lane, Pella IA 50219