Lena was born in Prairie City, Iowa, on March 26, 1922, to James and Winnie (Louwsma) Nugteren. She was baptized at Prairie City Christian Reformed Church. She received her education in the Prairie City schools through sophomore year in high school. The family moved to Pella/Knoxville rural area in 1937 and the last two years of high school were at Knoxville, graduating there in May of 1939. Lena went to summer school at William Penn at Oskaloosa and Central College in Pella where she received her teacher’s certificate. Lena taught for three years in rural schools, one year at West Pella located northwest of Knoxville and two years at Sandridge located north of Pella. She made her profession of faith at Peoria Christian Reformed Church. Music played an important part of her life. While in high school Lena sang in various vocal groups and also sang in the choir and women’s chorus at Third Reformed Church in Pella. Lena was an organist at Peoria Christian Reformed Church for two years and at the Third Reformed Church for over 40 years. The last 12 years she was also an organist at First Baptist Church in Pella. She was also the pianist for the Faithful Four Gospel quartet going on eighteen years. In addition, she played for many weddings and funerals over the years.
On December 28, 1943, she was united in marriage to Everett Vandenberg at the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. They lived most of their married life on the Vandenberg family farm south of Pella.
To this union they were blessed with five children: Edwin L., James A., Laura R., Gary D., and Thomas E. Her main occupation was being a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and homemaker.
Those left to mourn her passing are four sons: Edwin (Janice), James (Bonnie), Gary (Cindy), Thomas (Rhonda), eight grandchildren: Valerie, Veronica, Brad, Jason, Leah, Stephen, Sarah, and Rebecca), ten great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren, sister Edna Poortinga, sister-in-law Beverly Nugteren, and several nieces, nephews and friends.
Lena was preceded in death by her husband Everett; her parents Jim and Winnie Nugteren; her daughter Laura (Duane) Brouwer; her daughter-in-law Ruth Vandenberg; oldest sister Marjorie Edith, thirteen years of age; three infant sisters: Marilyn Ruth, Dorothy Ann and Ruth Esther; her brother Leroy Nugteren; brother-in-law Ralph Poortinga, one infant brother James Edward; parents-in-law Garret J. and Christena (Goemaat) Vandenberg; brothers-in-law: John (Harriet) Vandenberg, and Abe (Edna) Vandenberg, sisters-in-law: Wilma (Frank) Aalbers, Johanna (Henry) Hackert; stepfather Marian Veenendaal; step-brother Jerald (Mary Ann) Veenendaal; step-sister Phyllis (Arthur) Bokhoven; and step-brother Leroy (Patricia) Veenendaal.
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