January 10, 2008
10:30 A.M. Monday, January 14, 2008
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
After Noon on Sunday until 4:00 P.M.
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
Pella Regional Health Center - Long Term Care
September 5, 1917 - January 10, 2008
Stella (Stytje, in Dutch) Blommers was born on September 5, 1917 in Herwijnen, Gelderland, The Netherlands. She was the third of nine children that were born to Arie A. Van Weelden, Sr. and Artje (De Jongh) Van Weelden. She was named after her paternal grandmother. Her parents, along with four of their children (Ella, Dick, Stella, and Cora) and another "on the way", sailed to America in 1920 on the ship Noordhoek. It was quite a journey, with all of them very sea sick on the way, her mother the worst. Everything the family owned was packed into one trunk, the largest item being a portable sewing machine. After they docked in New York, they boarded a train which took them to Chicago and then on to Albia. What an exciting night that was for them! Relatives already here in the United States helped get them acclimated to American life, but Stella's mother never learned to speak, read, or write English. While living in Albia, Stella's father farmed with her Uncle Jake. The family grew as three more brothers, Henry, Cornie, and Arie were born. Later the family moved southeast of Oskaloosa where they rented a farm for seven years and the two youngest brothers, Gysbert and Arthur were born. In February of 1932, they rented a farm at Otley near the Skunk River. Furniture and farm equipment were loaded on horse-drawn wagons and routed down Highway 163. The family attended the Protestant Reformed Church in Pella where each Sunday the children each were given a penny for collection and their parents gave a nickel. For fuel they burned corn instead of coal because it was much cheaper, as corn sold for eight cents a bushel. Tragedy came in July 1933 when brothers Henry and Cornie were struck by lightning while helping their father cover a haystack in a field. Hank survived but Cornie did not.
Stella attended Mahaska County rural schools in Harrison township, graduating from eighth grade in 1931. She was employed at the Pella Rolscreen Company prior to her marriage.
On a Sunday evening after church, while walking around the Pella town square, she met David Blommers.
They were united in marriage August 30, 1940. Stella obtained her American citizenship four days later on September 3, 1940. Five children were born into the family: Matilda, Arthur, David LeRoy, Sidney, and Bryon. Stella passed away on Thursday, January 10, 2008 at the Pella Regional Health Center at the age of ninety.
At the time of her death Stella was a member of the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella.
Stella was a devoted wife and mother. She instilled a strong work ethic in her children. She enjoyed cooking, (especially known for her vegetable soup), sewing, embroidery, and gardening.
Those left to cherish her memory are: her daughter Matilda (Glenn) Martin of Westcliffe, Colorado; three sons: Art Blommers, David LeRoy (Connie) Blommers, and Sidney Blommers all of Pella; twelve grandchildren; and eighteen great-grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were: her husband after nearly sixty-four years of marriage, David on August 28, 2004; her son Bryon; two grandsons: Grant and Calvin Blommers; one great-granddaughter, Grace Martin; her six brothers: Dick, Henry, Cornie, Arie Jr., Gysbert, and Arthur Van Weelden; two sisters: Cora Sneller and Ella Klyn.