May 21, 2015
PRIVATE FUNERAL SERVICES
Monday, May 25, 2015
3:30 – 6:00 P.M., Monday, May 25, 2015
Children: Jan (Jim) VandeVoort, Pella
Mary (Mark) Bowermaster, West Des Moines
Grandchildren: Judd Vande Voort, Jennifer
Vande Voort, Cole Bowermaster,
Dane Bowermaster, Meaghan Martin
November 26, 1919 - May 6, 2015
Mary Louise Vriezelaar, daughter of David C. and Ine (Grundman) Renaud, was born on November 26, 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from Pella Community High School in 1937 and from Central College with honors in 1941. Her double major was English and Speech, with a minor in physical education. Mary Louise was a member of Alethia, Y.W.C.A., Student Senate, the Pi Kappa Delta Player's Club, Zeta Sigma Pi, and the Women's Athletic Association. She was also a member of the Second Reformed Church, the Ladies Social & Literary Society, and played in a Bridge Club for many years.
Mary Louise was extremely active in the Camp Fire Girls. While in high school, they built a log cabin south of Pella and a lean-to near Boone. These were used for many years. She was a local Camp Fire leader as well as a counselor at Camp Hantesa. Her sleeping quarters changed over time---cabin, tree house, lean-to, and her favorite, an Indian tee pee. Summer camping was not enough for her. Some years during winter break, she would spend the nights in the lean-to, with the aid of hot bricks to keep them warm through the night. Later, she was director of the Indian Village. The girls lived in Indian tee pees and learned the culture and ways of Indian tribes.
Mary Louise taught English, Physical Education, and directed plays at the high school level in Stuart, Red Oak, and Pella, Iowa, as well as Mesa, Arizona and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
On February 20, 1943, she was united in marriage to Lee W. Vriezelaar. Lee was in the service at the time, so the couple moved frequently. They lived in Wisconsin, California, Arizona, Michigan, Iowa, and Oklahoma. While Lee was in the service, Mary Louise worked in an airplane factory in California and at a government post exchange in Romulus, Michigan.
In 1946, they returned to Pella and bought Vos Variety Store. A few years later, they bought the Allen Variety Store. After knocking out walls and extending the building to the alley, it became Lee's Variety, which she ran for over 40 years. Later, she acquired the property next door and established Lee's Hallmark, which was sold to Jan in 1989. The store then became a hobby for her, and she enjoyed spending time there.
On May 21, 2015, Mary Louise passed away at the age of 95 years, 5 months, and 25 days. Surviving is her daughter Jan (Jim) Vande Voort of Pella; her daughter Mary (Mark) Bowermaster of West Des Moines; five grandchildren: Judd (Robin) Vande Voort, Jennifer Vande Voort, Cole (Chelsey) Bowermaster, Dane (Kate) Bowermaster, and Meaghan (Zach) Martin. She also leaves behind five great grandchildren: Elizabeth Vande Voort, Joanna Vande Voort, William Vande Voort, Caroline Bowermaster and Addison Bowermaster. Preceding her in death was her husband, Lee W. Vriezelaar; her mother and father, Ine G. and David C. Renaud; her brother, Donald Grundman Renaud; her parents-in-law, Emma (Vriezelaar) and John J. Buwalda; sisters-in-law Sarah Plath, Joyce Kirk, Ruth Ray, and brothers-in-law Ray Kirk, Leon Ray, and Arie Ver Dught.