Henry Tjoelker

  Henry Tjoelker went to be with his Lord and Savior on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018. He was known for being a man of God and of strong faith, gentle, compassionate and hardworking.

  Henry was born to Meindert and Janet (Hofstede) Tjoelker on July 19, 1929 in Surhuizum, Friesland, the Netherlands, the oldest son of nine children. He moved with his family to the United States in 1948 and had various farming jobs. In 1951 Henry was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in Anchorage, Alaska, until 1953.

  Once back from the Army, Henry started his own dairy farm in 1955, renting on Central Road, then Trapline Road until in 1963 he purchased property on Clearbrook Road and in 1974 Van Buren Road. While farming Henry also worked as a carpenter. He sold his farm in 1985. After retiring, Henry worked as a parts delivery person for Hinton’s six years and NAPA Auto Parts for three years. He volunteered for Lynden Christian School’s paper baler and Project Hope. Henry loved woodworking and distributing Bibles and tracts to local businesses. He was a member of Covenant Grace Reformed Church of Lynden.

  Henry met Marie at a young people’s church gathering and they were married on March 6, 1953. Together they had six children. It brought great joy to Henry playing pranks on Marie and the kids, along with a weeklong camping vacation every year.

  He was preceded in death by brothers John and George and sister Alice Hazenberg.

  Henry is survived by his wife of 65 years, Marie; children Cora (Brian) McMurry of Olympia, Jim (Merri Lynn) of Everson, Ernie (Kimberly) of Lynden, David (Kim) of Everson, Evelyn of Lynden, and Steve (Kristine) of Everson; 15 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his brothers Bert and Bill Tjoelker and sisters Winnie Maarhuis, Freida VanDyk and Janie Glass.

  Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, in Gillies Funeral Home. A memorial service for Henry will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 10, in Lynden United Reformed Church on Benson Road, Lynden. Private family burial precedes in Monumenta Cemetery.

  Contributions may be made to Lighthouse Mission, P.O. Box 548, Bellingham, WA 98227; or Lynden Christian Schools, 417 Lyncs Drive, Lynden, WA 98264; or Salvation Army, 2912 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, WA 98225.

  You are invited to share your condolences and memories in the online guestbook at www.gilliesfuneralhome.com.

  Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Lynden.