Jim Zylstra

  Jelle “Jim” Zylstra (97) passed peacefully on to his heavenly home on Friday, Sept. 24.
  Jim was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland, The Netherlands on April 27, 1924 to his parents, Klaas and Neeltje (Hibma) Zylstra.
  Jim immigrated to the United States in 1956 and was married to Margaret (Smits) on June 29, 1958 in Weybridge, Vermont. In the years that followed, they resided briefly in California and eventually settled into a life of dairy farming in Lynden where they were blessed with three children.
  Jim was known for his inventor’s mind, keen intellect, strong will, and ability to make us all laugh with his sharp wit and quick smile.
  Jim had a true love of farming. He also found great joy in tending to his garden, reading, and enjoying music. His curious mind made him a wealth of knowledge on many subjects and he loved engaging in discussion on everything from farming practices to politics, changing technology, and current events.
  Jim covered many miles on his bicycle, riding to and through neighborhoods near and far. He always wanted to see something new and often returned from his adventures with stories about the things he saw and people he met.
  As he slowed down in later years, he could most often be found in his favorite chair, surrounded with stacks of books and a cup of green tea enjoying his beloved view of the farm through the bay window.
  Jim loved watching the activity on the farm and looked forward to weekly drives with his son Ken whether they be to haul cows to auction or going for a tour of the fields and enjoying lunch together.
  A special thanks to Pastor Ben who came weekly these past few months to spend time reading scripture and singing Jim’s favorite hymns with him.
  Jim is survived by his three children Josephine (Steven) Kobylk, Nancy Zylstra (and partner Gerard Vorsteveld),and Kenneth Zylstra; four grandchildren Bill (Rebecca) Van De Weert, Lindi (Jed) Quesnel, Brian (Kathleen) Van De Weert and Shelley (Jason) Rot; nine great grandchildren Daniella, Jacob, Juliette, Madelyn, Lyndsey, Eliza, Max, Shepard and Lucy.
  Jim is predeceased by his wife, Margaret Zylstra; his parents and two sisters.
Jim will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.
  Jim’s funeral service will be held on Thursday, Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. at Gillies Funeral Home, Lynden.
  In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to Light House Mission P.O. Box 548 Bellingham, WA 98227-0548.
  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.