Julia Stuurmans

  On Sept. 14, 2018, with her family at her side, Julia Stuurmans was reunited with her husband in the presence of her Lord, 40 years to the day that she was widowed. She was 95 years old. She loved her Lord, and she was a woman full of grace. She will be greatly missed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

  Julia was born to Harry and Nancy (VanDiest) VanderMey in Lynden on Aug. 1, 1923. When she was 6, the family moved to Sumas to farm. She had four brothers, and the family always shared the fruits of hard farm work with others. At the age of 12 she became the pianist for most of the activities at the newly formed Sumas Christian Reformed Church. Except for the childhood years in Sumas, she was a lifelong member of First Christian Reformed Church of Lynden. She was an excellent student, even skipping a grade in grade school, and graduated from Nooksack High School.

  On Feb. 6, 1942, she married Marvin L. Stuurmans. He soon left for the U.S. Navy and when he returned they worked hard together to support and raise their young family first in Sumas and then in Lynden. For several years Julia ran the farm at the corner of Guide Meridian and Birch Bay roads while Marv drove LTI trucks to Alaska. After leaving the farm in 1961, Julia began working at the JC Penney store in Lynden. She loved helping people. Her gracious nature was a perfect fit for the store of “the golden rule.” She and Marv enjoyed trail riding in the mountains together.

Julia was widowed in 1978 and after her retirement she continued her merchant skills and love for others by running the Hope Chest thrift shop in downtown Lynden. Many a garment was laundered and ironed in her home. She volunteered for Lynden Christian Schools’ “Cash From Trash” program. She also traveled to many places around the world with her brother Fred. She loved going to Lynden Christian games and events, and the annual trip with the Heffley fishing gang was a highlight of each summer, with grandkids in tow. She enjoyed spending time, including her last birthday, with her best friend, Lucie Feenstra Clark.

  She is survived by her children: Cec (Kaye) Stuurmans, Nancy Collier, Leslie (John) DeJong, Stan (Adie) Stuurmans; her grandchildren: Tami (Mitch) Aparicio, Kim (Mark) Bepler, Scott (Sarah) Stuurmans, Randy (Jennifer) DeJong, Julie (Ed) Ball, Michael (Susanne) DeJong, Cary (Nate) Lukes, Mindy Mellema, Vance (Michele) Jansen, John (Katie) Jansen; and 33 great-grandchildren. Her grand- and great-grandchildren were a great joy to her, and she loved and supported them in all things. She loved their visits and hearing about them during her 3½ years at the Christian Health Care Center. She is also survived by her brother Ted (Jessie), brother-in-law Stu (Lou) Stuurmans, and sister-in-law Joyce Visser.

  Julia was preceded in death by her husband, Marv; her grandson Kent Larson; son-in-law Jim Collier; her parents; her parents-in-law Cecil and Alice Stuurmans; brothers and sisters-in-law Herm and Frieda, Garry and Alberta, Fred and Doris; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Elaine and Auggie Matter, and brother-in-law Harold Visser.

  The family thanks the loving staff of the Christian Health Care Center for the excellent care Mom received. Memorial gifts may be given to CHCC or Lynden Christian Schools.

  A graveside service will be at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, in Monumenta Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. in First Christian Reformed Church of Lynden.

  You are invited to share your memories and condolences in the online guest book at www.GilliesFuneralHome.com.

Arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.