Wilma Elizabeth Stienstra (Woudstra)
Wieke (Wilma) Stienstra née Woudstra, of a significant portion of North America via the best part of the Netherlands, an eighty-eight-year-old gift to this world, was called back home by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to forever live in his Kingdom on June 11th, 2020. Wieke was born in Ylst, Friesland, on April 26th, 1932. She was a revered daughter, a one-of-a-kind sister, an indispensable friend, and part of a family in the Dutch Underground during World War II. She was a major caretaker of a little Jewish girl during the War with whom she forged a bond that lasted nearly eight decades. She left the Netherlands in 1953 to join Age ‘Art’ Stienstra in Vancouver, B.C., in what would become a sixty-seven-year journey of faith, love, and adventure. Shortly after immigrating to North America, Wieke moved to the United States and became an American citizen, a wife to a man in the seminary, and a devoted mother to five children. Her love of God and her family centered her as they moved from church to church throughout the United States. She frequently changed congregations over the course of nearly a half a century as she supported her husband in the preaching of the word of God. Wieke was an artist, an eccentric, and, in true Dutch fashion, an absolute straight-shooter. She spoke with honesty as a sign of love. You knew where you stood, and when it was next to her, you felt seen, respected, and loved. Her sense of style and independence of thought were valued parts of her character. Wieke was a selfless partner and mother. She had an artistic bent and nimble fingers, which enabled her to spin and weave, knit, crochet, and sew. She was skilled at drawing, sketching, and painting. When she was at home she tended a garden for flowers and vegetables and enjoyed a good book. She is survived by her husband Art, children John Stienstra and his wife Margaret of California, Franciska Shuler and her husband David of Arizona, Emil Stienstra and his wife Catherine of Minnesota, Victoria Garbers and her husband Rick of Virginia, and Ethan Stienstra and his wife Holly of Colorado, nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, her sister Tina Aartsma, brothers Hans and Sibren Woudstra, and Mia Lakmaker Levy, her World War II refugee sister, as well as many nephews and nieces. Wieke was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, and three brothers. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimers Association at www.alz.org.