OBITUARY

Gertrude M. Vanderveen

August 24, 1929June 6, 2021
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Gertrude Mae Vander Hyde-Vander Veen was born on August 24, 1929, the eighth of ten children to parents, Gerrit Vander Hyde and Alydia Kats. She had 3 brothers and 6 sisters. Her birthplace and childhood home was located south of Long Island, Kansas. She was baptized as an infant at Luctor Christian Reformed Church. She later professed publically her Christian faith and was married in this same church.

Gertrude is better known as “Dolly” to her brothers and sisters and their children, as this is the nick name given to her by her pop when she was a toddler. She is still affectionately called “Aunt Dolly” by many nephews and nieces. To others, she is “Trudy”.

Trudy attended Long Island consolidated school for 12 years and graduated as valedictorian of her senior class of 14. She loved English and grammar. In sixth grade Trudy qualified for the Kansas State Spelling Bee. The school superintendent and his wife drove her to Topeka to participate. Believe it or not, she did NOT win, however her love of words, writing, punctuation, and editing followed to her final days. It was her delight and her passion.

After graduating from high school, Trudy remained at home to care for her dying mother. She had intended to go to Calvin College, completed her application and had been accepted, despite her father’s stubborn belief that females did not need education past 4th grade. She had to withdraw her application. She would often say, "I didn’t go to Calvin, so I went to Calvin!” Calvin Vander Veen grew up on the farm next door. He was a classmate, church-mate, and became Trudy’s sweetheart, friend and comforter during these difficult two years caring for her mother. They were married on May 3, 1950, one year after her mother’s death.

Calvin and Trudy settled in Denver after his service in Korea and purchased a small house on the banks of the Highline Canal. They became members of the newly established Third Christian Reformed Church which is now known as Hope Fellowship, where she is still a member. Through the years, they involved themselves fully in the life, service and outreach missions of the church. They helped establish a church in the Sun Valley Housing Projects and later sponsored and supported a Cambodian ministry in the same neighborhood. Trudy loved leading children of all races and nationalities in singing songs of Jesus. Singing was Trudy’s second passion and delight throughout her entire life.

Trudy and Calvin were blessed with four children, three sons and one daughter. After moving to a larger house on Vassar to be nearer to the Christian elementary school, Trudy earned extra income by typing thesis papers for seminary students at nearby Denver University. She was a skilled editor and typist but the students who came to her were often required to sit and defend their liberal theology. They left the house with a perfectly typed paper and a good dose of Heidelberg Catechism. It was during this time of discussion and debate with the young seminarians that Trudy’s Christian faith became stronger, deeper and more personal.

As the children became older, Trudy found much joy and satisfaction in using her skills outside the home. She took a position in the typing pool at Bethesda Hospital in the medical records department. She retired from Bethesda in 1989 as office manager of the Outpatient Counseling and Chaplain Department. She dearly loved the Chaplains and counsellors and the beautiful hospital campus which is now Denver Academy.

In retirement, Trudy and Calvin spent the winter months volunteering for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Catalina, Arizona. Over the years they transitioned from camper, to a larger fifth wheel trailer, to finally purchasing a mobile home near the Wycliffe campus. They developed a deep love of both the Sonoran desert and the community of missionaries and “snow-bird” volunteers. Meanwhile, the time spent in Denver was filled with entertaining the grandkids, leading Bible studies, editing for aspiring authors, and developing her own creative writing skills. Trudy’s poetry, stories and devotional articles were occasionally published in periodicals. Her greatest joy came in writing lyrics for a musical called “Ruth”. The story is from the Old Testament of the Bible. Her dearest friend, Marie Pranger, was a talented musician and wrote the corresponding score. The musical was shown twice with much fun, laughter and great success.

In 1999 Trudy and Calvin retuned home early from Catalina. Calvin was suffering from a mysterious illness which was soon diagnosed as ALS. Calvin had lost his voice as the disease progressed through the summer, but when Trudy asked him, “Why is God taking you and not me?”, he wrote in his shaky handwriting, “You have more work to do.” On August 1, 1999, God took Calvin home and Trudy began her new life as a widow.

The volunteer community at Wycliffe was couples only until Trudy bravely decided to go back the next winter. It was difficult as most social activities were geared to couples and she was alone. The following winter there were a few more widows and each year the group would grow in number. Many thanked her for being the first. At this time she also became involved in a Christian organization call “Got Questions” which, through the internet, accepts any and all questions of faith and answers them. Since 2007 Trudy has responded to over 700 questions, over 14 years, filling three large binders.

Trudy stayed in the house on Vassar for ten years and in 2008, just before her 79th birthday, decided to move one block up the hill to Clermont Park Living Community. She was an active, happy resident of the Christian Living Community for nearly 13 years.

Trudy immersed herself in the life of the community from the day she moved in until her final days. She loved her apartment, she loved the staff and would mourn as they left for new jobs. Her desire was to bring a smile to anyone’s face. She delighted in being on stage in the musical productions. She loved making greeting cards and assisting with the monthly newsletter. She served as secretary to several committees and helped residents with any editing or computer work. This is only a small portion of her involvement over the years.

Though most days were happy, there were times of grief. In 2009 Trudy’s youngest son, Brian, passed away. Last year Trudy lost her young granddaughter, Aimee, and just two months ago her oldest son, Kevin was unexpectedly taken. Through sorrow, yet unswerving faith, Trudy pushed on, even helping to plan and participate in the Heritage Day Celebration at Clermont Park a few weeks ago.

Calvin was right when he said “You have more work to do.” But on June 6, 2021, before dawn, God said, “Trudy, your work is now done, come home.” Trudy went from life to Life to live eternally with her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Trudy Vander Hyde-Vander Veen is preceded in death by three brothers, John, Garry and Fredrick, and four sisters, Joanne, Hattie, Wilma, and Nettie, her husband, Calvin Vander Veen, her oldest son, Kevin, her youngest son, Brian, and her granddaughter, Aimee Vander Veen.

She is survived by her two sisters, Connie Nederveld and Mary Ham, many nephews and nieces, her son Timothy, daughter Debra Borger and Debra’s husband Doug. Her grandchildren, Joseph and Erin Borger, Jessica and Craig Neering, Rhett Vander Veen, Chloe Vander Veen, Logan Vander Veen and Julie Claire. Her four great grandchildren, Tyler and Lucas Neering, and Claire and Brecken Vander Veen.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

  • Celebration Of Life Service

    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

  • Committal

    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

  • Reception

    Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Memories

Gertrude M. Vanderveen

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Gwen Sellers

June 14, 2021

Trudy began serving with GotQuestions.org in December, 2007, and continued serving as a volunteer question answerer until about a week before her passing. She was truly a blessing to our questioners and our staff. Not only did Trudy share biblical truth with clarity, she demonstrated genuine love for questioners. She would sometimes share her personal experiences to help encourage questioners. She might even include a song or a poem. Trudy often addressed questioners as "friend," and she treated them that way. Her desire was to help them and point them to the truth of Christ, and it showed in so many ways.

Trudy had a deep and obvious love for the Lord. She also had a clear zest for life and joy in living it well. Though we at Got Questions knew Trudy primarily through email, she left a lasting impact on our staff and our questioners. She served her Lord faithfully and well. While we grieve along with her family and friends, we rejoice that Trudy is with her Lord and Savior. We trust she is delighting deeply in Him.

Love in Christ,
The Team at Got Questions

Lindsay Enriquez

June 10, 2021

Grandma Trudy,
I can't believe that you are truly gone. You were so loved and you will truly be missed. You are one of the most caring loving and kindest Woman I have had the honour to meet and have in my life. Several years ago we went to lunch and Aimee introduced me to you and without hesitation you took me in to your life and instantly we became family. You always treated me just like one of your own grandchildren and I feel truly blessed that I was not only able to meet and know you but I was able to call you my family. Please give Aimee and huge hug for me. Tell her I love and miss her so much. I find comfort in knowing the two of you are together once again. God truly got another beautiful soul. He only takes the best of the best. Thank you for loving and caring about me.. You are so very loved and will truly be missed. Rest in peace and paradise.
Love you grandma Trudy.
-Lindsay

Jennifer Leaverton

June 10, 2021

Aunt dolly we love u and going to miss you!!!

Gwen Hanna

June 9, 2021

Trudy and Cal’s home on Vassar was my first Denver address in 1994 when we lived there as they served in Arizona. It was such a gift as we made transition from ministry in Mongolia to ministry out of Denver. Special lady with such an impact!

Brenda Olson

June 9, 2021

I treasure Trudy’s book “Lenten and Easter Meditations: Confessions at Calvary.” She was truly an inspiration to me through her book.

Denise OConnor

June 9, 2021

My heart and eyes are filled with sadness but rejoicing you are with Our Lord. You certainly had more work to do. You gave me comfort when Aimee passed. You helped me in strength. I am glad you get to see all the family that has been waiting for you. Rejoice as you sing at the feet of Jesus.

Betty Jean Sportsman

June 9, 2021

I had the honor of being a Prayer Warrior with Trudy for 4 years at Third. What a Blessing! She taught me how to really talk to Our Father from the heart. She had that for sure.
Thank you for helping me through a tough spot in my life.
See for lunch, you make the reservations!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Sister Connie and Dolly

FROM THE FAMILY

Childhood home

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Sister Connie and Dolly

FROM THE FAMILY

Childhood home

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FROM THE FAMILY
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High School Senior

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

At the family organ

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY