Barbara Lynn Vandermolen
August 13, 1958 – April 19, 2021
Barbara Lynn VanderMolen, age 62, passed away peacefully with family by her side on April 19, 2021 after a life lived well and a valiant battle fought against pancreatic cancer.
Barb was born to Jacquelynn (Rottier) and Cornelius Boomsma in Gary, Indiana in 1958. She graduated from Pella Christian High School in 1976. Later, she received her BS degree from Cleveland State University as well as her Masters degree from Purdue University, both in business. Barb met and married her high school sweetheart, Gary VanderMolen.
Barb ran her race of life with passion for her family, her friends, her work and her pursuit of the Lord.
She worked most recently as Vice President of Finance at A.O. Smith. Her previous roles were in Finance / Audit at School Specialty in Wisconsin, General Electric and Great Lakes Chemical in Indiana and Arthur Andersen in Ohio. Barb pursued excellence in the workplace and very much enjoyed her career – not only the job content and opportunities, but also international travel, women’s leadership and the mentoring opportunities that her career provided.
Barb’s pursuit of the Lord included intense study of the Word, time spent enjoying His creation through nature – especially flowers, and spending time with others - encouraging them in their faith walk. She also served at Magdalene House / Thistle Farms and ministered to refugees in the Nashville area. Barb was a genuine encourager of her friends and family. “She believed in me.” “She saw potential in me I didn’t see in myself.” She listened well and asked great questions. After spending time with Barb, one felt seen, heard, encouraged and loved.
She lived with a zest for life – making the most of every opportunity. She was oftentimes the first to volunteer to try something new (jumping off a cliff, riding an elephant, eating crickets) and wanted not only herself, but everyone around her to have the best experiences (in food, career, travel, gifts, conversation, experiencing nature, pickleball). Now that she’s won her race, she’s passing the baton to us. Her legacy – “Live Today Well” – prompts us all to make the most of our moments and our days. Barb is preceded in death (and joins in heaven!) her son, Ryan Lee VanderMolen (1976-1982) and her father, Cornelius Boomsma. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Gary VanderMolen. Barb is survived by her daughter and family, Megan (Dave) Gillum, and their children Maggie, Daniel and Nathan, as well as her son Brett (Faith) VanderMolen, and their children Harper and Hudson. She is also survived by her mother, Jacquelynn (Bob) Vanderlinden and her siblings, Steve Boomsma, Julie Glessner and Beth Fitzgerald.
We will celebrate Barb’s life through time together at the Long Hollow Baptist Church chapel (3031 Long Hollow Pike, Hendersonville, TN) on May 15th. Remembrance time will be from 9 – 11 am, with a memorial service following at 11:15 am. If you desire to give a donation on Barb’s behalf, please make a donation to an organization close to her heart, Thistle Farms (https://thistlefarms.org/pages/give or send to Thistle Farms, 5122 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209).
- Thistle Farms
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Barbara Lynn Vandermolen
May 1, 2021
What a Wonderful Blessing to have known Barb VanderMolen. Heaven has gained an Amazing soul. Her faith, strength, and positive/outgoing spirit was awe inspiring, and contagious. She will Greatly be missed here on earth, but her spirit and memory will live on and be passed through the Generations. Her light will continue to shine through those she's touched, and, for that, we're truly Grateful. She shared an acronym with me that we can all apply to our daily lives and activities, NEGU - Never Ever Give Up! God Bless You Barb VanderMolen.
April 30, 2021
I had a pleasure of getting to know Barb through my Mom, Tanya. Barb was her mentor and friend. She always had such a warm presence about her. I will cherish the memories we have made, those long conversations over tea, taking yoga classes or strolling through a local crafts fair.
Barb was a remarkable woman, a giving spirit, a great conversationalist and a lover of life. I will be forever grateful for the kindness she has shown my family, for the time and attention she has so freely given.
Roy & Tina Cline
April 29, 2021
Barb has touched so many lives in her short time here on earth and she continues to touch us from her heavenly home. She was an inspiration to myself and my husband during a difficult time for us and seeing her posts and comments will be greatly missed. Words cannot express what she meant to so many and how much she will be missed; but knowing that she influenced us in just the way she chose to live her life here on earth and knowing that her lovely spirit is with us always as she looks down on us from above we keep her memory alive.
Jeanine Gow (Koschmann)
April 27, 2021
So sad to hear this. I have so many fond memories at the Vandermolen's house as a kid. Barb always made sure we had a good time. One memory that stands out is her amazing French braids she could do during a sleepover. So lucky to have been blessed with knowing such an amazing person. Thinking of the whole Vandermolen family during this difficult time.
April 21, 2021
Sorry to hear about Barb. In my journey at AI Smith she was my mentor and friend always there to help. I remember her introducing me to the team in Ashland City. She was very professional and was quite a leader.