OBITUARY

Maryse Bronsema

December 1, 1943May 2, 2021
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BRONSEMA, Geesje Maryse (nee Suurdt) – Passed away peacefully at home with her husband at her side on May 2, 2021 at the age of 77 years. Beloved wife of 53 years to Rangco. Cherished mother to four daughters: Jennifer Bronsema-Reynolds (pre-deceased, survived by Bill), Angela Webb (Steve), Tanya Devries (John) and Randa Beerda (Vince). Amazing Grandma of Peter, Mya, Leah and Luke. Dear sister to Andre Suurdt (Coby), Yvonne Horne (Eric) and Gerald Suurdt (Nina). Fondly remembered sister-in-law of Ben Bronsema (Wilma), Anne Wiersma (Idso), John Bronsema (Carla) and the late Bill Bronsema. Together with her husband Rangco and four daughters, Maryse lovingly and faithfully served the community at their family-run Garage and Gas Station in Bethany for 36 years. Maryse was also a woman of strong faith, devoting her time at church and to Christian Schools in the area. A Private Family funeral will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at COMSTOCK-KAYE Life Celebration Centre. Relatives and friends are invited to view the service through livestream at www.comstockkaye.com (Scroll down to the service information for Maryse and click the Join Livestream button 5 minutes prior to the service time). Online condolences can be made at www.comstockkaye.com.

Services

  • Private Funeral Service (Public - by LiveStream)

    Friday, May 7, 2021

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Memories

Maryse Bronsema

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Daughter Randa Beerda - Eulogy

May 12, 2021

My name is Randa Beerda and I’m the youngest daughter of Rangco and Maryse Bronsema, commonly known as # 4. :)

My parents met in Hamilton. They were at a Young Peoples gathering at a church when our dad saw our mom from across the room. He immediately was interested in her and wanted to chat some more. Then she served him coffee. Of course, mom served him coffee! And for over 53 years, our mom continued to serve him coffee and goodies and stamppot and boerenkool and all foods my dad enjoyed. --- Mom took really good care of you dad! :) They were a great team together as parents and they worked so well together side by side at the garage and gas station. Our parents enjoyed riding on the Harley together for years stopping for french fries or ice cream along the way, popping in on us girls or friends to say hello. She was an amazing wife for our dad. Yes, we all know she doted on him, but in truth, she doted on everyone she met! All of us! Our mom had an incredible servant heart with endless energy that shone through every part of her life.

As a mom, she was full of life, adventure, and spunk! She jumped into things always eager and excited! Mom never sat idle watching us kids play, she was right in there like a dirty shirt playing with us! She used to water ski with her brother Gerald, she played on the Bethany Baseball team for years, she had her own dirt bike and snowmobile, she downhill skied with us, biked and skated with us, I could go on and on. Our mom was super healthy and highly active! One of my favourite memories was on Sunday afternoons when our gas station was closed, and our dad was fast asleep on the couch, Mom would take us girls for an adventure ride in the Black 454 Truck and she would drive while we would stand up in the back. We’d hold on for dear life as mom would rip up and down country roads and fly through the Bethany sand dunes! It was absolutely amazing! We’d all come back just a giggling but try not to let Dad find out! --- I don’t know if you knew we did that Dad???

Our mom used her energy well. She was a very hard worker from her days of teaching, to running the garage, gas station, post office and store with dad, to raising 4 daughters! But even though she was so busy, our mom always made time for us and gave us many fun memories! While she was pumping gas 14 hours a day, she’d still help us with our homework or chat with us about our boy problems. Mom was a multi-tasker to the extreme! Up until a short while ago, she was faster than anyone I know! Just ask her son-in-laws! She would see that they needed something, but before anyone could get up and get it, it was already placed in front of them! It was incredible!

Our mom was also the most spectacular grandma! From the moment my mom and dad heard they were going to be grandparents, they were all in! Whether it was at our house or theirs, Grandma was on her hands and knees playing with them, taking them to the park and zoo, endlessly feeding them (yes, she gave them lots of candy!), praying and singing with them, and changing diapers! She loved changing diapers! Honestly, she’d get upset at Vince and I if we wouldn’t let her do it! Vince never really tried to fight her though! :)

But the most important memory of my mom and grandma will always be her strong faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Mom lived showing God’s love in all that she did. She taught us to put God first, to lean on Him, to thank Him and praise Him, to serve others with a giving heart, and to count our blessings and name them one by one (she would sing this all the time!).

We all were very blessed to have Mom in our lives. God gave us the perfect wife for our dad, the perfect mom for us girls, and the perfect Grandma for our children. May she now “soar like the eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not faint” and enjoy being in her forever home with Jennifer and live peacefully with our Lord and Saviour.

Memories of Grandma Bronsema from the Grandchildren:

MYA BEERDA
This week, as we said goodbye to Grandma Bronsema, it hit us how blessed we were to have our extraordinary Grandmother with us for 17 years. She was an integral part of all of our lives. We spent many nights together at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and I can remember how excited we always were to go there. Their house is where the fun’s at! We always got to stay up waaaayyyyy later than we were supposed to and got spoiled with baked goods and candy. One thing that stands out in particular however, was when Grandma tucked us into bed each time. She would lay there with us and sing and pray with us until we fell asleep. When tucking us in and trying to get us to settle down for the night, she would show us how to slow our breathing down, funny thing is, most times she would fall asleep right there with us before we would!

LEAH BEERDA
All of the holidays were always held at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Christmas was awesome because all our aunts and uncles gathered together with us. We would all go sledding and skating at their place and Grandma was right in there with us sledding and skating! Every year for Easter, Grandma would hide over 60 Easter eggs filled with candy and we would have a massive hunt over almost 2 acres of land! There were always a couple missing that we just couldn’t find, and then later, Grandpa would actually find them 3 months by running them over with the lawnmower accidentally! Going to Cephas Church was always fun because our Grandparents friends would come up and tell us how tall we were getting and remind us of how they knew us when we were just babies. Most times we wouldn’t know who they were, but Grandma and Grandpa knew everyone so it would take us at least an hour to escape! And if Covid wasn’t around right now, we know we’d probably be in the same situation here.

MYA
Some of our favourite memories with Grandma are walking to the Bethany bank holding her hand, going to the Peterborough Zoo, baking up a storm (we made lots of Eier Koken), playing in the sandbox, eating candy from their store (we got to fill little brown bags and we made sure they were filled to the max!), and Grandma letting us get crazy dirty in the mud at the pond making sure that we went home soaking wet and covered in mud ( to our parents' delight). And last but not least, Grandma was a pyro! She loved her fires, the bigger the better! It was never big enough for Grandma, which was just fine with us! (we are related to her after all) However, roasting marshmallows sure was a challenge! We had to stand ten feet back!

LEAH
We could talk about our Grandma for hours, she was just that amazing! But the best thing about Grandma was her love for Jesus and how she taught us to lean on Him in all that we do. She was very open about her faith to us and her favourite way of expressing it was through song. We will treasure her always and we were so blessed to have her as our Grandma. We look forward to the day when we can be together again.

Daughter Tanya Devries - Eulogy

May 12, 2021

Our mom was someone we all strive to be like, but we’ll never come close to being the woman she was to so many people. She was like a “modern day Mother Teresa”, always putting her family and others first before herself. After she quit teaching full-time to help run the family business, she looked after everything from the accounting and bookkeeping to serving customers at the gas pumps, convenience store and post office. Customers came in for their mail and gas and left with a free coffee with their gas fill up and a “side of counselling” for whatever issue they were facing in their life, it was like one-stop shopping! Mom took the time to listen and care for everyone regardless of their age, background, social status or circumstance; she was always eager to help and lend a listening ear.

Sometimes it just meant a free bag of milk that was soon to be overdue to an elderly neighbour or giving just a few minutes of her time to make someone feel acknowledged and cared for. She lived her life modelling Jesus words “whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me”. Several people have told me how she has served as a role model for them as she has for all of us. Even in her last days when her health was failing and life wasn’t very pleasant for her not having the strength to do anything on her own, she focused on others like the personal support workers who came to help her telling me how she felt bad for them because they don’t make much money. Or when our oldest sister died 7 years ago and people commiserated with her about her loss, she turned it around and instead of saying “Why me?”, she said “Why not me? Why should others have to sustain losses and not me”. At the end of the day, whatever came her way in life she always took it in stride as her cross to bear faithfully as God’s servant.

I also want to honour mom’s life by sharing the contributions she made to her family and community. She immigrated to Canada with her parents at a young age and Pake, her father, wanted her to go to university so she could make a better life for herself than they had. She made this dream a reality in a time when not many women continued their education after high school and she went on to university paying for it herself by cleaning houses. After graduation, Mom was hired as a teacher at Hamilton Christian High School. After she married Dad, they later purchased a gas station and house in Bethany and raised our family there. Mom discovered that this area did not have a Christian elementary school for us to attend and along with a few other parents from their church, she founded what is now known as Rhema Christian Elementary School in Peterborough. It was my mother’s pioneering and persevering spirit that made a Christian education possible for our family and many others in our church and community.

I just want to share a few endearing anecdotes about my mom as well. She always told us how she wanted 4 boys. God had other plans and blessed them with 4 daughters. This may have eventually caused Dad to lose his hair, but I don’t think Mom had second thoughts because we played with Barbies AND dirt bikes. Mom always supported whatever goals and desires we had, regardless of our gender. When I purchased a bigger dirt bike as a teenager, mom frequently offered to go for a ride with me on the extra motorcycle we had, clutch and all! Not too many people can say that their mother drove motorcycles and could use a clutch but she did like it was second nature. She also enjoyed snowmobiling so much so that Dad gave her one for her 50th birthday. Her zest for life and motivation to do whatever she desired regardless of gender gave us girls the confidence to pursue any career we aspired to.

Most of all however, I will miss how she always made herself available to lend a listening ear or provide words of wisdom when we needed her most. She was the hardest working mom I know but she always made time for her family and what mattered most – her faith and the community that she found herself to be a part of, volunteering as a deacon and Vacation Bible School teacher in the church even after retiring from the business. She made an indelible impact on all the lives she touched that will never be forgotten. We will miss our beloved mother dearly but we take comfort in the fact that she’s in the loving hands of our Lord reunited with our sister Jennifer and enjoying the beautiful gardens in heaven.

This morning a song kept coming in my head, one of Mom’s favourites called “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. Some of the words that came to mind were:

“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”

That’s what Mom would want us to remember.

Sisson Family

May 11, 2021

We were so saddened to hear of the loss of beloved, cheerful, and spirited Maryse! Our lives were so much richer for knowing Maryse! As a family, we remembered together our fun interactions!
The love, compassion, interest, curiosity, and humour of Maryse lit up our lives! We send our love and condolences and prayers!
Thank you, Maryse, for sharing your light and life with us!!
Thinking of your family and friends with love, Perry, Christina, Noel, Mary, and Olivia Sisson
We know you and our dear Mom/Grandma/Vi are sharing a chuckle and talking about trees!!! God Bless!

Bob and Eileen Nielson

May 9, 2021

Our deepest sympathy in the passing of Maryse
Maryse always had a smile and was interested in what was going on in other people’s lives.
Always a willing and eager volunteer
We were Blessed to be a little part of her life

Jeffrey Harding

May 8, 2021

I spent a lot of time at Rangcos gas station, between penny candies, movie rentals, and the post office. Maryse was always a friendly face. Always smiling. Condolences to the family.

Dave and Sara Miller

May 7, 2021

Dave and I both grew up just a few houses away from the Bronsema's.
And through the years we have often reminisced about the amazing example that Maryse was to us and the community. She was such a hard worker and a wonderful human to adults, children and teenagers alike. We have nothing but warm and wonderful memories of her. Loving thoughts to Rangco, Angela, Tanya, Randa and families.

Ann Langham

May 7, 2021

Dear Rangco and family,
Deepest sympathies on your loss, she will be so missed by everyone who knew her.

Alice Bom

May 7, 2021

Thanks for a great celebration of Maryse's life, it was greatly done, and she would be very proud. So thankful that with the help of technology, we could be a part of it in person and online as well.

Too many memories to list them all, but I am so thankful for all the family reunions hosted at the pond, how Aunt Maryse would bless and serve others, making sure they were content, the entire time. It's too bad we lived many hours away (sure I would have pumped gas otherwise), but I sure enjoyed and looked forward to our visits. Even as a youngster, Aunt Maryse always allowed us to pick whatever we wanted from the store, and wow, that was sure a treat for the four of us.

I also remember the loving hospitality when I did a 4 month university co-op in Lakefield, and didn't have a car, but was still able to visit some Sundays, and see Randa, and baby Peter. He was a few months younger than my niece, who I missed back in Sudbury. It was great to get to know the family more during that time.

Aunt Maryse was a very strong woman, someone to look up to, reminds me a lot of my mom. I am very blessed to have called her Aunt for as long as I could speak, and have a hard working role model. I am proud to share her genes too 😊.

Life is so short, and Maryse sure truly lived her 77 years in a great way, being a servant to others and her Saviour, Jesus, living life to the fullest. As can be seen, she was loved by everyone who knew her.

I am looking forward to many more visits where we remember this amazing women of God, and hearing more stories. There will always be sadness and regrets, but we need to displace it with the great times when she was alive. I know, easier said than done.

Love you all lots, and know that you will be in my prayers, not just in the difficult days ahead.

Alice

Brian & Liz Crangle

May 7, 2021

Dear Rangco and family.
So sorry to hear of Maryse's passing. We will always remember her cheerful smile and manner. May God watch over you and your family. You will be in our prayers.
Sympathy,
Brian & Liz Crangle

Gail Bosma

May 7, 2021

We share your sorrow for your family. husband, mother and grand mother, sister and brother.
She was one of a kind. We will miss her so much.
There are so many wonderful memories we have of all the years of us getting together. Sleepovers, parties, camping, vacations.
As we get older these memories are so priceless and precious.
Love to all of you from the Bosma family.

FROM THE FAMILY

In Loving Memory
Maryse Bronsema
December 1, 1943 - May 2, 2021

FROM THE FAMILY

Beautiful Mom and Dad

FROM THE FAMILY

Wedding Day❤️
1968

FROM THE FAMILY

Wedding Day 1968

FROM THE FAMILY

Mom a graduate of Calvin College

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Mom with Angela as a baby

FROM THE FAMILY

And Randa makes daughter #4! 1974

FROM THE FAMILY

The family and the 1940 Dodge

FROM THE FAMILY

The Happy Family

Biography

In loving memory of Geesje Maryse Bronsema (nee Suurdt). Maryse passed away peacefully at home with her husband at her side on May 2, 2021 at the age of 77 years. Beloved wife of 53 years to Rangco. Cherished mother to her four daughters: Jennifer Bronsema-Reynolds (pre-deceased, survived by Bill), Angela Webb (Steve), Tanya Devries (John) and Randa Beerda (Vince). Amazing Grandma of Peter, Mya, Leah and Luke. Dear sister to Andre Suurdt (Coby), Yvonne Horne (Eric) and Gerald Suurdt (Nina). Fondly remembered sister-in-law of Ben Bronsema (Wilma), Anne Wiersma (Idso), John Bronsema (Carla) and the late Bill Bronsema. Together with her husband Rangco and four daughters, Maryse lovingly and faithfully served the community at their family-run garage and gas station in Bethany for 36 years. Maryse was also a woman of strong faith, devoting her time at church and to the Christian Schools in the area. She will be lovingly remembered in our hearts forever. We take comfort that she is with our Father in heaven with our sister Jennifer happy and healthy!


Mom found comfort in the words of this song:

Softly and Tenderly

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling for you and for me
See on the portals, He's waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, oh, sinner come home

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading?
Pleading for you and for me
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies?
Mercies for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, oh, sinner come home

Oh, for that wonderful love He has promised
Promised for you and for me
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, oh, sinner come home
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling
Calling, oh, sinner come home