Henrietta Martha Zandstra

January 18, 1921May 6, 2021

Over the last 100 years, I have experienced the Great Depression, many World Wars, advances in human rights, science and technology--so many things I could never have envisioned. It has been a brilliant journey and never a dull chapter. On this beautiful day May 6, 2021, I wish to say goodbye. I am going to visit my mother and father; my husband, Art; 11 dear siblings; and countless friends and family in their Heavenly home. I will meet my Savior and stand next to him looking down with love on my earthly family, knowing one day we will meet again (nothing I wish to rush; may they all take their precious time).

I was born in Hull, Iowa on January 15, 1921 in my parents’ home. I enjoyed growing up with many siblings and animals, learning firsthand you did not need much to be happy. After graduating high school in Hull, I moved to California and continued my travels to many a different place. Ultimately, I settled in Grand Rapids, MI where I secured a great job building airplane parts for WWII efforts. On the weekends, I enjoyed the carnival rides at East Grand Rapids’ Ramona Park. In those days I would roller skate, bake, and search for four-leaf clovers (which I amassed by the hundreds). I would go on to marry my husband, Art Zandstra. When we dated, he taught me how to drive. Art had a fast car that he always kept shiny (which he let me take out solo while he was away driving truck). I made a family with Art in Grand Rapids, spending the summers and winters playing out at Gun Lake with my three children. About 20 years ago, I decided to make lake life more permanent and moved to Gun Lake, where I have enjoyed watching my grandchildren grow up next door. I have always loved seeing new places (especially with my sisters… we went everywhere with smiles, laughter, and curiosity). During my early travels, I was gifted my first Kodak camera and discovered my love of photography, the result being many a large box brimming with memories… photos of people, places, things, flowers, you name it (my children even tease me for photographing dirt). I now leave my gaze of these moments for my loved ones to explore. I know they will enjoy looking back on all the photos of gardens I’ve created, baked goods I’ve made, and jam I’ve canned. I’m most proud of my children Arthea Zandstra-Lawrie, Ron Zandstra, and Patti Zyskowski; two wonderful son-in-loves Paul Zyskowski and Jay Lawrie; my dearest grandchildren Tate Zandstra, Cullen Zandstra, Carli Zyskowski, Nicholas and Chelsea Zyskowski; my great-grandson Owen Zyskowski and his little brother (who will arrive this June).

As a person who always set out to accomplish things in life, I am proud to have achieved my ultimate goal of becoming a centenarian! I am the last of my 11 siblings (Jennie, Pauline, John, Cornelia, Morris, Hendrika, Adrian, Marie, Arta, Arlyna, and Marie-Elizabeth) who all went before me. It will be a perfect reunion to be hugged by them and to have our deaf mother Aartje hear me express my love in full, while my dad Adrianus sees that we are all safe and together under the Lord’s roof. I pray this be how my family thinks of me when they look above.

My generation are savers; I did more than my share. I filled two homes with treasures from my lifetime, but I know that when I go these things won’t mean as much as the memory of me saving a tiny-wounded bird or holding my loved ones close.

In lieu of flowers please plant a tree in my honor. I love our planet, and when the wind blows, consider me waving to you and know I am near. -- Martha Zandstra


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Henrietta Martha Zandstra

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jim and Pat Collins

May 15, 2021

Dear children, grandchildren and great grands of Aunt Martha,
We were saddened to hear of Aunt Martha’s passing. Thou she lived to see 100, her spirit was much younger. We are so glad that we talked to her this winter. Her voice was strong and Her spirits were high because she could finally dine with the people on her wing. We loved you Aunt Martha and remember all the oyster stew dinners you and Mom made for us.
Love to all,
Jim and Pat

Darla Zwiers

May 11, 2021

Condolences, Arthea. How lucky you were to have her for so long. Have thought about you often for years. Sorry for your loss.

Sue Vander Laan

May 10, 2021

I have such wonderful memories of Patti's mom, Mrs. Zandstra. All through our senior year of high school we'd gather at Patti's after school. Her mom always made sure we had plenty of snacks and goodies and always made us feel welcome for the four hours we'd hang out every day.

To the family...I'm so sorry for your loss; but know she's always in your hearts and just a thought away. Sending love and heartfelt hugs.

Heidi Wierenga

May 10, 2021

I’ve been blessed to have known Arthea’s gentle spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with her family . The family embrace isn’t broken , it just waits patiently for you until we connect again on the other side.