Memorials may be directed to the Luke Society.
PETER HENSTRA was born on November 24, 1930 to Klaas and Margaretha (Nydam) Henstra in Haarlem, Nethlerlands. He lived through WWII as a teenager and these experiences shaped his entire life. He attended school through the 10th grade. He was raised in the city, but always had a heartfelt desire to farm. With no farming opportunities in the Netherlands, Pete dreamed of moving to America. In approximately 1951, Pete was sponsored by his cousin, from Sibley, Iowa, allowing him to board a boat and pursue his dream. He began his new life working for his cousin as a farm hand. He worked hard, learned the English language and embraced the American ideals of freedom and democracy. Pete met his future bride, Lois Wildeman, through a Young People’s Society at the local church. They were married on November 26, 1954 in Bigelow, Minnesota. After their wedding Pete continued to farm with his brother in law for two more years. The couple then moved near Ashton, Iowa where they farmed and had three children. Pete was very proud to become an American citizen on October 14, 1957. In 1967, they purchased their own farm and moved to their present home near Jasper, Minnesota. He loved to farm and was still helping his son with the 2018 harvest by riding in the combine. Later in life, Pete and Lois enjoyed wintering in South Padre Island, Texas, and Pete took every opportunity he could to go fishing. In February 2019, he suffered two strokes. On Sunday, July 21, 2019 Pete died at Southridge Healthcare Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the age of 88 years, 7 months and 27 days.
Pete was a member of the United Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, traveling and discussing politics. He was a determined man and instilled in his children the value of three important things in life - faith, freedom and family.
Pete is lovingly remembered by his wife, Lois; children, Sandra (Roger) Hoftyzer of Hartley, Iowa, Melinda (Larry “Butch”) Top of Luverne, Minnesota, and Arlan (Sue) Henstra of Sherman, South Dakota; 10 grandchildren, Aaron (Laura) Hoftyzer, Rachel (Trent) Pals, Tanya (Greg) Talsma, Larry, Jr. (Jackie) Top, Cody (Carrie) Top, Silas Top, Jordan (Amy) Henstra, Jamie (Brad) Benson, Joshua (Shalayna) Henstra and Jaidyn Henstra; 22 great-grandchildren; sister, Cory Dykstra of Haarlem, Netherlands; sister-in-law, Riek Henstra of Haarlem, Netherlands; and nieces, nephews and other family. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Klaus Henstra, Jr.; and brother-in-law, Jon Dykstra.