Emma's service will be livestreamed on the the church's YouTube page. A link may be found by visiting the church's website: luvernecrc.com.
EMMA LYNN NIBBELINK was born on April 12, 2004 to Josh and Shelly (Buys) Nibbelink at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She lived with her family in Luverne. She was baptized on May 15, 2004 at Luverne Christian Reformed Church and professed her faith at that same childhood church on March 7, 2021. At the age of four, Emma became the best big sister to the family’s new addition, Addison “Addie”. The family loved camping, attending Josh’s softball games and tournaments, bonfires in the backyard and annual trips to the lake. On August 14, 2010, their lives were forever changed by the loss of her dad in an automobile accident. Emma never blamed God and kept sharing Him and the good news of salvation with everyone she met. That tragedy made the Nibbelink girls a very strong “Party of 3” – three girls that were always there for each other, no matter what came their way. Emma attended school at Southwest Christian in Edgerton, Minnesota where she graduated with the class of 2022. She was a percussionist in the band, sang in choir, led the student body in the traditional towel cheer at games with the “Go Eagles!” chant, played volleyball and was the team manager for girls’ basketball and softball. Emma was everyone’s friend and made people feel seen. She had a community of family and friends in both Edgerton and Luverne. She knew the value of hard work and earning money to help pay for college. She was a babysitter, employed at Pizza Ranch in Luverne, then as a photography assistant for Sydney Leigh Photography. She also was a CNA for Mary Jane Brown Home and more recently took a position as a CNA at the Minnesota Veteran’s Home in Luverne. Following graduation, Emma decided on Dordt University in Sioux Center, Iowa where she was currently a freshman majoring in Business and Marketing with a minor in Sociology. At Dordt, she quickly found another community of friends, became involved in Bella Voce Choir and was excited to start a new position with the Dordt Admissions Office helping with campus visits. While returning to college on Tuesday, January 10, 2023, Emma died as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident near Sioux Center, Iowa at the age of 18 years, 8 months and 28 days.
Emma was a member of the Luverne Christian Reformed Church where she was active in their youth programs. She volunteered at Royal Family Kids Camp which serves foster children in the area. She had a passion for music. She loved singing and playing the guitar and ukulele. She enjoyed late night Netflix binges, impromptu photo sessions and was always game for a Starbucks/Scooters run. Emma and Addie had an amazing bond. The sisters knew how to push the other’s buttons but they were each other’s secret keepers and best friend. They loved volleyball in the backyard, late night talks, summer days spent floating and tanning in their pool, music jam sessions in “Carol” (Emma’s car), and a quick FaceTime OOTD check for one another. Emma liked to google recipes and was quite the chef for their family. She made the most amazing meals but also the most amazing messes! To know Emma, was to hear Emma. If she wasn’t sleeping, the girl’s mouth was likely open. She was honest and unfiltered but also so loving. She truly loved her family, friends and God with her entire being. God was in her heart and she shared Him with everyone she knew. Emma was a shining light in this world. This past Sunday, Emma wrote a couple quick notes in her bible. The first was God’s inheritance “is something cool to look forward to.” The other being “Imitate Christ and witness to those around you” next to the passage from 1 Peter 3:15. The morning of the accident that took Emma to be with her dad, she downloaded the song “Nothing to Fear” by Porter’s Gate, a reminder that God is with us through it all.
Emma is lovingly remembered by her mom, Michelle “Shelly”, and her sister, Addison Jo, of Luverne; maternal grandparents, Harley and Marilyn Buys of Brandon, SD; paternal grandparents, Willard Nibbelink of Cherokee, IA and Marg Pap of Luverne; aunts and uncles, Mike Buys of Leota, MN, Amy (Eric) Haan of Luverne, Amber (Joe) Jares of Sioux Falls, Jim (Vonda) Nibbelink of Luverne, Tim (Kris) Nibbelink of Rollingstone, MN; cousins, Dalton (Kleinjan) and Jazzy Buys, Brooklyn, Blake and Olivia Haan, Nora and Jacob Jares, Dominic (Brooke), Luke and Jessa Nibbelink, and Peyton (Connor) Bundy, Eden and Jackson Nibbelink; and numerous other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her dad, Joshua; aunt, Janna Nibbelink; cousin, Jeremy Nibbelink; and friend, Dani Gacke.