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EVELYN JOAN YKEMA was born June 20, 1931 on a farm in Eagle Township near Inwood, Iowa to Peter and Jennie (Herman) Van Egdom. When she was eight years old the family moved to a farm near Hawarden, Iowa and it was here she attended Pleasant View Country School through the 8th grade. She would have liked to attend high school but was needed to help on the farm with housework and the chores. On October 19, 1951 Evelyn married Norman Ykema at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. The newlyweds rented a house a couple of miles from Norman’s parents’ home place. A year later, Norman was drafted and Evelyn went and lived with her parents for the two years Norman was away. She worked various jobs and took part-time house cleaning jobs. When Norman returned the couple began farming on their own and Evelyn was a busy homemaker and mother. After eight years of farming the family moved to Luverne, Minnesota in 1962. They put their roots in Luverne where the couple celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this past year.
Evelyn was an active member of the Christian Reformed Church in Luverne, Minnesota. She sang with the church choir in her younger years and was a counselor in Calvinettes which later became known as GEMS. Evelyn was an advocate and volunteer for Friendship group - a faith based organization serving those with intellectual disabilities. She clocked many enjoyable hours as a volunteer working with the American Cancer Society, especially the annual daffodil fundraiser. Traveling with Norman made for many memories throughout the couples years together. In their earlier years, they traveled through much of the United States and explored the National Parks. In their later years, the couple appreciated sitting back and letting someone else drive as they took bus trips. Some of her favorite vacations were their Hawaiian cruise, visiting Niagara Falls and taking in the history of New York City and Washington D.C. Above all else, Evelyn loved spending time with her family. She relished birthdays, holidays and any and all reasons to get together as a family. She liked baking for her crew, especially her “nana” bread, cinnamon rolls and cupcakes. Evelyn also liked to sew and attend small town performing arts programs. She enjoyed spending time bird watching and gardening, particularly flowers.
On Thursday, February 25, 2021, Evelyn died peacefully at the Sanford Luverne Hospital at the age of 89 years, eight months and five days.
Evelyn will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Norman Ykema of Luverne, Minnesota; daughter, Brenda and her husband Gary Barrett of St. Joseph, Minnesota; five grandchildren, Jennifer (Shawn) Groen, Sheryl (Kyle) Remme, Brian (Jody) Moss, Micah (Jeanine) Barrett, and Jordan (Morgan) Barrett; nine great-grandchildren, Jonathan and Mya Moss, Emma and Sophie Groen, Blaycie and Emersyn Remme and Roger, Nora and Mara Barrett; brother, Donald (Lois) Van Egdom of Sioux Center, Iowa; and sisters-in-law, Zeanna Van Egdom of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Anita VanMaanen of Rock Valley, Iowa. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Jennie Van Egdom; infant son, Norwyn; daughter, Noreen Moss; five brothers, John, Edward, Elmer, Peter Jr., and Theodore “Bud” Van Egdom; and two sisters, Nellie Vande Stroet and Elizabeth Vander Esch.