Artie Arena Huizer was born on March 24, 1918, in a home near Pella, Iowa. She was the first child born to Bastian Peiter and Styntje Cornelia (Vis) Huizer. Artie grew up in the Reasnor, Iowa area where she attended and walked to country grade school.
Already then, it was apparent that she loved anything outdoors. She was her dad’s hired hand and could build almost anything that required the use of a hammer and nail. She enjoyed playing on the Reasnor softball team, but never liked playing with dolls.
In 1936, while attending a church revival service in Sully, Iowa, she met Carroll Van Der Wilt. They rode around town in his green Chevy coup.
On February 26, 1941, they were united in marriage at the Community Church parsonage in Sully, since the Reformed Church was without a pastor. Following their marriage they lived in Lynnville, Iowa where they owned and operated the Van Der Wilt Grocery Store.
Then in 1942, Carroll was drafted into the United States Army at which time they sold the store. Artie traveled with Carroll and worked in department stores while they lived in various towns from Washington, D.C. to Riverside, California.
Following his discharge in 1945, they came back home to Sully and made their home on the same property where Artie still resided. Artie and Carroll were the parents to five children, all who were born in Oskaloosa, Iowa: Carleen Kay, Sharon Rae, Nancy Lee, Denise Ann and Craig Alan. Carroll worked at the Sully Coop Oil Station and then began hauling cream. Carroll’s brother, Lester Van Der Wilt, was farming the Van Der Wilt family farm south of Lynnville and decided to quit farming. Carroll and Artie then moved to the family farm.
In 1966 they moved to the Leslie Vande Krol farm and continued to farm until they sold the farm in 1972. In the Fall of 1973 they moved back into Sully to the same property but a different house where they had previously lived. Carroll then worked for Macy Stockyards and had just retired before his death on January 4, 1981, at the age of 64 years.
While growing up Artie cleaned houses and assisted in many and various ways on the farm. She worked side by side with Carroll on the farm and enjoyed gardening and raising flowers. She took tole painting classes and baked the best apple and banana cream pies.
Until the advanced age of 90 years she was still mowing her own yard and remained in her own home with the assistance of her children until becoming a resident at the Windsor Manor in Grinnell, Iowa in September, 2012.
Artie passed away there early Wednesday morning, December 19, 2012, at the age of 94 years.
Surviving are her five children and their spouses, 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. They and their families are: Carleen and Harlan Maasdam of Lynnville, Iowa; Sharon and Larry Van Wyk of Searsboro, Iowa; Nancy and Randy Huyser of Sully, Iowa; Denise and Michael Arkema of Sully, Iowa; Craig and Joyce (Branderhorst) Van Der Wilt of Newton, Iowa. Artie was preceded in death by her husband, Carroll VanDerWilt; a son-in-law, Eldon Van Wyk; her parents; her brother, Hubert V. Huizer and his wife, Joyce (Baarda); and her parents-in-law: Neal and Mayme (Vande Krol) Van Der Wilt. Of the original family she leaves two sisters-in-law and a brother-in-law: Freda (VanDerWilt) Goodyk of Knoxville, Iowa, Lester VanDerWilt of Pella, Iowa and Ruth (Orville) VanDerWilt of Newton, Kansas. Artie was a longtime member of the First Reformed Church of Sully,Iowa.
Funeral Services were held on Saturday, December 22, 2012 at First Reformed Church in Sully, Iowa. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.