Constance Rose Boersma Hinga of Pella died at Jefferson Place there on Oct. 17. She was 82.
Connie was born in Holland, Mich., on Feb. 28, 1931, to Grace Mulder Boersma and Howard “Henry” Boersma. The third of four children and an only daughter, she was cherished for her sense of joy and adventure. She shared her father’s love of horses and grew up on the family’s equestrian farm along the shores of Lake Michigan, competing in dressage and hunter-jumper classes throughout the state. Among her accomplishments was a first-place win at the Chicago International Horse Show.
She married William Kendrick “Bill” Hinga on Dec. 20, 1951. Both graduated from Hope College; Connie with a degree in elementary education. The two had four children: Catherine, Lynn, Ann, and Tom.
The family moved to Pella in 1965, when Bill accepted the position of Dean of Students with Central College. Connie returned to kindergarten teaching in 1968. Among her most distinctive qualities was an ability to see potential in every child and a fierce conviction to give every child a year of loving school. Generations of students recall her classroom as a place that blended loving care with clear goals and an overriding sense of fun.
Among family and friends, Connie was known for her love of books, current events, hiking, and football, and her refreshingly wry lens on life. As a conversationalist, she challenged conventions and defended justice. To be loved by her was to be protected vigorously and believed in unfailingly.
She died of natural causes, with resolve and gratitude for the life she had.
She is survived by her husband, Bill, of Pella; her daughters, Cathy (Bruce) Hinga Haustein and Lynn (Nick) Hinga Branderhorst of Pella, and Ann (Perry) Hinga Klein of Des Moines; and son Tom (Melissa) Hinga of League City Texas, as well as 11 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.