Pella Chronicle

October 12, 2012

Willena Westra

The Chronicle

Pella — Willena  Westra, 81, of Pella, Iowa, passed away peacefully Sunday morning, September 30, 2012.  Willena Bernice Van Veldhuizen was born the eldest daughter of Everett and Bertha (Klyn) Van Veldhuizen on December 11, 1930, on a farm near Oskaloosa, Iowa. She graduated from Pella Christian High School in 1950 and went to work at the overall factory.  In November of 1950, Willena married Robert Sheets and together they had a son, Robert Doyle. Her husband, Robert Sheets died November 5, 1951.  

On August 5, 1955, Willena married Wessel Westra and together they had four children: Daniel Jay, Glenn Allen, Beverly Diane and Joel Wesley.  She was a devoted wife and mother. She enjoyed vegetable and flower gardening, baking the kids’ favorite recipes, and was a talented seamstress, creating many beautiful garments. Summer camping trips became an annual ritual and cherished memory. Her happiest years were those spent being a companion to Wes and raising their children together. Each grandchild brought new joy to her life.  Willena and Wes were charter members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella.

In 1981, Willena went to work as a Domestic Living instructor at Christian Opportunity Center.  After Wes passed away  on July 31, 2007, Willena became a resident of Hilltop Manor in Pella.  

Willena is survived by her five children and six grandchildren: Robert (Cheryl) Westra of Prairie City, IA, Dan (Valerie) Westra of Muskegon, MI, and their children, Kara (Jason) Bowman of Dubuque, IA, Kaila Westra, Brett Westra, and Bryant Westra all of Muskegon, MI, Glenn Westra of Des Moines, IA, Dr. Beverly (Joel Severinghaus) Westra of Des Moines, IA, and Joel (Pam) Westra of Cedar Rapids, IA, and their children, Aaron Westra of Ames, IA, and Allison Westra of Cedar Rapids, IA. Also surviving are her sisters: Alvada Rozenboom of Bussey, IA, Norma Nibbelink of Pella, IA, and Evelyn (David) Verschuure of Leighton, IA; and brother-in-law and sisters-in-law:  Charles Westra, of Grand Rapids, MI,  Jeanette Roose of Leighton, IA, and Greta Westra of Pella, IA.  Willena was preceded in death by her parents,  

Bertha and Evert Van Veldhuizen, her husband of 52 years, Wes, granddaughter Brianna Westra, sister, Irene Van Veldhuizen; her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Age and Alice (Veenstra) Westra, brothers-in-law: Robert Rozenboom, Keith Nibbelink, Frank Westra, Wilbur Westra, and Anthony Roose; and sisters-in-law: Josephine Westra and Mary Westra.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, October 4, 2012, at the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella.  Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.

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