I am starting another theme week with my obituaries. This time the theme is "born in the Netherlands." In randomly searching through some of the obituaries I have copied off for posting, the same phrase kept popping up. While this area was originally settled by other pioneers and lumbermen, we had several waves of settlers from the Netherlands who had a great influence on the culture of the region. You probably have noticed many previously obituaries with that phrase already, and this week will be no exception.
The first posting is actually a two-fer. The death of these two ladies both were mentioned in the same community column for Reeman. Their obituaries were in the same paper, they were born in the Netherlands and both died in the same small community. I decided it was fitting their obituaries be posted together.
From the 25 May 1916 Fremont TimesIndicator:
This community was shocked and saddened by the death of two of its number during the space of one week. Mrs. Derks, who has made her home with her soon, Joe Frens, passed away Wednesday May 17. Early on the morning of May 19 came the death of Mrs. Jake Tanis, who has been ill at her home here for the past three months.
Next, the actual obituary for Mrs. Derks:
MRS. HENRY DERKS
Mrs. Henry Deks died Wednesday noon, May 17 at her home near Reeman, at the age of 72 years. The deceased was born in the Netherlands November 7, 1843. She is survived by her children, namely, John Frens, Mrs. B. Rynberg, Joe Frens, Harry Frens, Mrs F. Buteau and Mrs G. Dake, besides several step-children.
Those from away who attended the funeral are Mrs. Frank buteau, Mr and Mrs. Harry Frens, and Mrs. F. Dake, from Muskegon, Mrs Henry Teusink, from Holland, Mrs. E Comissaris and Mrs. L Lanting from Jamestown.
I am fairly certain that the Holland referred above and again below to was the city in the Michigan county of Ottawa, which is about 50 miles or so away.
Anyway, on to Mrs. Jacob Tanis's obituary.
MRS. JACOB TANIS
Lizzie Drost was born in the Netherlands March 19, 1878. Her parents came to America in 1885, settling first in Brookside and later moving to their present home near Reeman.
She was married May 12, 1897 to Jacob Tanis and to this union three children were born, Willie aged 18, Libbie, 16 and Cora 14.
Mr.s Tanis died Friday, May 19, aged 38 years, two months. She was a loving and devoted wive and mother and a sincere christian, having been a member of the Christian Reformed church since age 16. Besides the grief-stricken husband and children, an aged father and mother, three brothers and three sisters are left to mourn.
Funeral services were held Monday, May 22, at the church which was filled to overflowing by the hosts of friends who gathered to pay their last tribute to one who by her sunny christian character had endeared herself to all.
Those attending from a distance were John Newald and wife, Mr. and Mrs Maring, John Drost and Ed Neiboer of Muskegon, Martin Tanis and wife, Lane Tanis and wife of Holland, Will Drost, of Racine, Wis., and Mrs Josephine bush, of Grand Rapids.
I find particularly interesting in Mrs Tanis's obituary the line about her parents settled first in Brookside and then moving to a home near Reeman. What were then two very small communities are only a three miles apart, and even closer going cross country.