02 December 2010

Obituary--Adrian VanZomeren

It is after reading obituaries like this that I wonder if our local newspapers colored by the heavy Dutch influence as reflected in the many Reformed and Christian Reformed church in the area.  Or were obituaries like this common in all papers in the early 20th century? 

From the 19 September 1912 Fremont TimesIndicator:

Adrian VanZomeren
After an illness of eight months, Mr. A. VanZomeren passed out of this world at 7:30 o'clock on Thursday evening, September 12, 1912, into the eternal rest that remaineth for the children of God.  The deceased had reached the age of 70 years, 4 months and 18 days.
He was born in the Netherlands and shortly after his marriage to Miss Gertrude Den Nyle, immigrated to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  From there the family moved to Martin, Allegan county, from where 32 years ago they came to Fremont where they have lived ever more.  At first they lived on a farm north of the city until 20 years ago when Mr. VanZomeren retired from active work and took up his residence in the city.  His life, both in the Netherlands and here, had been one of hard work and the rest which he never enjoyed was well deserved.
Early in life the departed confessed his faith in Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and became a member of the church.  This institution was always dear to his heart. For 29 years he served the reformed church as elder and always gladly gave time and talents to promote is welfare.  In the religious as well as in the physical, his life was a life of work.  With the Master he felt that "We must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day, ere the night cometh when no man can work."
The deceased is survived by four brothers, a widow and eight children, Diek, Henry, Herbert, Leonard, Mrs. Peter Oosting and Mrs. C. Rottier of Fremont' William of Grand Rapids, and Rev. John Van Zomerman, of Cleveland, Ohio, who all deeply mourn their loss.
The funeral, which was attended by a host of friends, was held Monday afternoon at one o'clock from the home and 2 o'clock from the Reformed church.  The services were in charge of Rev. A. Oosterhoff, who spoke in English and Holland.  The texts of the Scripture were Rom. 6, 8-10, Jno 9, 14.  Interment was in Maple Grove cemetery.

I have seen many obituaries from the Hesperia Union, the other old area newspaper that we often get copies donated to us.   While many of them, especially those written by Mrs Robertson, were flowery and talked about the character of the deceased, only in the TimesIndicator, (and with Fremont deaths), does there seem to have been such emphasis given to their faith and church life.

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