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Lena (Kuyper) Vander Wal

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Lena (Kuyper) Vander Wal

Dec. 3, 1921 - Aug. 19, 2013

Lena Vander Wal, 91, of Corsica, died Monday, August 19 at the Good Samaritan Center in Corsica.

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Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 22 at First Reformed Church in Harrison with the Pastor Gary Maas officiating. Burial will be in the Harrison Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday August 21 at the First Reformed Church In Harrison with a 7:00 prayer service.

Lena was born Dec. 3, 1921 in rural Harrison to Adrianus and Johanna (Vanden Bos) Kuyper. She attended country school through the ninth grade at Pleasant Lake Consolidated School in Aurora County. She then helped at home and also worked for local families when they welcomed a new baby or needed an extra set of hands to care for the family.

Lena was married to Cornelius "Case" Vander Wal on Feb. 12, 1946 at her parent's home. They settled on the Vander Wal family home place southwest of Corsica and raised three sons, crops and livestock together. They retired from farming in 1991 and moved into Harrison. They retired to the home that her father built in 1956. When their health declined in the fall of 2007, they moved to Firesteel Health Care Center in Mitchell. In February 2008, they moved to the Good Samaritan Center in Corsica. Case died on April 19, 2009.

Lena was the consummate farm wife. Along with keeping house and keeping the menfolk properly fed, clothed and cared for, she also tended vegetable and flower gardens and a flock of chickens. She gleaned the bounty of the garden and fruit trees by canning, freezing and preserving all types of fruits and vegetables. She always read the recipe page of the newspapers, frequently trying new recipes and making notes on the recipe clippings and in her cookbooks about how the family liked the new tastes. When the housework was completed, she turned her hands to sewing, knitting, crochet and quilting. She sewed clothing for her family and made her own suits, coats and purses. She was a meticulous quilter, with each and every seam matching perfectly. She collected, saved and utilized every piece of fabric to its maximum potential.

She was active in the women's activities at her church and, after they moved into Harrison, kept up a weekly Scrabble game with the neighbor ladies. She kept her wordsmithing skills honed by challenging female visitors to her home to a game while the men visited about farming and machinery.

Lena is survived by her three sons, Verlin and Helen Vander Wal of Corsica, Calvin Vander Wal of Burbank and Claire Vander Wal of Corsica; one brother, Ivan and Jean Kuyper of Corsica, and a sister-in-law, Harriet Kuyper of Corsica. She is also survived by four grandchildren, their spouses and seven great-grandsons: Todd and Michelle Vander Wal and Tylan and Jamison of Pipestone, Minn., Gretchen and Brent Schlosser and August and Ian of Willmar, Minn., Grant and Shannun Vander Wal and Slayton and Braxton of Corsica, and Beth and Travis Eisenbraun and Isaiah of Mitchell.

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