Shirley Stursma, 73, of Oskaloosa, passed away Sunday morning, Aug. 11, 2013, at the MHP Hospice Services Serenity House in Oskaloosa.
Shirley Mae Stursma, daughter of Andrew and Henrietta (Menninga) Bogaards, was born Dec. 21, 1939, at the home of her parents in rural Oskaloosa. She was a graduate of Pleasant Ridge School and a 1957 graduate of Pella Christian High School. Shirley worked as a secretary at Pella Christian High School for the first year after graduation. She married Martin Paul Stursma, May 30, 1958, in Pella. In 1961, she and Paul moved to Killeen, Texas, after he was drafted into the Army. They returned to the Leighton area in 1963 and moved to Shirley’s parent’s farm near Leighton where they lived for 10 years. In 1973, they purchased their farm south of Leighton where she remained until the time of her death. Shirley was a true helpmate and partner to Paul in their farming operation: she helped with raising the animals; she raised a huge vegetable and perennial flower garden, and preserved the produce from her garden. In 1997, Shirley went to work as an administrative assistant to the Mahaska County Conservation Board at Russell Wildlife Center. This position was very well suited to Shirley because of her love, wonder and appreciation of God’s creation. She remained with the Conservation Board until 2012. Shirley’s hands were never idle: everyone she loved had a crocheted afghan and from 1972 until present she baked and decorated cakes, including 100s of wedding cakes.
Shirley was a member of the Leighton Christian Reformed Church where for numerous years she eagerly served as a Calvinette leader, a Sunday school teacher and a Youth Group leader with her husband.
Shirley’s family includes her children: Kriste (Mike) Van Den Heuvel, of Cedar, and Tim Stursma, of University Park; three grandchildren: Kate (Adam) DeJong, of Oskaloosa, Grant Van Den Heuvel, of Cedar, and Allison Stursma, of University Park; a great-granddaughter, Cobie DeJong; sisters: Pearl Van Waardhuizen and Ruth Van Hal, both of Pella; brothers: Gerald (Mattie) Bogaards, of Pella, and Lawrence (Harriett) Bogaards, of Oskaloosa.