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Gertrude Janet Zuidema
Gertrude (Gert, Trudy, GG) Zuidema passed away on October 18, 2018 at Benefis Eastview at the age of 91. Gertrude was born on April 7, 1927 to Harman Stoel and Tonia Tromp Stoel in Boyden, Iowa. She, along with her twin sister, were the sixth and seventh children born to the Stoel family. Her twin sister passed away as an infant. Gert always wondered how her life might have been different had her twin lived. At the age of 16 Gert developed tuberculosis and was hospitalized at a treatment facility in Denver. After recovering doctors told her she could not return to her family home, which was by then in Minnesota, because she would require a drier climate. She therefore moved to Conrad, Montana to live with older sister and brother-in-law, Ruth and George DenBoer. Shortly after arriving in Conrad Ruth showed her a newspaper clipping of a handsome serviceman from Conrad named Orie Zuidema. Ruth thought they would make a cute couple so on Orie’s discharge and return to Conrad, Ruth introduced them, thinking she was quite the clever matchmaker. They were eventually married on November 28, 1947. They had one son. In 1951 they moved to Great Falls where Orie was employed in the home building business. Together they even built their own home.
Gert was a stay at home mom until 1963 when she went to work as a housekeeper at the Deaconess Hospital, where she worked until retiring in 1982. Gert was a fabulous seamstress and quilter, winning many ribbons at the State Fair. She had a very green thumb and could revive and reincarnate any plant. The only thing she wasn’t good at was cooking, but her husband and son never starved to death so she couldn’t have been too bad. Orie passed away in 2001 and Gert moved to the Eagles Manor where she made many many friends. In 2014 she suffered a stroke and spent the rest of her life at Benefis Nursing Home where the staff absolutely loved her. They commented very frequently what a very sweet patient she was.
Gert was preceded in death by her father; mother; four brothers and three sisters, and her husband. Survivors include her son, Mel Zuidema and daughter-in-law Barb Zuidema of Great Falls; grandson, Josh Zuidema and his wife Tammy of Great Falls; granddaughter, Melanie Zuidema of Havre; great-grandson, John Zuidema and his wife, Shelby of Camp Lejune, North Carolina; great-granddaughter, Teagan Fee of Havre and great-granddaughter; Morgan Zuidema of Great Falls.
Monday October 22, 2018
The Rose Room Chapel ~ Croxford Funeral Home
1307 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT 59401