Wilma J. Buitenwerf, age 99 of Prairie City, passed away on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, at Lantern Park Care Center in Coralville, Iowa. The family will greet friends on Saturday, August, 10, 2019 from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Coburn Funeral home in Prairie City. There will be a private family graveside service at Waveland Cemetery following. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be directed to the First Reformed Church or the Prairie City Historical Society. Condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com
Wilma was born May 15, 1920 at the family home East of Prairie City, Iowa. Her parents were Govert and Bertha Beintima Van Zee. She attended country school through the eighth grade and high school in Prairie City, graduating in 1937. During her grade school years she participated in the Jasper County spelling contest. She finished runner-up in the 8th grade competition.
In 1939, the Prairie City American Legion asked if she would represent Prairie City in the Jasper County Beauty Contest at the July 4th celebration in Newton, Iowa. She was honored to win the contest amongst a dozen entrants.
After graduation from high school, Wilma stayed on her family farm to help her parents. She married Roy Buitenwerf on June 23, 1944 while he was on leave form the Navy during WWII. Roy and Wilma were blessed with two sons, Mark and Michael.
Wilma did not work outside the home but kept busy caring for her family and teaching piano lessons. She also kept busy in the community with neighborhood club, P.E.O., and the Old Settlers committee.
Wilma was a life-long member of the First Reformed Church of Prairie City where she began playing the piano at age 16 and later the organ until she was in her mid-eighties. She was also involved in vocal music while a member of the church.
Those left to honor Wilma's memory are her two sons Mark and his wife Eunice and Michael and his wife Betty; four grandchildren Eric and his wife Ginger, Ryan and his wife Tamara, Tera and her husband Kevin, and Tyler and his wife Anita; and nine great grandchildren Scott, Bethany, Judah, Eva, Mayson, Isaac, Gavin, Ian, and Leah.
Preceding Wilma in death are her parents; husband, Roy and seven brothers Martin, Dick, Chester, Bill, Harry, Raymond, and Marion Van Zee and sister Katherine Boot.
I have known your mother for many years. She was a sweet lady & very talented. May many happy memories ease your sorrow at this time.
Thinking of you,
Extending my sympathy to you as a family. Always enjoyed my visits with Roy and Wilma.
I remember riding my bike over to Roy and Wilma's home to take piano lessons. I don't think she ever had me take a piano piece over again. I know I wasn't that good, I think it was just a sweet lady giving me lessons. Your mom was a sweetheart!
Very sweet lady. She alays had a smile.
Wilma was one of the nicest lady I have met! I am the person who brought you father home from Willowbrook. She always greeted me with a smile and thanked me for bringing him home.Sometimes with a fresh warm homemade bread. May she RIP!
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