Bert Roetman

Bert Roetman, 88, passed away on Sunday, June 9, 2024.

Memorial services will be at 1:00 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2024 at Community Reformed Church in Sioux Falls. Family will be present to greet friends for visitation from 5:00 – 7:00 PM, Sunday, June 23, 2024 also at the church.

Born to Everet and Susie (DeJong) Van Veldhuizen in Hospers IA.  She was the youngest of six children or as she liked to say, the only child of the second family.  She attended Hospers Christian School for Elementary and thanks to generous friends, began high school at Western Christian in Hull, IA.  She then graduated from Hospers High School.   A week after graduating high school she and a friend ventured to Michigan where she attended Pine Rest Christian Psychiatric Hospital School of Nursing.

She met a good friend’s cousin at her Going Away party when leaving for college.  While attending college she continued to correspond with Darrell Roetman.  Upon graduation she flew to Germany on August 17th where Darrell was stationed in the Army.   They were married in a civil ceremony on August 18, 1956 and a religious ceremony on August 19, 1956.  To this marriage, Lyle Dean was born on September 17, 1957.   They returned to Hospers, IA when Lyle was 3 months old, and Darrell was discharged from the Army.  They moved to Sheldon, IA where Karen Kay was born on February 27, 1959, living on an acreage just south of town.  On their anniversary 3 years later, Loren Jay was born on August 19, 1962.  

Darrell had been attending college and in 1964 the family moved to Orange City, IA.  Darrell was the Deputy Sheriff.  In 1969 the family moved to Sioux Center IA where Darrell was the Chief of Police until his death in 1975.  Bert used her nursing education as a nurses’ aid and LPN at the Orange City and Sioux Center hospitals.   She worked the 11 pm to 7 am shift so that she was always home with the kids.  She would sleep while the kids were in school.  She later worked as a receptionist at Dr Jongewaard’s clinic where she entertained the customers with her great stories.

When the kids were out of the house, she married Al Van Gorp and moved back to Sheldon, IA.  She always said she “did a tour of the Holy Land” by moving from Hospers to Sheldon to Orange City to Sioux Center and back to Sheldon.   Bert worked for the Whorley Law offices, then became church secretary at Bethel Reformed Church where she not only worked for but became life long family members of two wonderful preachers and their families, Ken Tenckink and Brian Keepers.   She frequently babysat for their kids, allowing the preachers and their wives to perform their ministerial work.  They still hold a very special place in the hearts of their families and hers.  Bert liked to say she went from “the Law to the Grace” going from the law firm to the church – the sinners that got caught to the sinners who were forgiven.   She worked at the RTF, the Iowa prison reform facility, in Sheldon where she also had staff members from Sioux City stay at her home when working in Sheldon.   She had “Bert’s Bed & Breakfast”. In 2001 she retired from the state of Iowa just in time to travel to Phoenix where she was thrilled to witness the birth of Loren & Janice’s daughter, Hannah.

In 2014, Bert moved to Sioux Falls so she could share more closely in the life of Karen and her daughter, Anna’s life.   She came to Sioux Falls with her navy-blue VW Bug with license plate “GMABERT” and continued the work she began in Sheldon by working at HyVee.  HyVee was truly her second family.  There she worked up until the Thursday and Friday before entering the hospital on Saturday and passing on to Jesus arms on Sunday, June 9th, just in time to celebrate Darrell’s 91st birthday with him on June 10 in Heaven.

For many more details and funny stories, please consider reading her book that she wrote a few years ago, Life is Good because God is Good!   She sold and/or gave away nearly 1,000 copies.  It was her JOY to have at her counter at HyVee while working and using it as an opportunity to tell total strangers about her Jesus and how he sustained her in the tough parts of life and was able to continue smiling.

Grateful for having the best Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma in her life are daughter, Karen and special friend, Randy (Sioux Falls); granddaughter, Anna and husband James Hamilton (Baltic SD) and great-granddaughters, Scarlett Jade and Layla Sage.; her son, Loren and Janice (Mesa AZ) and granddaughter, Hannah Kristine;  Lyle’s children, Erin, Kiley and Ryan Roetman;  sister-in-Law, Marie VanVeldhuizen; and several nephews, nieces and cousins still in contact with her, as well as her “Cousin’s Party” that she just attended a few weeks prior with many VanVeldhuizen relatives.

She was preceded in death by husbands, Darrell Roetman, and Al VanGorp; son, Lyle Roetman; parents, Everet & Susie VanVeldhuizen; her in-laws that always treated her like the daughter they never had, John & Carolina Roetman; her brothers, Gil VanVeldhuizen, Ed & Helen VanVeldhuizen, Nellie & Don DenHartog, Cornelia & Jake VanLeeuwen; and a treasured brother than made a significant impact on her life, Cornie who died serving our country in WW2.