Eve Jeninga, 96, passed away peacefully on Oct. 10, 2020.

She was born on Feb. 26, 1924, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and at the age of 10, moved to Heerlen with her family. She was the daughter of Marie (father) and Metje (mother) Hamaker.

Eve enjoyed her childhood years in Heerlen, particularly enjoyed gymnastics, which she started at a very young age. She fondly remembered putting on a Cinderella play where she got to play the role of one of Cinderella’s bad stepsisters. Ice skating on the canals and roller skating on the streets were also activities she greatly enjoyed.

After high school, Eve chose to attend a three-year program in home economics. Upon completion of that program, she took a two-year course in child development, which included internships as a nanny, assisting in a kindergarten and working in a children’s home. Eve loved working with children. In addition to raising her own children and watching her grandchildren, Eve provided childcare for a number of other children. She enjoyed working with her hands, especially knitting and crocheting and would often be found creating something with yarn. She took great pride in her home, which was always spotlessly clean.

Eve lived through the occupation of Holland by the Germans. She remembered, at the age of 16, opening her window on a beautiful May morning to the site of the German tanks rolling down the street. Eve displayed great bravery during the war in her work with Jewish children. She worked at Koningin Emma Children’s Home from 1940 to 1945. This was a home for orphaned and sick children. During the war many Jewish children were brought there in secret at great risk to the staff and the children. The staff changed the children’s names to keep their identity secret from the Germans.

Eve met her future husband, John, in 1939 when she was 14 and he was 17. They were married in June 1949 and lived in Utrecht where their first three children were born. In March 1957, John and Eve moved to the United States, traveling on a ship called the “Groote Beer” or the Big Bear. They settled in Delavan and became lifelong and active members of Delavan Christian Reformed Church. Three more children were born after the move to the United States.

She loved doing things with and for her big family. Sundays were always a special day spent together with a big Sunday dinner. Eve was the queen of Jell-O making and one could always count on a Jell-O dish when coming over for a meal.

After raising her children, Eve discovered a passion for travel. She and John traveled all over the United States in their camper. They also traveled to multiple countries in Europe. When Eve could no longer travel, she would enjoy Rick Steves’ show taking her on a tour. In addition to traveling, Eve was very involved in charitable activities and church activities, including participating in the choir.

Eve was a kind and caring woman who always had a cup of coffee or tea and some cookies for her visitors. She was a very strong woman, living through the war and starting anew in a new country with her husband and children. She will be greatly missed by her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband John, and brother, Leendert.

Eve is survived by six children, Mary Reyenga (John), John Jeninga (Karen), Maryann Lundin (Bill), Bernice Zaehringer (Don), Ed Jeninga and Annette Drefs (Matt); 14 grandchildren, Chris Reyenga, Corrina Haringsma (Jared), Hillary Miersma (Harlan), Leon Goytowski (Michelle), Nadine Osburn (Robert), Theresa Ware, Eric Lundin, Ben Lundin, Sam York, Nicole Zaehringer, Steve York, Ashley Schneider (Nolan), Kelsey Houser (Kyle), Jake Drefs (Alli), Adam Drefs and Lena Drefs; 28 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Delavan Christian Reformed Church, 850 Oak St. in Delavan. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of the service on Saturday at the church.

The family asks that remembrances be made to Bethany Christian Services and/or the Delavan Christian School.

Monroe Funeral Home in Delavan is assisting the family.


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