Nature 06


Elizabeth Vander Weele

February 6, 1927 ~ June 14, 2019 (age 92)

Elizabeth (Berghuis) Vander Weele, formerly of South Haven, Michigan, passed away June 14, 2019. She was 92 years old. She is survived by six children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great grand-children. She was the loving aunt of 43 nephews and nieces. She was preceded in death by her late husband, Dr. Harold Vander Weele, and her son, Bruce Harold Vander Weele.

Elizabeth was born in Chicago, Illinois, on February 6, 1927, to Frederick and Johanna (Dykstra) Berghuis. Along with her siblings, the late Dr. Jacob Berghuis and Grace (Berghuis) Verkade, she grew up in the Chicago neighborhood of Roseland. The family attended the First Christian Reformed Church of Roseland. Elizabeth was 13 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked and the United States entered World War II.  With the country in dire need of nurses, she enrolled in the USA Nursing Cadet Corp Program and graduated as a Registered Nurse from Roseland Community Hospital in 1948.  She enjoyed her work as a nurse, particularly time spent as a visiting nurse in Chicago’s challenging neighborhoods. Elizabeth had a generous spirit and a love for art, poetry, music, and adventure.

Elizabeth met Harold Vander Weele when he was a dental student attending Northwestern Dental School in Chicago.  Harold and Elizabeth were married in 1949. They lived in Roseland, where Harold opened his dental practice. In 1954, they moved to Palos Heights, Illinois, where they raised their seven children.  They were original members of the Palos Heights Christian Reformed Church and were active in the early years as the church was being established. 

In 1991, after Harold’s retirement, the couple moved to South Haven, Michigan, where they were members of the Kibbie Christian Reformed Church. After her husband died in 2006, Elizabeth moved to Chicago to live with her daughter in 2015.

Elizabeth was the mother of Susan Grace Vander Wey of Tweed, Ontario, Canada, wife of the late Jouke Luutzen Vander Wey; Aileen Carol (Dale) Meyer of Urbandale, Iowa; the late Bruce Harold Vander Weele of Chicago; Laura Jean (Kenneth) MacQueen of Plainfield, Illinois; Colleen Faye (Monte) McMartin of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Maribeth Jan Vander Weele of Chicago, and Joel Mark (the late Tami Lynn Elifson) Vander Weele of Palos Heights, Illinois.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Emily Marie Elizabeth Vander Wey, Timothy Paul Meyer, Jennifer Ann (Meyer) Anderson, Sarah Elizabeth (MacQueen) Reiland, Alexander Jordan MacQueen, Jordan Andrew MacQueen, Kerry Allison (McMartin) Steinke, Kimberly Faye (McMartin) Stone, Michelle Kathleen (McMartin) DiCesare, Jacob Mark Vander Weele, Samuel Joel Vander Weele, and Seth David Vander Weele. Her great grandchildren are Dalton James Meyer, Emma Lynnea Anderson, Christian James Anderson, Grace Elizabeth Anderson, Evelyn Faye Steinke, Allison Grace Steinke, Claire Michelle Stone, Heidi Faye Stone, Isaac Joseph Stone, and Evelyn Grace Reiland.

Visitation will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22, 2019, at Kibbie Christian Reformed Church, 00479 Country Road 687, South Haven, Michigan 49090. Services in celebration of Elizabeth’s life and faith in Jesus Christ will be at noon, followed by lunch at 1 p.m. 

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