Cover photo for Lylas Smidstra's Obituary
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1933 Lylas 2021

Lylas Smidstra

July 23, 1933 — October 24, 2021

Rock Rapids, IA

     Lylas Smidstra age 88 of Luverne, MN died Sunday, October 24, 2021, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Minnesota.

     Funeral service will be 11:00 AM, Thursday, November 4th at The American Reformed Church in Luverne, MN, with Reverend Mike Altena officiating.

     Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Rock Rapids, IA.

     Visitation will be one hour prior to the service Thursday, November 4th at the church.

     The Smidstra family is requesting that masks be used during the visitation and funeral service.

Jurrens Funeral Home of Rock Rapids is in charge of services.

     Lylas Mae Smidstra was born July 23, 1933, in Ellsworth, MN, the daughter of Everett and Juel (Feldman) Jurrens. She was raised and received her education in Ellsworth, MN. She was united in marriage to Ben Smidstra on December 3, 1958. They were blessed with two children, Charles (born in August 1959) and Joel (born in May 1962). Together they raised their children on the family farm.  Lylas enjoyed helping with the day-to-day operation of the farm where she was never afraid of the hard work it would often entail.  She became a grandma in August of 1985 where she devoted much of her time to helping care for her grandchildren.  They spent many weekends and summers on the farm with Lylas and Ben.  Lylas was a selfless woman and was always known to put her family’s needs before her own.  To her grandchildren, she was quite literally an angel on earth. 

     Later in life, Lylas was employed for 20 years as a cook at the Rock Rapids Health Center. When she wasn’t working, she could be found helping with her five grandchildren in any way needed. Her passions included spending time with her husband, lovingly referred to as her Lobby or Sweetheart. She treasured time with her sons, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She enjoyed cooking and baking and always prepared the most special Sunday meals for her entire family, complete with pie or other delicious desserts.  She was an animal lover and had a special place in her heart for cats.  She enjoyed going on bike rides down their gravel road, relishing in the harvest of her son Joel’s garden, and meeting up with family and special friends at the Pizza Ranch to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. 

     After significant health problems, Lylas moved to the Minnesota Veterans Home in February 2018 where her husband visited her every single day.  In October 2019, her husband, Ben, moved to the Minnesota Veterans Home and they were able to spend nearly all their time together.  They enjoyed visiting, talking about old times, playing games, doing activities and singing hymns, among many other things.  She adored Ben and he adored her and their love was admired by many.  She will be remembered by the staff for her love for Ben, her infectious smile, her hugs, and the way she could always make someone feel at home.

     Lylas is survived by her husband Ben Smidstra of 62 years, of Luverne, MN; Son, Charles Smidstra of Luverne, MN; five grandchildren, Ben Smidstra of Luverne, MN, Christina (Jose) Grijalva of Luverne, MN, Bethany Smidstra (partner Brandon Englert) Rock Rapids, IA, Melissa (Fady) Smidstra of Michigan and Erin Smidstra (Fiancé Jordan Jerke) of Sioux Falls; fifteen great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Delores Jurrens of Ellsworth, MN; brother-in-law Joe Jeffer of Luverne, MN; and many nieces, nephews, and other extended family.

     She was preceded in death by her son, Joel Smidstra; parents, Everett and Juel Jurrens; parents-in-laws, Charles and Reika Smidstra; one brother, Donald Jurrens; an infant sister; two brothers-in-laws, Albert (Harriet) Smidstra and Bert (Albertha) Smidstra; four sisters-in-laws, Jennie (Jack) Vande Weerd, Suzie (Hank) Kelderman, Jessie (Harvey) Wiersma and Wilma Jean Jeffer.

To order memorial trees in memory of Lylas Smidstra, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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