Family Histories

Joan Boomker Swierenga - Obituary

Photo of Joan Swierenga

Joan Swierenga, of Holland, beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, joined the angel chorus on May 8, 2014 with her children at her side. She was a member of Central Avenue Christian Reformed Church. Joan was rich in friends and carried on a faithful card ministry. Joan enjoyed music and was a member of many choral groups—the Christian Choral Society of Chicago and the Apollo Music Club of Chicago, both of which performed at Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Kent University Chorus, in which she once performed Verdi’s Requiem under conductor Robert Shaw, and the Calvin College Radio Choir, Calvin Oratorio Society, Evergreen Chorale, Zeeland Civic Chorus, and Pillar and Central Avenue church choirs.

Joan was born to Theodore and Annette Boomker on April 15, 1935 in the Roseland area of Chicago, and graduated from Chicago Christian High School. She attended Calvin College, was employed by several insurance companies, and ran her own typing business for students at Kent State University, where her husband was a professor. She was predeceased by her parents, infant son John Robert III, and brother-in-law James A. De Boer. Joan is survived by Robert, her husband of 57 years, and children Robert Jr. of Holland, Sarah Swierenga of Okemos, Celia and Mark Groenhout of Lambertville, Daniel of Wooster OH, and Suzanna and Brent Breems of Grand Rapids. She took great delight in her grandchildren Sydney Swierenga; Jacob (Kate), Trent, and Jillanne Groenhout; and Henry, Louis, and Katherine Breems. She was much loved by her sister Celia Boomker De Boer and brother John Theodore (Ruth) Boomker; and in-laws Raymond (Cynthia) Swierenga, Alyce (Dick) Houskamp, Donald (Mary) Swierenga, Grace (Gary) Nyland, and John (Virginia) Swierenga; many nephews and nieces.

A memorial celebration of Joan’s faith and life will be Monday May 12 at Central Avenue CRC, 215 Central Ave., with Revs. James Scholten and Chad Steenwyk officiating. Relatives and friends may meet the family for one hour prior to the service and are invited to join immediately afterwards for a time of fellowship and refreshments. Visitation will also take place on Sunday May 11 from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm at Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Home, 315 E. 16th Street. Interment will be in the Swierenga family plot, Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, IL. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holland Deacons Conference for My Brothers and My Sisters Houses, or the Central Avenue CRC building fund. The family thanks the staffs of Hospice of Holland and Rest Haven Home Care for their loving kindness. Arrangements are by Langeland-Sterenberg Funeral Homes and Knollcrest Funeral Home, Lombard, IL. Please visit langelandsterenberg.com to sign an online registry or leave memories and condolences.