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Life Story / Obituary
Henrietta Bosma was a vigorous woman who lived each day in gratitude to God who created her and directed her life. She was honest and respectful in business, dedicated and active as a Christian, and caring and generous to her wonderful husband, children and grandchildren. Henrietta’s family and friends, church and community were beneficiaries of her faith, hope and, above all, love.
Henrietta was born to Cornelius and Gertrude Rus in Armour, South Dakota, where she lived the first nine years of her life. She attended Grandview Elementary in Armour, and like many children in rural counties, she traveled several miles to school and back. Henrietta rode in a pony cart with her brother CJ and cousin Hank Rozeboom, who had come to live with them since the age of two when his mother passed away. The 2 ½ miles to school were especially long in the cold of winter, but Henrietta had the luxury of sitting between CJ and Hank to keep warm.
When Henrietta was 10 years old, the Rus family along with her new brother Don, moved to Holland, Michigan and she enrolled at North Holland Elementary School. From an early age, Henrietta was an avid reader, and her love for books came in handy when her dad dropped her off at school at 6:50AM on his way to work at Precision Parts. She simply opened a book and passed the time reading. In her later high school years, she worked in the library during those early morning hours. After school, she walked from River and 15th Street to her dad’s workplace on 24th Street and waited for a ride. At times, she found another way home, and later when she took a school co-op job at Dunn Manufacturing, she walked there and then got a ride home from her brother CJ. If all transportation failed, she walked the 5 or 6 miles home to 128th Street (where the Holland Bar Stool company is currently located near Quincy and US 31). Henrietta never had her own car in high school, but from time to time CJ loaned her his 1948 Mercury so she could go with her girlfriends to the beach. Henrietta was grateful enough and always paid for the gas.
Henrietta graduated from Holland High School in 1948 and in a matter of a few years, she had fallen in love. It was at a wheat thrashing party that she first met Harold Bosma, and the two began their lifelong commitment to one another when they married on January 12, 1951. At the time, Harold was serving in the US Army as a cook, and when he was in basic training in El Paso, Henrietta drove their 1950 Ford to Texas with a girlfriend. Harold was transferred to Pittsburgh and then to Lebanon, Pennsylvania while Henrietta remained in Holland. When the couple learned she was expecting their first child, they knew the time had come for Henrietta to move. Daughter Janice was born in Holland, but when the baby was just six weeks old, Henrietta went to Pittsburgh to find an apartment. After a week of looking, she was successful, and then CJ and her mother drove Henrietta and the baby to Pittsburgh. The young family lived in Pennsylvania for the duration of Harold’s military service, but soon enough they were back in Holland.
In 1957, Harold and Henrietta bought a blueberry farm for what seemed like a “mountain of money” at the time: $24,000! Bosma Blueberry Farm supported their family of four children (Janice, Joan, Mark and Mitchel) for over 50 years, and then it was passed to their son Mark and his wife who now own and operate the farm. Henrietta always loved to be in the blueberry fields and to go camping. Something about nature was invigorating to her, as was apparent in the care she took in mowing the lawn at her church and at home. In fact, no one could mow Henrietta’s lawn but Henrietta.
Early the 1970s, Henrietta and Harold began wintering in Florida. Later, they purchased a home in North Fort Myers, where she was privileged to still spend the winter of 2016. Even when she was living in the South, Henrietta remained a loyal University of Michigan sports fan, and back home she never went anywhere if a game was on. She also enjoyed watching Fox News on TV and the program Blue Bloods. Throughout her life, Henrietta excelled at sewing and could mend anything. She was such a great seamstress that she made her daughter Joan’s wedding dress from a pattern she created out of newspaper.
Of even greater importance was Henrietta’s faith, which she lived out in her church life and among her family and friends. When Harold and she were members of Ventura Baptist Church, Henrietta played organ and the two of them were involved as youth leaders, doing many activities with kids. They became charter members of the Bible Doctrine Church of West Michigan when it was established in 1975. Henrietta’s abiding legacy is that she wanted everyone in her family to have the assurance of knowing and trusting Jesus Christ. Believing that he sacrificed his life for her and thereby rescued her from condemnation to live forgiven and free was the greatest joy she knew. She wished all her loved ones to have that same peace. That’s why her last instructions to her family were to have a Victory Celebration, for Henrietta is rejoicing with her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Henrietta Bosma, 85 of Holland, Michigan, passed away Tuesday, August 2, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Bosma in 1999, along with her parents. Henrietta is survived by children, Janice Bosma, Joan (Doug) Troost, Mark (Karen) Bosma, Mitchel (Marty) Bosma, Grandchildren, Kerrie (Eric) Raffield, Ross Troost, Matthew (Krista) Bosma, Kourtney (Rich) Kietkinveld, Payton Bosma, Tanner Bosma, Kelby Bosma , Brady Bosma, Nash Bosma, Great grandchildren, Joshua Suman, Alyssa Suman, Jaxson Hammond, Trenton Hammond, Haydyn Raffield, Kylah Bosma, Kambry Bosma, Great-great-grandchildren: Kali Suman, Rowan Troost. Brothers: CJ Rus, Don (Donna) Rus.