At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Trinity Reformed Church
1224 Davis Ave NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Roma L. Holbrook-Boersma, it is easy to see that her life was focused on serving others. She was guided by her unwavering faith, and it was her faith that provided her with the joy that carried her through the storms of life that came her way. Roma was deeply devoted to her family, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she adored. With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, she created a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Innovation was changing the way we lived our everyday lives as refrigerators, radios, and motion pictures in both color and sound were among the noteworthy advancements. It was just as this exciting time was really getting started that Alva and Louise Holbrook were eagerly awaiting the birth of their new baby as April dawned in Amarillo, Texas, in 1921. The big day finally arrived on April 5th when the baby girl they named Roma L. drew her first breath. Because her parents were Salvation Army officers, they commonly moved around the United States. As a result, they moved to Santa Cruz, California, shortly after Roma was born.
Roma spent much of her formative years in the family home that was just two blocks away from the ocean. She fell in love with being able to hear the waves, and she also appreciated the diversity of the area as the Redwood trees and the ocean came together. Many of Roma’s childhood days were spent by the ocean playing on the beach and climbing cliffs. She especially loved being by the shore during low tide when the beach produced a variety of ocean species to observe. While in high school Roma was fairly laid back and didn’t involve herself in too many additional activities. She attended local schools and graduated from Meced High School in Santa Cruz in 1938. After graduating, the family moved to Hawaii. After a year there, Roma returned to California and started nurses training at St. Luke’s School of nursing in San Francisco, California. In 1942 she enlisted into the U.S. Army Nursing Corp and was discharged in 1944.
After graduating from nursing school in 1944, Roma was eager to see all that life had in store. She received a job offer to work at the Salvation Army’s Booth Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She accepted the job and spent her entire 45 year career there, retiring as director of nursing. To protect the privacy of patients and their life situations, everyone at the home used a nickname. This is how Roma became known as “Mrs. B.” Everyone who spent time at the Booth Home got to know and soon fell in love with Mrs. B. She found her work there to be so fulfilling and saw her job as her calling to be of service to young girls at a difficult time in their lives.
It was through her work that Roma met the man of her dreams. His name was Roy W. Boersma, and he was the handsome single brother of the woman she worked for. They were set up, and that initial date later gave way to more dates. Over time they fell in love, and with a desire to share a life together Roma and Roy were married on October 7, 1947. Although her parents were unable to attend, she forever viewed her wedding day as the best day of her life. Together Roma and her husband welcomed four children including Nancy, Marilyn, Karen, and Jeanne into their hearts and home. They enjoyed being together as a family no matter what they were doing, but some of their favorite times were spent camping in Northern Michigan. Interlochen State Park was one of their favorites. Roma and Roy became members of Trinity Reformed Church in February of 1948. Over the years, she served there as an elder and Sunday school teacher, and she was also a member of the choir. Some of the greatest lessons Roma taught her family were to passionately serve others, to look for the joy in every day and in every person, and that each day will bring joy of its own. Tragedy struck in her life when Roy collapsed and died at a young age when they had only been married for 22 years. Although she was only 48 when he died, she maintained her positive outlook for the rest of her life and looked forward to the Lord taking her home one day.
There were so many things that kept Roma busy over the years. She enjoyed meal times, especially when they were shared with family, and she never really found a food she didn’t like. Roma enjoyed reading, knitting, embroidery, and ceramics as well as collecting china tea cups and angels. Although she experienced so many amazing things in her life, she found her favorite place on earth to be Santa Cruz.
All who knew Roma Boersma would agree that she was one of the most amazing people around. Her focus has always been to serve God and family through both the easy and hard times. Roma blessed so many others within her family, her church, and her community in such a significant way. She will be deeply missed, but she leaves behind a timeless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.
BOERSMA – Mrs. Roma L. (Holbrook) Boersma “Mrs. B” aged 95, of Grand Rapids, went to be with her Lord and Savior on October 19, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband Roy in 1969. Roma is survived by her daughters, Nancy (John) Davis, Marilyn Boersma, Karen Dolan and Jeanne Boersma; grandchildren, Jim DeMaar and Stacey (Leonardo Sr.) Chadbourne; great-grandchildren, Imani, Robert, and Leonardo; niece, Lois (George) Flik; several grand nieces and nephews; and many friends. A special thank you to the staff at Sanctuary of St. Mary’s for the loving care shown to Roma during her 4 year stay. The Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM on Saturday October 22, 2016 at Trinity Reformed Church, 1224 Davis Ave NW. The family will receive support from friends and family from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Friday at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 851 Leonard St. NW. and for one hour prior to the service at church. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Trinity Reformed Church or Salvation Army. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com to read her lifestory, archive a memory, photo or sign the guestbook.