Ottolena Redeker, 89, of Sunnyside passed from this life on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012, into the arms of her loving Savior and the place He has prepared for her.

She was born April 17, 1922 in Alto, Wis. to Peter and Mary Elenius. She grew up on a farm and received her education there.

On Nov. 5, 1940 she married Leon Redeker and together they farmed the same place she grew up on. Several years later they moved to the "big farm" near Waupun, Wisc., where they continued to work and raise their family together.

In 1967 due to Leon's health problems they sold the farm, and in 1968 moved to Sunnyside. After ending her farming career, she worked at several health care facilities either in the dietary or housekeeping departments.

Following her retirement she spent many hours volunteering at food banks, driving people to appointments and helping make mission project quilts at church.

Ottolena's love of cooking, baking and gardening was surpassed only by her love of spending time with her family and friends either here or on frequent trips back home to Wisconsin.

As a lifetime member of the Christian Reformed Church, she served as a Sunday school teacher and was active in other areas of the church.

Ottolena is survived by her three daughters, Marilyn (Marvin) Meyer, Eileen (Randy) Staal and Joyce (Lloyd) Heeringa; six grandchildren, Mary (Stewart) Kreun, Marla (David) Blomquist, Mark (Brenda) Meyer, Melissa (Jeffery) Norment, Seth (Sarah) Heeringa, and Micah (Sarah) Heeringa; 12 great-grandchildren, Jacob and Joshua Kreun, Sophia and Signe Blomquist, Emily and Nathan Meyer, Jacob, Grant and Madelyn Heeringa and Emma, Ryker and Gabriel Heeringa; one sister, Marion Loomans; and one brother, Paul Elenius.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Leon; two infant sons; two infant daughters; and her sisters, Louise Vander Gailen and Florence DeYoung.

To all of you who cared for her medically and spiritually over the last years, we want to say thank you. You are too many to name, but our gratitude to each of you is eternal.

In lieu of flowers, our family is asking that donations be made to the Union Gospel Mission or the charity of your choice.

Visitation will be Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Family graveside services will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, at 9:45 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens, with a celebration of life service to follow at 11 a.m. at Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church.

Those wishing to sign Ottolena's on-line memorial book may do so at

Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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