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Johanna Meulink Ehlers
November 17, 1931-April 15, 2019
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Johanna Ehlers was called to her heavenly home on Monday, April 15, 2019, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  She was born November 17, 1931, in Modesto, California.  At 87 years young, she was healthy and independent until she experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm.
   Jo grew up on a dairy farm in Ripon, California.  The youngest of three children, she was only five when her mother passed away.  By the age of twelve Jo was responsible for cooking and cleaning for the family and farm workers.  She honed those homemaking skills for the rest of her life, always looking for ways to care for those around her. Jo showed her love by making gourmet meals and baking special treats, her brownies were particularly famous.  Jo was also an artist, delighting in working with pastels, stained glass, and crafts. Recently she had begun painting again with acrylics. She loved to sew and often made matching outfits for the children in her life.
   In 1958 Jo married Vern Ehlers, a nerdy young physicist.  The couple eventually settled in Grand Rapids to raise their family and became members of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church.  Jo loved her Lord and her church family.  As a Christian she sought to serve others in Christ’s name, and in her later years she focused her service in praying daily for her family and those around her as well as for the needs of the city, the nation, and the world.  When Vern was elected to congress in 1993, Jo was by his side, supporting him and extending her gifts of hospitality to acquaintances in the political sphere.  Those who met Jo are likely to remember her commitment to doing what is right, her Dutch frugality, and her warm smile.
   Jo is lovingly remembered by her children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren, Heidi and Bob Rienstra (Sara Savannah, Caelan, Tim and Stephanie (Malik), Andrew and Abby, Brian Ehlers, Marla Ehlers, Todd Ehlers and Mirjam Schaller (Anouk, Zoelle), as well as by her sisters and brother-in-law Helen Meulink Grand Rapids, MI, Frances and Jake Engel, Ripon, CA, and Henrietta Buurma, Willard, OH, and by many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Vernon Ehlers, by her parents, Berend and Lubbigje (Schaapman) Meulink, and by her sister, Ann McCoy, and brother, John Meulink.
   A celebration of Jo’s life will take place on Monday, April 22, 2019, 5:00 p.m., at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 514 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Visitation with the family will also take place on Sunday, April 21, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Zaagman Memorial Chapel, 2800 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546, and on Monday, April 22, 4:00-4:45 p.m., at Eastern Avenue CRC.  Memorial contributions may be made to World Renew, Safe Haven Ministries, or the Vernon and Johanna Ehlers scholarship at Calvin College.

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Friday, April 19, 2019