Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service

Berness Lubbers

December 9, 1932 ~ September 11, 2017

On the evening of September 11, 2017, Berness Jane (VanderWall) Lubbers went home to Glory after a 2½ year struggle with Alzheimer's disease.

Berness was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Claude and Clara (Toringa) VanderWall on December 9, 1932, joining her older sister, Muriel, to make a family of four. She grew up following the Depression and during WWII, when luxuries were few, but life was rich.

Following graduation from Grand Rapids Christian High in 1950, she earned her LPN Degree in Nursing from Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. She met Russ Lubbers, on leave from the Army, and when Russ finished his duties in Korea, they married on May 28, 1954.

Berness and Russ were blessed with three children; Michael, Daniel, and Sue. They raised their children in West Michigan, teaching them to love the outdoors and God's great world, but more importantly, to love and serve their Lord and others. Berness practiced her nursing skills at Zeeland Hospital for almost 25 years. She was a very social person who made friends wherever she found herself; in the neighborhood, at church, and at work.

In their retirement years, Berness and Russ traveled the country, enjoying the warmth of Arizona in the winter, but staying very busy with a "street ministry" to the homeless in Phoenix. Their desire was always to bring Hope to those who had none, and this ministry filled their 26 years of retirement.

Berness moved to Montana to be near two of her children for the last year of her life. She spent that year in the Parkhaven Retirement Center and Assisted Living, where she was cared for with great love, respect, and dignity. The family thanks them for their love and care of Berness.

Berness is survived by Russ, her husband of 63 years; her three children, Michael (Sue) of Kansas City, KS, Dan (Laurie) of Bozeman, MT, and Sue (Martin) Kimm of Manhattan, MT; six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Berness is also survived by her sister, Muriel Moelker of Jenison, MI and her sisters-in-law, Alma Bredeweg of Zeeland, MI and Millie Lubbers of Holland, MI; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law, Bill Moelker; sisters-in-law, Sarah Kouw and her husband Harvey, Shirley Buter and her husband Ken; brothers-in-law, Art Bredeweg, Jerald Lubbers and his wife Alida, Don Lubbers; and beloved daughter-in-law, Arlene Lubbers.

Memorials may be made in Berness’ name to The Bible League, 3801 Eagle Nest Dr., Crete, IL 60417.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, September 16th at 10 a.m. at Meadow View Cemetery.  Memorial services to follow at 11 a.m. at Bethel Christian Reformed Church.  To livestream, go to:  www.bethelcrcmt.org/listen-online/videosermons.cfm