Martin Ferwerda, Jr., 89, of Grand Rapids, formerly of Rindge NH, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, January 8, 2018. He was followed to the Lord by his wife, of 64 years, Bernice (Reynen) Ferwerda, 91, on December 23, 2020.
Martin was born, in Northbridge Ma., on April 24, 1928, the son of Martin and Annie Ferwerda.
He was a devoted husband to his wife and father to his five sons. He was also a dedicated employee of IBM where he retired after 30 years, receiving numerous awards for outstanding service. He and Bernice were active members in the Christian Reformed Church. They volunteered for CRWRC and served as missionaries in both Japan and in the Yucatan peninsula.
Bernice was born in Albert Lea, MN in 1929. She graduated from Central College in Pella Iowa and then taught at Whitinsville Christian Schools where she met her husband Martin Ferwerda of nearly 64 years. She also taught at Marian HS in Framingham, MA, as well as in Mexico and Japan.
Bernice was first, a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, and second, a loving and faithful wife and mother of five boys. Third, she was a servant-minded missionary, venturing on many short-term mission trips. In her retirement, along with her husband Marty, she served as a teacher at Merida Christian School, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and at Christian Academy in Tokyo, Japan. She shared her stories with a smile and laugh. Her Minnesota farm girl work ethic, energy for life, and service bore much fruit in many lives. Even in her very last days, her good spirits sang for her Savior.
She enjoyed gardening, music (piano, guitar, autoharp, psaltery, dulcimer, and harmonica), writing (she published a book of poetry), Spanish, and had an uncontrolled passion for decorating. Her love for music lives on in a published choir piece she wrote based on the Heidelberg Catechism.
They are loved and remembered by their children: Timothy and Pasca Ferwerda, Mark and Tracey Ferwerda, Eric and Mary Ferwerda, Michelle Ferwerda (daughter-in-law), Martin III and Rebecca Ferwerda; many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
They were preceded in death by their parents; a son: Jason Ferwerda as well as siblings: Ann and Martin Batts, Grace and Winston Boelkins, and Peter and Mary Oppewall, Albert (Doris), Willis (Hazel) and John (Judy), her sister Antoinette Elbring, her brothers-in-laws Arent Mondeel, John and Lola Ferwerda, Peter (Janet) Ferwerda, and Robert Anderson.
A combined memorial service, for Martin and Bernice, will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021, at 10:30 am, at the Jaffrey Bible Church, 133 Turnpike Road, Jaffrey, NH, 03452. Committal Services will follow at the family lot in Hillside Cemetery, Goddard Road, Rindge, NH, 03461.