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On Aug. 27, 2011, God chose to call Maria Josephine Hettinga (Groenewegen) to her eternal home.

Maria was born Feb. 18, 1925 in Harderwijk, The Netherlands to Frederik and Josephine Groenewegen.

As a young girl she enjoyed swimming, skating and her schooling. She survived a difficult period during the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII.

She met and married the love of her life, Len Hettinga in 1949 and immigrated to Canada in 1950. They enjoyed 61 years together.

After first spending time in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they moved to Devlin in 1964. Their “retired” years were spent in Emo.

Maria enjoyed working as secretary for Cornerbrook School, treasurer for Emo Christian Reformed Church, volunteer 4-H leader and a canvasser for charitable organizations.

She was also an active participant in the Dorcas Ladies Society, and Coffee Break Bible Study.

With her husband, she volunteered for many years at Wycliffe Bible Headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

She enjoyed reading, playing games and corresponding with family and friends.

She kept her mind sharp with Sudoku, cross word puzzles, studying and developing her computer skills.

Time with family and friends at the cabin on Lake Despair was especially treasured.

Maria will be remembered as a loving and supportive wife, a devoted and nurturing mother, a praying Oma, a true friend and a sincere follower of Jesus Christ.

The family will treasure the legacy of journals and stories she left behind, which chronicle her life from childhood to present.

Maria was predeceased by her husband, Hillenius (Len) Hettinga (2011); her son, Harold John Hettinga (1958); and her brother, Hans.

She is survived by her son, Fred (Janie) and children, Justin (Tammy), Joel (Lana), Mark (Kerstin) and Benjamin (Lorenne); her daughter, Wilma (Jack) Esselink and children, Kris (Katy), Joanna, Jacob (fiancé Jenna) and Kerrilyn; her daughter, Joanne (Andy) Van Beek and children Jocelyn (Jeff) Marble, Colin, Reuben (Chantel) and Shawn; her son, John (Grace) and children Daniel (Alyssa), Sarah (Ryan) McInerney, and Rachel; adopted son, Stewart; and the family of Alex and Josette Vargas.

She is also survived by 10 great-grandchildren.

A family burial will take place in Emo Cemetery prior to the memorial service, which will be held at Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at Emo Christian Reformed Church with a luncheon to follow.

If friends so desire, a memoriam donation may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators, c/o Northridge Funeral Home, Box 89, Emo, Ontario, P0W 1E0.

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