Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Gertrude Vander Haar

November 12, 1924 - February 19, 2019
Holland, MI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

RCA Global Missions
4500 60th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Hope Church
77 West 11th Street
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


Trudy’s Life Story

Trudy was born November 12, 1924 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. She was the third of five children born to Rev. Herman and Jannetta (Kleinjan) Maassen. She spent much of her childhood in North Holland, Michigan. She graduated from Hope College in 1947. In the same year she was married to the Rev. Delbert Vander Haar and they lived in Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, southern California and Yokohama, Japan before retiring to Holland in 1992.

Trudy’s lifelong avocation and vocation was writing – curriculum, study guides and other publications for several denominations. After her children were grown, she wrote for the joy of it, publishing six books as memoirs. For eight years she interviewed and wrote biographies of Hope Church members for a publication called Branches of the Vine. Since 2007, she has written monthly columns entitled Geschriften for the Freedom Village newsletter. After returning to Holland, Trudy was an elder at Hope Church and a member of Hope Academy of Senior Professionals, and she became the first woman to serve as HASP president. She and her husband, Del, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hope College in 1998. In 1999, she and her husband moved to Freedom Village where she helped organize Mix and Mingle and chaired the Vespers committee.

Trudy was preceded in death by Del, her husband of almost 60 years.

She is survived by four children and their spouses: Timothy and his wife Susan of Muskegon, David and his wife Lynn, Philip and his wife Anne, each of Minnesota, and Jane and her husband Rowland Van Es, Jr. of Limuru, Kenya; as well as grandchildren Sarah (David), Amber (Ryan), Tiara (David), Melissa (Stephen), Emilie (Matt), Caroline (Noah), Simon, George, Jenna and Michelle; and great grandchildren Kaleb, Adalyn, Aidan, Regan, Kylan, Konner and Peter. She is also survived by her sister Lee and (Cliff) Posthuma, sister-in-law Edith Maassen and brother- and sister-in-law Donn and Helen (Vander Haar) Nelson, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Trudy loved her family and to travel--and to write about both. Her spirit of adventure and hospitality, her love of nature and beauty, and her curious mind and engaging spirit will be missed by all who knew her.

Memorial contributions can be made to RCA Global Missions or Hope Church, Holland, Michigan. Memorial service will be held Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:00 am at Hope Church. Arrangements are by Dykstra Funeral Home – Downtown Chapel. To sign an on-line registry or leave a memory please visit

Beyond Understanding

I do not understand how a violin string can be made to sing,

Or how the mind of a composer works to create such a beautiful thing -

But, I thank you God.

I do not understand how a word can be thought and heard,

Or how humans are equipped to laugh at the joyous or absurd -

But I thank you, God.

I do not understand something so profound as microwave or ultrasound

Or any of the scientific wonders that everywhere about -

But I thank you, God.

I do not understand how the food we need can come from a tiny seed

Or the mystery of growth in all plants from majestic tree to lowly weed

But, I thank you God.

I do not understand how we all came to be an even that there is a “me”

Or the complexities of birth, life and death, the marvel of humanity,

But I thank you, God.

Trudy Vander Haar