Serving West Michigan Since 1899

Harriet G. "Jerry" Van Putten

November 5, 1921 - July 30, 2018
Holland, MI



Friday, August 3, 2018
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Mulder Chapel
188 West 32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions


Saturday, August 4, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Central Park Reformed Church
614 Myrtle Ave.
Holland, MI 49423


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.

Central Park Reformed Church
614 Myrtle Ave.
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


Harriet G. “Jerry” Van Putten was a loving wife, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She knew the value of a life well lived and nothing brought her greater joy than to share in the many accomplishments of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A lifetime resident of Holland, Jerry played an active role in the community she loved. She leaves behind a rich legacy of being an independent person who managed to care for herself well into her aging years. Never one to remain idle, she remained active in her church community and the Ladies Guild until she was ninety years of age! A true American and devoted Christian from the greatest generation, Jerry will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered for generations to come.

Looking back on the 1920’s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a distinctive cultural edge. Radio stations were growing in operation throughout the US, the media was focused on jazz music and celebrities, and at the brink of what would be known as the Roaring Twenties, Henry and Anna (Derks) Teusink welcomed home their newborn daughter, Harriet G., on November 5, 1921, in Macatawa, Michigan. Born the youngest of nine children, she brought great joy into the hearts of her loving parents.

Growing up on a family farm, Jerry learned the value of a hard day’s work at an early age. She was known to entertain her older brother and sisters and loved to be outdoors. Her childhood was typical of the times and surviving the Great Depression had a lasting effect on her. The Teusink family never shied away from their strong work ethic and any challenge or hardship was met with their steadfast Christian faith. Jerry met the love of her life, Gordon Van Putten while riding her bike along the beach. She had taken a spill and being the gentleman that he was, Gordon had helped her up but not without first learning her name and asking her out! The two of them had a very special fondness for one another. Sharing many common interests they were meant to be together and joined in marriage in 1938 when Jerry was at the tender age of seventeen. Together they raised two wonderful sons, Thomas and David. Nothing brought her greater joy than being a mother. She wanted to ensure them with a lifetime of happy memories and she took the very best of care of the two of them.

Although her role as a mother fulfilled much of her time, Jerry held a vast array of many special interests over the years. She was extremely involved at Central Park Reformed Church where she was a lifetime member. She relished in her years of teaching Sunday School and participating in numerous church groups. For many years, she and Gordon also participated in the community theater. A natural actor, Jerry liked to perform and found great satisfaction from entertaining others. Well poised and equipped with a strong voice, she was often asked to perform readings for area ladies’ groups as well as church gatherings.

For enjoyment, Jerry tapped into her creative side and enjoyed painting and sketching over the years. She also loved to sew and make crafts. Delighted each time she was blessed with another grandchild, she remarkably handmade dolls for each of her them. She was exceptionally proud of this accomplishment. A lover of nature and outdoors, Jerry also played golf well into her seventies. When she and Gordon needed a reprieve from the harsh Michigan winters, they headed to Florida. Living in Holland for so many years, Jerry was drawn to the shoreline. She loved to take walks on the beach and spend time enjoying the ocean breeze. Described as inseparable, she and Gordon were like two peas in a pod. They thoroughly enjoyed one another’s company and loved each other unconditionally.

When Gordon passed away in 2012, after seventy fours years together, she leaned on her supportive friends and family to see her through. In 2013, she decided to move closer to her son, David, and daughter-in-law, Jeanne, in Elkhart, Indiana. Living at the Hubbard Hill Retirement Community, she made friends with another woman who had also lost her husband. They gathered regularly to play cards developing a trusting friendship. As a matter of fact, it was this same friend that supported Jerry in her final years by giving her the very best of care. Described as generous beyond measure, caring, and compassionate Jerry leaves behind many wonderful memories for all who knew and loved her. Although she will be deeply missed, may her loved ones find great comfort in reflecting on her guiding ways and gentle wisdom in the years she spent with each of them.

Harriet G. (Teusink) Van Putten, better known as “Jerry,” age 96, passed away, Monday, July 30, 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Anna Teusink; brothers, sisters, and in-laws. Jerry is survived by her cherished sons, Thomas G. (Suzanne) Van Putten, and David (Jeanne) Van Putten; five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and many nephews. Visitation will be from 5:30 p.m to 8:00 p.m., Friday, August 3rd, at the Dykstra Funeral Home – Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street, Holland, Michigan. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 4, at Central Park Reformed Church, 614 Myrtle Ave., Holland, MI. Rev. Kevin Kleinheksel officiating. Interment will be in Graafschap Cemetery in Holland. Memorial contributions can be made to Central Park Reformed Church, 614 Myrtle Ave., Holland, MI 49423. To sign an online register book, please visit Professional services entrusted to the Dykstra Funeral Home – Mulder Chapel.