Life Story / Obituary
Thomas Smith, passed away September 2, 2018 and Beatrice Unema Smith passed away December 13, 2020 both previously of Holland.
A memorial service will take place on Friday, September 9, 2022 at 11:00am at Dykstra Funeral Home - Downtown Chapel (29 E 9th Street, Holland). Burial will follow at Pilgrim Home Cemetery in Holland.
Thomas Smith Obituary
Thomas Lucas Smith, 90, passed away Sunday morning, September 2, 2018, at Southern Hills Care in Osceola, Iowa. Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 pm Saturday, September 8, 2018, at Unity Church of Des Moines. His ashes will be interred in a family plot in Holland, Michigan.
Thomas was born on December 26, 1927, in Holland, Michigan, to Thomas and Elizabeth (De Pree) Smith, and grew up in Grandville Michigan. He was joined in marriage to Beatrice Unema on June 8, 1951. Tom and Bea enjoyed 67 loving years together. Beatrice survives him and currently resides at Southern Hills Care in Osceola, Iowa. They attended Unity Church in Des Moines for many years.
Thomas was one of our brave soldiers in WWII, stationed in the Pacific. After his honorable discharge, he graduated from Hope College and Calvin Seminary in Michigan. He was a Christian Reformed minister, serving churches in Holland, Minnesota, South Bend, Indiana, and Des Moines, Iowa. He was an inspiring speaker and congregation members often commented that his messages were moving and thoughtful. He then obtained a Masters in Social Work at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and retired after 23 years of service as a distinguished supervisor for the Iowa Department of Human Services, on December 31, 1992.
Thomas is survived by his children, sons Mark Bryan (Brenda) Smith of Des Moines, Iowa, Kurt Lauren (Diana) de Boer of Walnut Creek, California, Phillip Dean (Shana) Smith of Osceola, Iowa and his dear daughter, Kristin Yvonne (Lynn) Kraemer of Lenexa, Kansas.
He is also survived by his sister, Beth (Jacob) Essenberg of Holland Michigan and his brother, James A. (Mildred (d)) Smith of Jacksonville FL.
Tom and Bea have five grandchildren, Tara J. (Joseph) Diemer, Bryan T. (Toni) Smith, Matthew J. (Kali) Smith, David A. (Megan) Smith, and Arianna Kraemer-Michaelson; six great grand-children, Jessica and Laura Diemer, Aurora Smith, and Leah, Josiah, and Mariah Smith.
Thomas enjoyed many hobbies during his long and abundant years. Among his favorite outdoor activities were time spent on Lake Michigan beaches, fishing lakes, hunting, gardening, watching car races, and golf. He enjoyed vacationing with the family at lakes, beaches, and parks.
Thomas had a deep appreciation for music. In his college years, he sang bass with the Hope College Glee Club which toured in New York City and other eastern cities. It was in the Christian Reformed Church choir where he met Beatrice. His love of music was life-long, especially the great choral works, and Handel’s Messiah (which he played every Christmas) was among his favorites. In later years, he put phrases by a writer who inspired him to music and performed them at Unity Church in Des Moines.
Thomas was invited back to the pulpit by Unity in his later years where he gave several inspiring sermons drawing on his lifetime of experience and wisdom.
He made beautiful coin and trinket display cases out of wood and Plexiglas. He developed and patented a dart board field and scoring system for simulated baseball. In his late years, he produced beautiful and intricate colored-pencil art and gave these to his children, grand-children, and close friends.
Bea and Tom stayed close together until the end. All who met them remarked on what a sweet couple they were, and they endeared themselves to many. Thank you to all of their dear friends for their support and loving kindness. Please visit Bea when you are able.
The family would like to express gratitude to Unity Point Hospice for their many means of support over the past 2 years. They enabled a much more comfortable life for both Tom and Bea. Likewise, Unity Church minister Cynthia and members of the congregation who have assisted, visited, and supported them.
Beatrice Smith Obituary
Beatrice was born April 21, 1927 at home (with a doctor in the house) to her parents, Anna (Bosch) and Peter Unema. Her sole sibling Norman was five years younger and passed away six years ago. She grew up in Holland, Michigan and attended Holland Christian schools. Many summers were spent on the shores of Lake Michigan with friends and family. They were greatly fond of Ottawa Park, enjoying sandy beaches and catching perch using long cane poles off the pier.
In her 20's, Bea worked at Netherlands information bureau for six years. Her family attended the Christian Reformed Church, where she met her life-long love and husband, Thomas Lucas Smith at the church choir. They were married on June 6, 1951. She spent the first 15 years of marriage supporting Tom and their growing family as he ministered at churches in Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, and finally in Des Moines, lowa. They remained residents of low for their remaining years together.
Bea's fondest memories were "when the children were small". They were blessed with four children in five years. She was active in the church as an organist, Sunday school organizer, summer school, and hostess for many meetings. She provided many warm memories for the family, organizing weekly trips to Lake Michigan and yearly trips to a cottage at Big Star Lake.
In 1970, Tom and Bea began a new phase in their life as Tom moved out of the ministry and into Social Service to the community. Bea supported the family for a time as Tom completed his master's in social work. She worked as grocery store buyer, then as group home mother for teenage girls. At age 50 she went back to college and graduated with a two-year college degree in social work. She went on to work at the YWCA, then obtained her real estate license selling residential houses. Her career was cut short when surgery on her right hip had complications, leaving her with debilitating pain and mobility issues.
Bea loved her grandchildren, and took many pictures, creating memory albums. Other hobbies included taking care of plants and making special family foods Bea and Tom found a new spiritual home at Unity Church of Des Moines. They were very active in the church, and beloved by the members there. Bea contributed to the prayer team, and was known for her gentle spirit, kind encouragement, and willingness to serve. Our family is grateful to the Minister and others at Unity who supported them with care, comfort, and companionship in their waning years.
She is survived by her children (married). Mark Smith (Brenda Klinkenbeard), Kristin Kramer (Lynn Michaclson), Lauren de Boer (Diana Brooks), and Phil Smith (Shana Stephenson). She has five grandchildren: Tara (m. Joe Diemer) and Bryan (by Mark), Arianna (by Kristin), and Matthew (m. Kali Smrcina), and David (m. Megan Redshaw) (by Phil). Great Grand Children: Jessica, Laura, Aurora, Bowen, Elliott, Leah, Josiah, Mariah Recently, Beatrice lived 17 years in West Des Moines and then Illihee independent living with Tom. Tom preceded her in death in September 2018. She had currently been living with and under the loving and dedicated care of her daughter Kristin and husband Lynn in Lenexa Kansas. She was aided by Kansas City Hospice.
Beatrice loved music, several of her favorite songs will be played at her service. She joins her husband, parents, and others who preceded her in death.
Her ashes, along with Tom's, will be interred together in Holland cemetery on a date to be determined.