Thursday, January 5, 2023
10:00 AM EST
Free Reformed Church
950 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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.
Free Reformed Church - Dorcas Guild
950 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Word & Deed Ministries - Camp Canaan
PO Box 157
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Lamont Christian School - Bus Fund
5260 Leonard Street
Coopersville, MI 49404
memo line "Bus Fund"
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Laurina Vander Sloot, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. She was never afraid to work hard in order to provide for herself and those who depended on her, giving those around her so much to aspire for. Nothing brought Laurina greater joy than spending time with her loved ones, even in the simplest of times. She was well known for her unshakeable faith and for her insatiable zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Deeply loved, Laurina will be forever missed by those who knew her best.
The early 40s were difficult years in the Netherlands. It had become an occupied territory, and the hardships the people of the Netherlands faced were numerous as a result. Despite the trials around them, Adrian and Pauline (Noorlander) Van Kempen were able to focus on an exciting time in their lives as they awaited the birth of their new baby in April of 1942. Their wait was over when the baby girl they named Laurina Johanna drew her first breath on April 28th in the Western region of the country.
Growing up, Laurina was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. Much of her childhood was spent in her native country of the Netherlands. When Laurina was nine years old, the Van Kempen family immigrated to the United States and settled down in Eastmanville, where her father was able to support his family by working on a dairy farm as he had done in the Netherlands. After about a year, Laurina’s family moved to a farm of their own. She helped out around the family farm by doing her share of chores, forming the foundation for her solid work ethic.
Laurina was raised in the family home alongside her siblings, Pete, Johanna, and Pauline. The Van Kempen family attended Free Reformed Church, where Laurina would be a faithful member for the rest of her life. She went to a one-room schoolhouse for a time, but when her mother began struggling with her health Laurina left school behind in order to care for her and help around the house. At a fairly early age, she learned the importance of responsibility. Laurina was also very independent and even drove herself to her driver’s education classes since she had a farmer’s permit. She soon began working at a teller at a local bank as well.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Laurina as she met the man who would quickly become the love of her life. His name was Paul Vander Sloot, a young man from church. The two first got to know each other at an ice rink and felt an instant connection. Over time, their relationship blossomed into something truly special. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Laurina and Paul were married on May 10, 1963. The newlyweds enjoyed a honeymoon in the mountains of Tennessee before settling into their first home together. Within two years, they moved into a house on Paul’s family farm.
All who knew Laurina can certainly agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her loved ones above all else. She and Paul were overjoyed to welcome four children, Paul, Mary Jo, Karen, and Mark, into their hearts and home. After the birth of her first child, Laurina dedicated herself to remaining close to home and raising her children. She was a very supportive mother, but she could be tough on her children and discipline them when they needed it. The children helped her in the garden and with the canning each summer, filling the cellar with canned vegetables and fruits to enjoy throughout the year. Laurina cooked regular, hearty meals, and she usually took care of their swimming pool as well. Most importantly, she taught her children the importance of faith and spiritual growth. Later in life, Laurina was thrilled to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She adored her children, and she always took great interest in their activities. Laurina always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Throughout her whole life, Laurina poured her heart and her soul into both her home and her community. Her husband, Paul, worked as tool and die maker, but he kept up with the work around their farm as well. Laurina helped with the work by raking hay, even with a child on her hip. She was also involved in her children’s school, Lamont Christian School. Laurina was a servant at the school and at her church, and she was always the first to volunteer for any project. She drove a bus for Lamont for 45 years, impacting generations of students. She and Paul, along with daughter, Karen, were involved in missions in Guatemala. Laurina went on a total of 20 trips, teaching vacation Bible school and doing crafts. Her years of service allowed her to touch countless lives.
Never one to sit still for long, Laurina pursued several hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She was active in the ladies’ society at her church, forming several priceless friendships. Laurina had a passion for singing, and with her rich alto voice and participated in her church choir and also the Metropolitan Choir. Over the years, the Vander Sloot family took many memorable vacations to Big Star Lake. Laurina enjoyed sewing and would often make clothing for her children when they were young. She also liked crafting, cross-stitching, crocheting, and knitting.
As her family and friends can surely attest, Laurina Vander Sloot truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times. A caring wife and mother, Laurina was proud to watch her family tree grow to include so many loved ones. She always had an encouraging word to say, and she was well known for her infectious laugh and her heart of service. Though she will be dearly missed, Laurina leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
Four years ago, Laurina was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. She fought courageously with the assistance of Dr. Brader and his staff as well as the support of her family. In the last week, the support from Faith Hospice was a gift for Laurina and her family.
Laurina J. Vander Sloot (nee Van Kempen), age 80, of Coopersville, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on December 31, 2022. She had great love and was devoted to her husband, children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Many remember Laurina for her compassion for children as she drove bus for Lamont Christian School for 45 years and went on many mission trips to Guatemala. But the source of her love was found in the relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Laurina is survived by her husband of nearly 60 years, Paul; their children Paul & Laurie Vander Sloot, Mary Jo Vander West, Karen Vander Sloot, Mark & Michelle Vander Sloot; grandchildren and great-grandchildren Jennifer & Tony Scheidel (Ajay, Halia), Corey & Melissa Vander Sloot (Letty, Graham), Caleb & Stephanie Vander West (Bristol), Victoria & Riley Fish (Easton, Sayler), Rebecca, Anna, Stephen and Abigail Vander Sloot; brother and sisters Pete & Minnie Van Kempen, Johanna & Ben Schipper, Pauline & Dave Wallinga; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Jack (Jan) Vander Sloot, Dave (Marlene) Vander Sloot, Jane (John) Koomans; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Her funeral service will be held Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 11 AM at Free Reformed Church, 950 Ball Avenue NE. Friends are invited to visit with Laurina’s family on Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Van Strien Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield Ave NE and on Thursday at the church beginning at 10 AM. Memorial contributions are suggested to Free Reformed Church Dorcas Guild, Word & Deed – Camp Canaan, or Lamont Christian School (memo: Bus Fund). To share a memory or photo, or to sign her guestbook, visit www.heritagelifestory.com.