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Welcome to the memorial page for

Leona A. Klooster

June 1, 1924 ~ August 15, 2017 (age 93)

Leona Alice Klooster, age 93, of Grand Rapids, was released from this life she loved to an even better one with her Lord on August 15, 2017. She was born in Trenton, New Jersey on June 1, 1924, beloved first child of John and Hattie DeWaard. She graduated from Calvin College in 1946 with a degree in history, which continued to inform her life-long worldview. She married Fred H Klooster on August 22 of the same year. The family enjoyed three educational and sabbatical stints overseas in Amsterdam, Basel, and Heidelberg and loved traveling together, exploring many biblical and historic sites and cultures.

She is survived by her children, Kathy (Norm) Sneller, Mary (Frank) Hillyard, Dan (Kori Kanayama), daughters-in-law Pat Bloem and Jan Klooster, sisters Mary Miller and Elsie Greydanus, and sisters-in-law Betty DeWaard and Janice Klooster; was preceeded in death by her husband, sons Rick and David, grandson Dan, and siblings Harriet, Murray, and John; was blessed by 16 fiercely loved grandchildren, Dan, Joel (Kristen), Jono (Emily), Jesse (Chelsea), Nate (Dana), Ben (Christina), Gabe, Rachel (Joe), Krista (Andy), Anna (Jeff), David, Josh (Kelly), Katie, Becca (Scott), Mai, and Joji and 5 great-grandchildren, Jude, Theo, Mae Leona, Samson, and Dakota, and many friends.

Our mother, grandmother, and Oma had a witty and delightful sense of humor; was exuberant about Lake Michigan and walks in the woods; taught us names of wildflowers; inspired a passion for social justice; enjoyed classical music; modeled an avid love of reading and of staying informed about world events; celebrated Sunday dinners for children, grandchildren, and their friends; listened intently to the stories of people’s lives; and loved her Lord and Savior.

A celebration of Lee’s life will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, August 20 at Raybrook Chapel, 2121 Raybrook SE, Grand Rapids, with Pastor Ruth Boven officiating. An ice cream social will follow. Please sign the family’s online guestbook at

Contributions in Leona’s memory may be made to CODE, Canadian Organization for Development through Education, for the David J. Klooster Library in Liberia, 321 Chapel St., Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 7Z2  website: … or to or to PROJECT CANEFIRE, PO Box 556, Lake City, MI 49651, website:


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