Clarice Pasma Van Dyken went to join her family, friends, and Savior in heaven on March 5, 2020.
Born in Lebanon, Iowa, on January 23, 1922, she moved with her family to Ripon, California, at the age of 14. An accomplished ice skater, she turned down an opportunity to skate professionally because it would require Sunday participation. She married Paul Van Dyken in 1945, and together they raised eight children.
Throughout her life, Clarice worked as a bookkeeper, bus driver, and nurse aide; however, she gave most of her energies to making her home a place of warmth and love. Her children remember coming home to fresh-baked bread and cinnamon rolls, hot meals (fixed on a shoestring budget), and lots of canned cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, applesauce, and salsa. Mom had asked God to make her home a place of welcome and hospitality, and she welcomed guests with enthusiasm. She worked tirelessly with Vietnamese refugees and with the Gideons International.
Clarice was known for her kindness, grace, and a deep love of Scripture. In middle age she began a course of Scripture memorization and study, and regularly rose at 5 am to drink her coffee, pray, and meditate on Scripture. Her children noted the lack of criticism and gossip around the dinner table, and Mom’s willingness to see the best in others.
Clarice loved adventure. She traveled to the Netherlands at age 90, to Hawaii at 95, and to Minnesota just a few months before she died. Whether it was jumping into icy water, plunging down a water slide, or climbing over stone walls to reach a favorite picnic spot, her motto was, “Of course I’m going to try this. When will I get another chance?”
Clarice was preceded in death by her husband; her oldest son, Larry; and her granddaughter Christa Van Dyken. Remaining children include Gayle Van Dyken, Cora Brouwer, Edith Bajema (Phil), Paul Van Dyken (Del), Ted Van Dyken (Carol), Barb De Jong (Gord), Ruth Rowenhorst (Russ), along with 21 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She was present for almost all of her grandchildren’s births, and they knew her deep and uncritical love for each one—and benefited from her faithful prayers. The world was a richer, better place for her having lived here. Best of all, she showed us what it was to be a humble, faith-filled, and selfless follower of Jesus Christ.
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