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Edie M. Tillema

March 11, 1938 ~ March 6, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old


Edith Mae Tillema (Edie) went home to her Lord and Savior on March 6, 2023 at the age of 85.  She was born on March 11, 1938 in Grand Rapids, MI and as a young child her family moved to Chicago. She lived in the suburbs of Chicago and attended Wheaton Academy High School.  She married John Tillema in 1956 and gave birth to four sons settling in Downers Grove, Ill. In 1967, Edie and John along with their four sons moved to San Jose, California so that John could work in and eventually own a small cabinet shop in Saratoga, CA.


As her sons became more independent, she went to work for Hewlett-Packard’s Calculator Division in Cupertino, CA.  She worked in several different positions at HP but she enjoyed most her role of Production Assistant managing and maintaining technical documentation for an engineering team.  After she retired from HP in 1990, she moved with her husband John to Auburn, CA where they spent time gardening, hosting family gatherings and exploring Auburn and surrounding communities.  In 2009 Edie and John moved to Ripon CA to be closer to family.  They found a home and community at Chesapeake Landing and a church home at First Christian Reformed.


Edie had a lovely soprano voice and during high school sang in the Wheaton Academy choir.  Later in life she sang in the San Jose Christian Reformed Church choir. From time to time, she pulled out the accordion and played some well-known songs – a talent she shared with her father.  She was often heard singing the great hymns by heart as she washed dishes at the kitchen sink.


Edie had one sister, Pat, but no brothers which meant she had little preparation for raising four boys.  However, she adeptly managed the boys and was a faithful attendee at countless baseball, basketball and football games.  All four boys played multiple sports which kept her and John very busy.  She was a “sports mom” long before this moniker entered the contemporary lexicon. She was always a tireless encourager of her sons.


Edie enjoyed the quiet pursuits of gardening and reading.  It was quite common to find her nestled in her recliner with a crossword puzzle in hand while her husband watched football or “exciting” golf on TV.  She loved flowers of all kinds and her garden was replete with many varieties.  She had a special affinity for the African Violet that had soft, velvety petals as well as beautiful purple flowers.  She often mentioned that these flowers needed special care to thrive.


Edie’s favorite time was when she was surrounded by her family.  She loved her parents, her sister, her husband, her sons and daughters-in-law, her nephews, her eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was richly blessed and shared her love with all those around her.


In Edie’s last four years of life, her oldest-living son, Kirk, took excellent care of her.  The family extends its deepest appreciation to Kirk for his sacrificial giving and patient love for his mom.


Edie was preceded in death by her husband John Tillema Sr., her oldest son, John Jr. as well as her parents Richard and Anna Petersen.  She is survived by her sister Patricia Odell (Gary) as well as three sons and four daughters-in-law: John Jr. (deceased) & Penny, Kirk & Kelli, Mike & Tammy and Mark & Vicki. She is also survived by three loving nephews and 11 grandchildren: Ryan, Kelsey Bousema (Jordan), Landon (Tiffany), Aron (Sara), Trevor, Carly Alsum (Michael), Zach, Nathan (Kelsey), Bryson, Cade and Prestin as well as five great-grandchildren.


Edie is greatly missed by all of us but our sorrow and loss give way to joy and hope. Edie is Home now.


A Memorial Service will be held on March 25 at 11:00 a.m. at First Church, 305 Boesch Dr, Ripon, CA.


Remembrances can be made to Bethany Home/Beth Haven - 930 W Main St, Ripon, CA 95366 or to the charity of your choice.


Memorial service
March 25, 2023

11:00 AM
First Christian Reformed Church
305 Boesch Dr
Ripon, CA 95366


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