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Tietske "Tillie" Piersma Herrema
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Birth: May 22, 1891
Grand Rapids
Kent County
Michigan, USA
Death: Mar. 24, 1976
Jenison
Ottawa County
Michigan, USA

Tillie was born in Grand Rapids MI to parents who immigrated from the Netherlands. Her parents were Pieter Alderts Piersma (1856-1903) and Grietje (Gertrude) Brouwer Piersma (1866-1957). Her father died when she was 12 years old, leaving her mother with 9 children to raise. The baby was only 2 months old and there was no government assistance in 1912 to help her out. She learned to speak Dutch from her parents, and it was spoken in the schools in Grand Rapids and also in the Dutch Christian Reformed Churches in GR.

She married Simon Herrema on Sept. 24, 1914 and they had 6 children. Later in life they were referred to as Simple Simon and Tillie the Toiler.

Grandma was raised in the era where women wore skirts and dresses, even when going to the beach. She even gardened in a dress and almost always wore an apron over it. She wore hair nets, chunky shoes and stockings with seams running up the back of her legs. She sewed on an old treadle machine that you worked with your feet and she was always bustling about in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up.

She believed that working on Sunday was sinful, so all her food was prepared on Saturday for eating on Sunday. Sunday was a day of rest, so Saturday was always a busy day preparing everything for keeping the Sabbath. This was the way she was raised at the turn of the century and I don't think she ever questioned it. I think she relaxed that view more as time went on, and she even grew to accept movies as something to be enjoyed and not shunned as evil. I was with her as she attended her very first and probably last movie, The Hiding Place, which she enjoyed.

It was hard watching my beloved grandmother grow older, moving from her home of many years into assisted living, having to downsize everything that she loved and that was familiar to her and grandpa. When I arrived one day to help her pack, I noticed framed photographs sitting in the trash and I asked her why she would throw away family photos. Her answer was, "Who would want those old things." I told her I did and she gave them to me. They are my treasured possessions.

1. Gertrude Mae Herrema (Berends) 1915-2004
2. George Edward Herrema 1916-2009
3. Beatrice Ella Herrema (Remtema) 1917-2003
4. Russell J Herrema 1920-2006
5. Maynard John (Mink) Herrema 1923-
6. Mildred June Herrema (Ickes) (Gabbert) 1927-
They also had 27 grandchildren. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Pieter Alderts Piersma (1856 - 1903)
  Grietje Brouwer Piersma (1866 - 1956)
 
 Spouse:
  Siebe (Simon) Cyrus Herrema (1889 - 1979)*
 
 Children:
  Gertrude Mae Berends (1915 - 2004)*
  George Edward Herrema (1916 - 2009)*
  Beatrice Ella Herrema Remtema (1917 - 2003)*
  Russell J Herrema (1920 - 2006)*
 
 Siblings:
  Johanna Piersma Walma (1890 - 1961)*
  Tietske Piersma Herrema (1891 - 1976)
  Aldert Piersma (1893 - 1975)*
  Herman (Baby) Piersma (1894 - 1894)*
  Harriet Piersma Rinzema (1895 - 1950)*
  Anna Piersma Timmerman (1896 - 1973)*
  Martin J Piersma (1898 - 1944)*
  Herman Piersma (1899 - 1971)*
  Mint Piersma (1903 - 1968)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Grandville Cemetery
Grandville
Kent County
Michigan, USA
Plot: 825 4NW
 
Created by: Sandy Vandertol
Record added: Oct 17, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99101926
Tietske Tillie <i>Piersma</i> Herrema
Added by: Sandy Vandertol
 
Tietske Tillie <i>Piersma</i> Herrema
Added by: Sandy Vandertol
 
Tietske Tillie <i>Piersma</i> Herrema
Added by: Sandy Vandertol
 
 
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"You are a good woman Tillie" is what grandpa would say to you when you were bustling around in the kitchen and he would go off whistling to work. I remember that from when I was 6 years old and had a sleep over at your house in Grandville.
- Sandy Vandertol
 Added: Apr. 4, 2015

- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: Nov. 22, 2013
I still miss my grandmother and have wonderful memories of her.
- Sandy Vandertol
 Added: Feb. 11, 2013
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