Constance VanZylen ’53 Ryskamp Schipper
Constance “Connie” (Van Zylen) Ryskamp-Schipper, age 87, of Holland died Tuesday, November 27, 2018, at The Inn at Freedom Village in Holland and was welcomed by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Connie was born July 9, 1931, in Holland, Michigan to Charles and Emma (Post) Van Zylen. Connie graduated from Holland High School in 1949. In 1953, she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Hope College. She furthered her education by earning her master’s degree in Reading from West Chester University and her doctorate in education (EdD) from the University of Pennsylvania. She spent her career as a reading specialist, a reading programs coordinator and an elementary school principal. Connie’s hobbies included crafts, sewing, knitting, reading, golf, and playing cards and board games.
Connie used her considerable energy, creativity, leadership abilities and concern for others as she participated in and led community and church groups. A woman of deep faith, she was a long-time member of the United Presbyterian Church of Manoa in Havertown, Pennsylvania, where she served as deacon and elder, in addition to other positions. She also played pivotal roles in establishing the KEEP preschool program and Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group at her church. Active in her community, Connie served as president of the Women’s Club of Newtown Square and helped establish the Newtown Public Library.
A gregarious person, Connie enjoyed spending time with friends and family. She especially relished summers at the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey, and after retirement wintered in North Fort Myers, Florida. She and her husband Jack traveled extensively for pleasure and to spend time with their 10 grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her first husband John (Jack) Howard Ryskamp in 2010 and son Dr. Richard Post Ryskamp in 2015. In 2011, she married Wayne Schipper of Holland, Michigan, and moved to Freedom Village in Holland.
Connie will be remembered for her warm, welcoming personality, ready smile and boundless energy. She will greatly be missed by her daughters Cynthia (Michael) Mehallow, Carol (Glenn) Anderson and Nancy (Michael) Maratea, her daughterin- law Annemarieke (Van Gurp) Ryskamp, as well as her grandchildren: Samuel Ryskamp, Thomas Ryskamp, Michael Mehallow, Matthew Mehallow, Michelle Mehallow, Eric Anderson, Evan Anderson, Marisa Maratea, Jenna Maratea, and Justin Maratea.