Barbara Grasman ’56 Grootenhuis

Barbara Grootenhuis of Normal passed from this life on February 11, 2022. She was 87 years old. Barbara was born on September 28, 1934 in Coopersville, Michigan, to Charles and Alberta (Busman) Grasman. She grew up in a loving family and enjoyed aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. She was preceded in death by her parents, and sister, Joyce Metten, infant brother, Larry and brother-in-law Bob Grootenhuis. She is survived by her husband of 66 years, John, sister Donna Grasman ’69 (Roger) Brown, two children, Cathryn (Tim) Strader of Hudson, and David (Lori) Grootenhuis of Dublin, Ohio. Grandchildren, Brynn (Derek) Stephens of Forrest, Caleb (Erin) Strader of Peoria, Abby (John) Boesenberg of Normal, Connor Grootenhuis of Monroe, Louisiana, Evan Grootenhuis of Dublin, Ohio, and Parker Grootenhuis of Dublin, Ohio. Great grandchildren, Dillon Stephens, Kendall Stephens, Hallie Stephens, Paxton Strader, Knox Strader, and Tommy Boesenberg. Sister-in-law, Karen Grootenhuis. In 1955, Barbara married her schoolmate John, and often said she fell in love in second grade. They were graduated from Coopersville High School, and maintained a Michigan summer home where they spent much of each year with family and friends. Barbara received her BA degree from Hope College and her MA from Eastern Illinois University. She was a public school teacher in Michigan, Virginia, and for over 25 years In Danville, IL. She was awarded the first Danville Teacher of the Year Award in 1988. She enjoyed many talents and hobbies. She sewed her own clothes from a young age, she was a quilter, rug hooker, and wool artist. She was an avid reader and played bridge. The hobbies connected her with her many friends. Her greatest delight was her family. She loved being a mom and was very proud of her children. She was very involved with her children’s activities. This continued as the grandchildren came along. She and John traveled to see their activities whenever they could. She felt very blessed to live near her great grandchildren and spend time with each of them. Barbara sought to be cheerful and encouraging to all. Her favorite bible verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing: in everything give thanks.” Services for Barbara will be at Second Presbyterian Church where she was a deacon, worked on prayer quilts, was a member of Sarah Circle, and sang in the choir. Visitation will be Thursday, February 17 from 4 to 7 PM at Calvert Metzler Memorial Home and at Second Presbyterian Church from 10 to 11 AM on February 18. A funeral service will be held at Second Presbyterian Church at 11 AM on February 18. Memorials may be made to Second Presbyterian Church or a charity of the donor’s choice. The family requests that everyone follow CDC guidelines for COVID precautions. Please view the share your condolences and memories online at
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