Elaine Bielefeld ’46 Walchenbach

Elaine Bielefeld Walchenbach, 94, has entered the presence of the living God. Her life was well lived, marked by faithfulness, prayer and a grateful heart. Jesus welcomed her home on Saturday, March 16, 2019. 

Elaine’s life was a beautiful example of a life lived for Jesus and others. She was a fantastic mother and a fabulous grandmother and greatgrandmother. In 1981, Elaine was chosen “Michigan Mother of the Year!”

She impacted so many people with her positive, warm, kind manner and always greeted people with a friendly smile. 

She was considerate, encouraging and believed in everyone, reflecting Jesus’ love. Elaine had a passion for passing along her faith and for helping women grow in their faith. She was committed to the ministry of Words of Hope on which she served as a board member. In the churches where Elaine worshiped with her family, she was a willing servant, including serving as an elder, participating in music ministry and various leadership roles.

She also served as a consultant for Reformed Church Women. As a former high school teacher and lifelong learner, Elaine enjoyed Bible Studies, book clubs and being a member of HASP. 

Elaine was a Hope College graduate and an active supporter of the Hope College community and was honored with the Hope Distinguished Alumni Award. She grew up in First Reformed Church of Holland, was a member of Fifth Reformed Church in Grand Rapids and more recently a member of Christ Memorial Church in Holland. Elaine was born to Albert and Carrie Bielefeld and married Donald Walchenbach in 1948. Their four daughters and sons in law are: Lynne and Dennis Hendricks, Cathy and Brian Koop, Carrie and Dale Homkes and Nancy and Jon Curry. 

She has ten grandchildren: Jennifer and Brian Dykstra, Paul and Allison Hendricks, Carrie and Mike Traver, Sarah and Chris VanDeven, Jonathan and Betsy Koop, Alex and Kendall Homkes, Austin and Anne Homkes, Natalie, Madeline and Hilary Curry. She has fifteen great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald, sisters and brothers in law, Emily and Henry Mouw, Dorothy and Harold DeRoo and great-grandson, Iver Koop.

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