Thelma Oonk ’47 Brower

Thelma Brower, 95, of Urbandale, died on June 21, 2020, at Calvin Community.

Private family graveside service was held in Lindenwood Cemetery near Geneva, Iowa. A public celebration of Thelma’s Life will be at a later date at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines. Arrangements are under the direction of Iles Funeral Home in Des Moines. Online condolences are welcome at

Thelma was born on April 6, 1925, in Holland, Mich., to John and Elsie (Teerman) Oonk. Her time on the shore of Lake Michigan lasted through Hope College, where she met and married Rev. Myron H. Brower.

The two served Presbyterian congregations in South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. After Myron’s passing in 1983, Thelma continued to work as the director of the Developmental Achievement Center, providing training and support to many with disabilities. When she retired, she returned to Iowa where she was an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines.

Thelma’s vast matriarchy grew from the strength of her character, and friends and family remember her, above all, as an exceptionally kind person.

She is survived by her children, Mary Jo Bosteels of Pleasanton, Calif., DeAnne Petts of Urbandale, and Stephen (Jane) Brower of Urbandale; 10 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and sister, Connie Davis of Higden, Ark.

Thelma was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. Myron H. Brower; brothers, James and Jack Oonk; and son-in-law, Skip Petts.

Return to Current In Memoriam