April 20, 1927 – March 21, 2017

Mrs. Mini Woltjer of Lacombe, Alberta was called home by her Lord and Savior on Tuesday March 21, 2017 at the age of 89 years. She passed away peacefully at the Red Deer Regional Hospital.

Wilhelmina ‘Mini’ Berendina was born April 20, 1927 to Dirk and Hendrika Simmelink in Winterswijk, the Netherlands. She grew up as an only daughter along with five brothers in an area of Holland called the ‘Achterhoek’ in the district of the Woold, only 5 km from the German border. She survived World War II before coming to Canada in March of 1956. Mini already had two brothers Bill and Ben Simmelink in Rocky Mt. House, Alberta, so it was a natural fit. She gained employment at the PTS “Provincial Training School” in Red Deer. This is where she met Herman Woltjer and in less than six months of courtship they were engaged to be married. Mini returned to Holland in September of 1956 to go home to see her parents as she promised and returned in December 1956 to immigrate to Canada. On January 19, 1957 Mini married her one true love Herman Woltjer. When they were first married they rented a basement suite in Red Deer before they purchased their first farm in 1958. They were able to move to this property in 1959 and their farming life began in earnest. In short order four children Andy, Roy, Annette and Herb were born to their union. Life took on a rhythm and as the family grew so did the farm. Herman and Mini were blessed with another daughter Jeanne in 1968 and their family was complete.

In May 1973 Herman and Mini moved to Lacombe where they were able to expand their dairy farm, send their children to a Christian school, maintain their membership in a Reformed Church and take part in community life in the Lakeside District of Lacombe County.

In 1977 their lives were forever changed by the loss of their young 16 year old son Roy who died during open heart surgery after a life long struggle with a heart condition.

Throughout her life Mini was blessed with a strong faith in God that was evident to all who knew her. She was courageous, had a relentless work ethic and was a very industrious person. In her later years many people enjoyed the fruits of her labours – knitted booties, crocheted baby blankets and colourful socks to name a few. Mini was a loving mother and a caring grandmother. She had a comfortable way with children and easily adopted any who were in need of a surrogate grandmother.

Mini was predeceased by her infant sister Wilhelmina in 1922, her parents Dirk and Hendrika Simmelink, her parents-in-law Andries and Antonia Woltjer, her brothers Jan (Johanna) Simmelink, Henk (Jo) Simmelink, brothers-in-law Wim Nijhuis, Jurjen Woltjer, Jan Hogenbirk, Koos Visser, sisters-in-law Corrie van der Vegt-Woltjer and Betty Simmelink, her son Roy Woltjer and her great grandson Nathaniel Wildeboer.

Mini will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her husband of 60 years Herman Woltjer, her children Andy (Edna) Woltjer, Annette (Murray) Wiersma, Herb (Debi) Woltjer, and Jeanne (Marvin) Ebens, grandchildren Angela (Steve) Wildeboer, Sarah Grant, Amanda (Jordan) Rein, Mitchell (Amanda) Woltjer, Ben Woltjer, Carmen (Steve) McKerrow, Lindsay Wiersma, Amber (Johnathon) Nagel, Stuart (Kelsie) Wiersma, Meryl (Dave) McPherson, Erin (Troy) DeHaan, Brandon Woltjer, Travis Ebens (Fiancée Brooke Schamber), Kayleen (Jesse) Sandin, Alana (Justin) Babcock, Russell Ebens, Leah Ebens, and 19 great-grandchildren. Mini will also be lovingly remembered by her 3 brothers Ben, Bill (Lennie), Harry (Irene) Simmelink, her brother and sister in-law Klaas Woltjer (Betsy) and her in-laws in Holland Gerrie Woltjer-VenUlzen, Jan van der Vegt, Ina Woltjer (Piet), Diewie Visser (Jan), Betsy Visser-Woltjer, Anneke Demmink (Henk), Riet Hogenbirk-Woltjer and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service for Mrs. Mini Woltjer will be held at the Bethel Christian Reformed Church on Monday April 3 at 1:00 pm.

A special Thank you goes out to Dr. OJ, Dr. Mulholland, Dr. McLean and all the amazing staff on Units 33 and 35 for your outstanding care and kindness shown to Mini in her last days.

In lieu of flowers donation can be made to Hope: Effect formerly known as Leprosy Mission Canada.

Condolences may be forwarded to the family by visiting

Arrangements entrusted to


4820 45st Red Deer, Alberta

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