Obituary: Cornelia (Nene) Flikkema Vander Molen

Posted at 4:31 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 18:31:04-05

When He cometh, when He cometh to make up His jewels,

All His jewels, precious jewels, His loved and His own,

Like the stars of the morning His bright crown adorning,

They shall shine in their beauty, Bright gems for His crown.

Cornelia (Nene) Flikkema Vander Molen was added to God’s crown of jewels on February 17, 2021.

This song is one of many that mom would sing to us “3 little girls” at night, as she lay at the end of our bed. Mom had a servant’s heart and in every phase of her life she used that heart to help others. Whether she was bringing meals out to the field, cooking at the Eagles Roost, cooking at Manhattan Christian School Cafeteria, or cooking at the Churchill Retirement Home, she did it with love! Do you see the theme…cooking, she loved to prepare meals for anyone who needed one. She was the best at Roast Beef dinner!!

Mom was born on December 28, 1931, and lived the first years of her life in Hull, Iowa. She ventured to Montana as a teenager and fell in love with a dashing young man by the name of Philip Flikkema; they married in October of 1952. Together they have six children, Vonnie Kimm (Charlie), Everett Flikkema (Laurie), Glen Flikkema (Diana), Carol Feddes (Chuck), Leanne Moss (Keith), and Halane VanDyken (Rick). In 1995 dad died and mom was alone for 18 years. During those years she was always busy! Although she never wanted to be in the spotlight, her light shown in everything she did. She trusted God to provide, she believed in His promises, and she lived out her faith, even in the last weeks of her life. One of the last visits with mom was done over Skype and God graciously allowed her to remember the words of the song “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!” Not only was this gracious to mom, but even more so to us, her children, as we were in need of some reassurance that God was walking with her and taking care of her. We couldn’t have asked for a clearer message from God that HE WAS watching her when we couldn’t. You could often hear mom singing or humming as she worked, and the songs were always ones of praise to her Savior, or of the promises of God! What a precious memory! When she was 80 years old, she married Harold Vander Molen and they spent eight years together. The companionship and time they spent together was a blessing!

Mom had 10 brothers and sisters and she loved each of them dearly. Losing her most dear sister Margaret in April 2020 was very hard on Mom, but she again clung to the promise that they would see each other again in Glory. Her brother, Uncle John Vis, is her only living sibling and she loved him so! Mom also has sisters-in-law, Aunt Gert Vis, Aunt Edith Vis, Aunt Jean VanDyken, Aunt Aggie Hoekema, and Aunt Audrey Flikkema, and brother-in-law, Uncle Pete Kimm who are also living…oh, so many memories! The legacy of the Vis and Flikkema families is one that only God could write, and we are so thankful for the Godly heritage that we have! With the blessings of a large family comes the blessings of many, many memories.

Mom was also grandma to 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, with a new great-grandchild on the way in April. Grandma took special care to pray for each of her grandkids and great-grandkids by name; it was her greatest desire that each of them have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ! Grandma’s heart was broken, as was all of ours, when her grandson, Brett Flikkema, passed away.

We want to thank the staff at Spring Creek Inn for taking such good care of our mom! It takes very special people to do the job you do, and you do it so well. Thank you! To the members of Compassus, thank you for the roll you played in this difficult time of Covid! Although Covid did not takes mom’s life, Covid did take a huge part of our hearts. Not being able to be with mom on her journey with dementia over the last seven months was agonizing and broke our hearts; however, we rested in the promise that God said He would never leave her and that He would welcome mom home into His loving arms! We had to remind each other of this often in the last few weeks because the burden was heavy! We are so thankful that God made it possible for us to physically spend the last days and hours with Mom. Being able to hold her hand, sing hymns, read scripture, and pray with her has helped heal our hearts that were so broken because of separation.

We will miss mom, grandma, and great-grandma beyond words, but what blessed assurance we have that we will see her again in Glory! “To God be the glory, great things He has done!”

“To God Be the Glory, Great Things He has done;

so loved He the World that He gave us His Son,

who yielded His life an atonement for sin

and opened the life-gate that all may go in!

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,

and great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son,

but purer, and higher, and greater will be,

our wonder, our victory, when Jesus we see.”

Mom’s faith has now become sight!

A celebration of mom’s life will be held Tuesday, February 23 with Graveside Services at 10:00 A.M. at Churchill Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at Bethel Christian Reformed Church at 11:00 A.M. Memorials can be made to Manhattan Christian School.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. []