In loving memory of

Sandra Beth Ritsema
January 20, 1948 - March 8, 2020

Sandra Beth (Vlieger) Ritsema went to be with our Lord on 8 March 2020. She was born on 20 January 1948 in Maurice, Iowa to James & Myra Vlieger and attended grade school & high school in Maurice. She attended Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa majoring in Spanish and French, and specialized in education. She married Reverend Jack Duane Ritsema on 3 August 1974 in Oelwein, Iowa, where she taught at the Junior High School. She supported her husband in his ministries as a pastor and Air Force Chaplain at every location in which they lived, as organist, pianist, and choir director for countless church services and activities. She renewed her teaching certification while Jack was assigned to Zaragoza Air Base in Spain and worked as an interpreter for the base. She returned to teaching in San Antonio, Texas at East Central High School, Clovis, New Mexico at Clovis Christian School, AGWSR High School in Ackley, Iowa, and Valley Lutheran High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She was also active with the Butler County Republican Committee and was a member of the Christian Educators Association International. Sandy enjoyed Bible Studies, crocheting, reading, music (solo-singing, choir, guitar, piano, organ) cooking, baking, spending time with her children & grandchildren, watching movies, playing board games, and was the 'grammar police' for her children.

She was preceded in death by her parents James & Myra Vlieger, her brother Rodney, and her in-laws Jack and Dorothy Ritsema. She is survived by her husband, Jack, her children Jonathan, Sara, David, and Daniel, her Sister Kathy Leinenkugel, her brother David Vlieger, and seven grandchildren, Kayla, Jacob, Jonah, Bethany, Aidan, Cheyenne, and Kaleb.

Visitation will be from 4-7pm on Thursday, 12 March 2020 at the Sietsema-Vogel Funeral Home in Dumont, Iowa. Funeral service will be at 10:30am on Friday, 13 March 2020 at the Washington Reformed Church, rural Ackley. Burial will be in the Washington Reformed Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to: Washington Reformed Church, 28182 Birch Ave, Ackley, Iowa 50601 OR Answers in Genesis:


Hazel Windemuller wrote on Mar 15, 2020:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family - Stan and Hazel Windemuller"

Marcia Allspach, Parkersburg, CRC wrote on Mar 13, 2020:

"So sorry for your loss. I enjoyed singing next to Sandra in the cantata's and loved visiting with her. May you feel God's loving arms around you at this time. Grief never ends, but it changes. It is a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It is the price of love."

Lora Lupkes wrote on Mar 11, 2020:

"Sandy always took the time to stop and visit whenever I saw her. She was always so cheerful. It was fun to watch her play piano as you could tell she enjoyed it. She will be greatly missed! Our love and prayers to her family. Justin and Lora Lupkes and girls"

Shannon Thomas wrote on Mar 10, 2020:

"She was such a wonderful teacher. When I would be going to class or see Mrs. Ritsema in the hall. She always had a smile and made us smile. I loved her cooking too, especially her crepes. Love Shannon Thomas"

Carl and Sandy VanWieren wrote on Mar 10, 2020:

"Jack and family, you have our sincere sympathy in the loss of wife and mother. May memories be a big part on the road ahead. Carl and Sandy VanWieren"

Vicki Landers wrote on Mar 10, 2020:

"We were with Jack and Sandy and their family at Brooks Air Force Base, at Brooks Chapel. Our son Terry and their son Jonthan became instant friends forever. Sandy was a beautiful lady. Loved the Lord and her family. Our prayers are with her family now. We love you all and pray you will be comforted by our Loving Father."

Terry and Chris Schwebke wrote on Mar 9, 2020:

"Jack and family you have our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you during this journey. Terry and Chris Schwebke "