Betty Joyce Verhage, 76, died peacefully on Saturday morning, September 24, 2016, at her home in Moses Lake, Washington, surrounded by her husband and children. Graveside services will be held Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 12 Noon at Pease Cemetery.
Betty was born on November 27, 1939, to William and Mildred Geurkink in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She graduated from Milaca High School in 1957 and attended Calvin College from 1957 to 1959.
She taught third grade at Central Minnesota Christian School for two years in Prinsburg, Minnesota, where she met her husband of 55 years, Harold Verhage. They married on December 30, 1960, and raised their son, Larry, and daughters, Lorie and Elizabeth. Betty faithfully encouraged her husband as his career took them to New Mexico, Iowa, Colorado, Oregon, and Chicago. She was an active member of various Christian Reformed Churches, teaching Sunday School, leading Calvinettes, serving on a missions committee, and volunteering as librarian.
Betty loved children. She spent her life nurturing her own, teaching others, and caring for her grandchildren. In 1985, she earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with Honors in Elementary Education from Governors State University and then taught special needs children at Elim Christian School for ten years.
Betty loved playing the piano, singing with her loved ones, sewing, drawing, reading, studying the Bible, and gardening. She also enjoyed traveling to the Holy Lands, the Netherlands, Mexico, Austria, and Italy with Harold and her family.
As her favorite confession of the Christian faith, Betty took the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism:
“Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?
A. That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Betty is survived by her husband, Harold; children, Lorie and Brad Casemier, Larry and Julie Verhage, and Elizabeth and David Wright; 12 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; and 5 siblings, Warren (Connie) Geurkink and Robert (Shirley) Geurkink of Milaca, Minnesota, Richard (Ellen) Geurkink of St. Cloud, Minnesota, Darlene (Eugene) Rubingh of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and James (Cathy) Geurkink of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Mildred Geurkink; two brothers, Willard and Phillip Geurkink.