Frederika S. Tameling

09/16/1937

01/25/2024

Memorial Contributions

Holland Home

or

Faith Hospice

Frederika (De Boer) Tameling went to be with her Lord and Savior on January 25, 2024. What an example and legacy she leaves as a beloved wife for 65 years to her lifelong partner Bert, mom to two children Ken (Heidi) Tameling and Terry (Bob) Alsum, and Oma to six grandchildren—Ben (Abbie) Tameling, Joel (Michelle) Alsum, Megan (Joe) Arevalo, Shaun Alsum, Kendra (Jordan) Greiner, and Kira (James) Fixx and 10 great grandchildren. We all loved her very much.

She had a deep love for her Lord and Savior, providing her family and others a wonderful model of selflessness to follow while enjoying life. She was an amazing wife and mother. Her deep unconditional love was most evident within her family. Bert and Riek were an amazing love story.  As a leader in many areas, she showed her kids that being a leader meant showing empathy, humility and building trust. She modeled how to be actively engaged in career, family, church, and community with great love.

She was the “Oma” who took her grandkids parasailing and tubed behind the boat with them, while “yodeling” at the top of her lungs. The grandkids enjoyed many sleepovers, weekends at the cottage, and multiple “Pa and Oma sponsored” vacations including to The Netherlands to spend time with our Dutch family.

Riek lived life to the fullest, without much worry as to what others thought of her. Yet she cared deeply for others. With her compassionate servant heart, she not only accepted but reached out to those who were hurting, showing them God’s love (e.g. ministering to those experiencing a crisis pregnancy, leading a women’s Bible study at the Kent County jail, and Bible Study mentoring through Crossroads Prison Ministries).

She was driven and determined yet took time to laugh and have fun. She would make people feel special and loved from the moment she met them. It served her well through the myriad of ways she served in her local churches in the Netherlands, Chicago, Cincinnati, and Grand Rapids. She always rolled up her sleeves and dug in, starting a young women’s group in Chicago, starting a Women’s Coffee Break as well as a neighborhood adult bible study in Cincinnati, working with Bert to lead Young Adults groups and disciple new Christians, and serving as the Director of Congregational Life for years at Hillside Community Church in Grand Rapids.

Riek grew up in Bedum, The Netherlands (born 9/16/1937). In 1953, she met the love of her life Bert at a youth group retreat at the age of 15 in Groningen, the Netherlands. When Bert’s family emigrated to the U.S. four years later in 1957, Riek, then engaged to Bert, made the bold decision at age 20 to leave her family in the Netherlands to join Bert in Chicago in 1958. They were married three weeks later. She was always a bit of a pioneer!

After emigrating and having two children, Riek earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Chicago State University and her master’s degree in education at the University of Cincinnati. Various jobs included seamstress and high school home economics teacher in Chicago, a substitute teacher and crisis line worker in Cincinnati, and the director for Bethany Christian Services Lifeline in Grand Rapids. She was advocating for racial justice in Chicago in the late 1960’s and equal roles for women in the mid 1970’s (e.g. running for deacon in her church in Cincinnati).

A good friend commented “She’s probably organizing something fun in heaven right now.”

A time of visitation with the family will be held at Hillside Community Church on Thursday night, February 1, 2024, from 6-8pm.

 A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11am on Friday, February 2, 2024, at Hillside Community Church (visitation one hour prior). A light lunch will be served immediately after the service.  In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to Holland Home or Faith Hospice.

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10 Responses

  1. I worked with Riek on The Bethany Lifeline years ago. She was a mentor and friend to me and I admired her very much. While I am sorry for your loss of such an amazing woman, I am also rejoicing that Riek is now with our Lord. She had a wonderful faith and commitment to furthering God’s kingdom. Much love and prayers to your family during this time!

  2. Rikka was a treasure to know. I am her cousin from Western Australia and the short times we spent together here and then again in USA was fantastic. Always up for a good laugh enjoying fun was brilliant. She has given me the strength to move forward from my issues. Love you, miss you and always will. Deepest sympathy to Bert. Our prayers are coming your way. Also to family and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

  3. So sorry for this news. My thoughts are with you all. Greetings from Holland.

  4. Bert gecondoleerd met het overlijden van Rika. Wij wensen jou en je kinderen en geliefden heel veel sterkte . Wim en Marja Hofsteenge

  5. Riek was a great mentor to me as she asked me to help out with her jail ministries at the Kent County Jail. What a wonderful lady!!!

  6. Bert wij wensen jou, de kinderen en kleinkinderen heel veel sterkte.
    Enno en Corry Kristiaan-Hofsteenge

  7. Liefde stop niet waar het leven eindigt.

    Lieve Bert en familie, veel sterkte gewenst.

    Pieter en Janneke Stellingwerf- Hofsteenge

  8. Voor Bert, kinderen en kleinkinderen.
    Gecondoleerd met het overlijden van je vrouw Rika, jullie moeder en oma.
    Wat zullen jullie haar missen.
    Ik wens jullie alle sterkte toe de komende tijd.
    Anja Hofsteenge-Kugel.

  9. Riek was an amazing disciple of Jesus, a great gift to us and our family! She deeply loved the Lord, her family, and she loved other people. When in 2008 I got called to serve as outreach and pastoral care pastor, Riek and Bert welcomed us to Hillside Church. They immediately determined that they want to be hospitable to our family, especially as she knew that I, Daniel, and Felicia, my wife, were immigrants from Romania. Riek loved us and wanted to be the Oma to our kids, Zea and David. She loved them and cherished them, supported and encouraged them. She also wanted us to succeed in ministry, so she lifted us in prayer. Riek was a great example of how to love Jesus for us and for our kids. She loved to pray for our kids, and to be part of their lives. During the Grandparents Day she was at school to bless them with the presence of a loving and caring Oma. Riek loved to serve and instilled a sense of service in our kids. She loved to pray for the lost and for those in various needs. She loved to meet people and to encourage them in their faith journey. She loved that our Alpha program at Hillside Church opened opportunities for her and Bert to disciple folks and they welcomed them in their home, opening with them the Scriptures and nurturing their faith. Riek was a welcoming and hospitable host. She also loved to play table games, and our kids loved her soups and meals, but also loved to play games and hang out with her. We loved to hear about her travels around the world, and her global perspective of God’s worldwide kingdom. Riek and Bert generously opened their home to us. But they also opened their lake cottage. They also opened their hearts to us, and their share time. As a family we had several years when during the spring break we used their place in Fort Walton Beach, FL. A generous heart, Riek blessed us tremendously, and showed us a way to love like Jesus and live for Jesus. We will miss her dearly. We give thanks to the Lord for her blessed presence in our lives. May our Lord grant his PEACE to Bert and the family. May the Holy Spirit comfort their hearts and fill them with the hope of resurrection to glory with Jesus. With love and sympathy, Daniel Bud

  10. Riek (Oma) took me in as one of her own grandchildren. When I was in high school she would come and be my Oma during grandparents day. I’ll never forget the love she showered on me! I know she is happy with her Father in heaven now. She will be dearly missed.

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