Irene Mae VandenAkker, 90, was called home by her Lord early Thursday morning, March 10, 2022. She was pre-deceased by her devoted husband of 58 years, Maynard "Mike" VandenAkker. She will be dearly missed by her children, Duane (Paula), Lori Miedema (Mark), Bruce (Laura), Diane DeVries (Paul), and Keith (Naomi). In addition, she also leaves 16 grandchildren whom she cherished, 5 great-grandchildren, and one sister, Marian "Boots" Buma (Paul). She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brother, John VanderBaan, and a granddaughter, Angela DeVries.
Mrs. VandenAkker was born in Whitinsville, the eldest daughter of Hein and Sadie (Nyeholt) VanderBaan. Growing up on East Street, she could be frequently found working at VanderBaan's Market with her father and her uncles. She attended Whitinsville Christian School, graduated from Northbridge High School in 1949, and then she attended Calvin College where she began her courtship with her husband, Mike. They married in 1953 at the Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church in Whitinsville.
Irene was a charter member of Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church in Whitinsville and was involved in many Bible studies, including the Dorcas Society. She volunteered in the church library for many years and on various hospitality committees. She also volunteered at Whitinsville Christian School periodically. She was a busy homemaker, where she could be found in the kitchen cooking meals for her family every night and large Sunday dinners after church. Saturday mornings were usually spent baking various treats. Canning and freezing vegetables and fruit that she had picked from the garden or nearby farms was a common occurrence.
Irene cherished family time, especially vacations with family in Maine every Summer. When time permitted, she loved to travel.
She was a wonderful wife, mom, and grandmother. She cherished her family and church family the most. In January 2020, she was admitted into the St. Camillus Nursing Home, where she was cared for by many.
A funeral will be held at 10AM on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in the Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church, 305 Goldthwaite Rd, Whitinsville. The funeral service will be live streamed; the link is below in the service details. Burial will follow at Pine Grove Cemetery, Whitinsville. Calling hours will be held from 6-8PM on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, also at Fairlawn CRC.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Whitinsville Christian School's Endowment Fund, 279 Linwood Ave, Whitinsville, MA 01588, or to Fairlawn Christian Reformed Church, 305 Goldthwaite Rd, Whitinsville, MA 01588.
Whitinsville Christian School
279 Linwood Ave., Whitinsville MA 01588