Elsie Bylsma of Denver, Colorado went to be with her Lord on December 27, 2019 in Parker, Colorado. We celebrate the freedom from the throes of her earthly frame. God untethered her so she could take flight and welcomed her with open arms into her eternal home in His presence. Elsie was born in the San Luis Valley between the Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountain ranges in Alamosa, Colorado on November 20, 1927 to Adrian and Jesse Van Iwaarden.
Elsie was preceded in death by her husband, Gerald (Jerry) Bylsma, daughter Jerrilie Bylsma, daughter in law Beverly Bylsma, and precious grandson Andy Dykstra.
She is survived by her daughter Callae Dykstra and her husband Glenn, Geoff Bylsma and his wife Cheryl, Brad Bylsma, Tim Bylsma and his wife Kim, her grandchildren Leslie (Dykstra) Dykman and her husband Kris, Ben Dykstra and his wife Tamara, Matthew Bylsma and his wife Micah, Nathan Bylsma and his wife Kely, Rachel (Bylsma) Hansen and her husband Josh, Jordan Bylsma, Jeremy Bylsma and his wife Dana, Gerrit Bylsma, Graham Bylsma, and Ethan Bylsma, great-grandchildren Noah Dykman, Whitney Dykman, Samuel Dykstra, Naomi Dykstra, Esther Dykstra, Halle Bylsma, Jude Bylsma, Marin Elsie Bylsma, Zeke Bylsma, Charlotte Bylsma, Elsie Iyonne Bylsma, Rebekah Hansen, Leah Hansen, Caleb Hansen, Hannah Jo Hansen, Skyler Bylsma, Brody Bylsma, Camden Bylsma, Jackson Bylsma, and Dawnya Bylsma, her brother Bill Van Iwaarden, cousins, nephews and nieces and their children in Colorado and across the United States.
Elsie was raised in a large family in Alamosa, Colorado. She had many loving memories of her 10 older siblings, Clarence, Terina, Bertha, Lucie, Elbert, George, Oriana, William, Jane, Mary and her younger step-sister Edna. Elsie began her love for learning in the local Lutheran School. Her left-handed penmanship was a beautiful work of art. When her schooling finished she moved to Denver in her teenage years to begin working as a Nanny. Soon after that she pursued work at the Neusteters department store, and the Denver Post. The family still has news clippings of her modeling a beautiful mink for the department store. After WWII, she was invited to go on a blind date and met the love of her life, Jerry Bylsma. They were married on February 28, 1947. Elsie and Jerry started their family in Denver, Colorado. Elsie was a devoted wife and mother of five children. She worked hard to raise her children with the assurance and knowledge that they are precious children of God.
In the late 1970s, Elsie returned to school at Metro State in Denver to acquire her GED and continued to take several college courses. She loved learning and reading. She enjoyed serving as a librarian at the library at Third Christian Reformed Church. In the 80’s she returned to the workforce and worked in the accounting office of Woodward Clyde Engineering and then on to Arcadis Engineering. For most of her life she and Jerry collected books to read. Their home was always full of literature. Elsie enjoyed frequent long walks. She lovingly gathered “helicopter” seed pods in a cup for her grandchildren to launch from the balcony of her apartment building when they came for a visit. After Jerry died from complications after heart surgery in 2004, Elsie continued to work and live in Littleton. She retired from her working career at the age of 84. Elsie spent much of her early hours of the day reading the Bible and writing in her prayer journal. She loved Jesus with all of her heart. Elsie and Jerry worshiped, in their later years, at Christ Church Denver. Elsie loved attending Sunday School and book studies. She was always eager to share from the most recent messages she heard at church or from the inspiring books and articles that she read. Elsie was passionate about her faith in Jesus, and she loved the people that God placed in her life.
Elsie loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren deeply. She lived a life of great joy and saw so much of creation as a celebration of our Father in Heaven. Elsie’s smile was contagious! She also experienced the great loss of losing a precious grandson, her dedicated husband, a cherished daughter and daughter in-law. Through it all she remained faithful to the end. In her last 2 year struggle with dementia she felt comfort in prayer, scripture and song. She felt blessed with the love of her family and the kindness of her care providers.
“We love you mom!” “ We love you grandma!”
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
Alzheimer’s Association - Colorado Chapter, donate online at alz.org
or mail to 455 N. Sherman St. #500, Denver, Colorado 80203
Celebration of Life Service
Friday, January 3 @ 11AM
Hope Fellowship CRC
2400 South Ash Street
Denver, Colorado 80222
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
When I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139: 17,18