Obituaries » Dorothy Armistice Nienhuis Holzimmer

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Dorothy Armistice Nienhuis Holzimmer

November 11, 1921 - January 21, 2021

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Dorothy Armistice Nienhuis Holzimmer, 99, of Forest, died Thursday, January 21, 2021.  She was the wife of the late Frederick Holzimmer for 38 years.

Born Friday, November 11, 1921, in Holland, MI, Dorothy was a daughter of the late Martin P. and Alice Kits Nienhuis.

Dorothy is survived by her children, Juanita Joy Smith and her husband, Michael, of Forest, Miriam Brindley and Barbara Holzimmer of Greenview, IL., four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband and parents, Dorothy was preceded in death by her three brothers, three sisters, and their spouses, and a son-in-law, Scott Brindley.

Dorothy grew up in the Dutch town of Holland, Michigan, as the youngest in a family of four girls and three boys. When her father passed away and following her graduation from high school, her two youngest sisters, her mother, and she moved to Detroit, Michigan, for employment opportunities. Dorothy found employment with the Singer Sewing Machine Company and became an excellent seamstress, eventually making many of her daughters’ dresses.

Providentially, it was there through her church (and her and her husband’s mother) that she met her husband, Fred. While there in Detroit, Dorothy and her sisters also sang in a trio that became a part of a radio program. When Dorothy and Fred got married, Fred was serving in the U.S. Air Corp in Canada, so Dorothy moved again, this time to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. There, their oldest daughter, Joy, was born.

Following Fred’s military discharge, the couple moved to Chicago, Illinois, where they both attended Moody Bible Institute, welcomed their second daughter, Miriam, into their family, and prepared for service in Cameroon, West Africa. It was there in Cameroon that their third daughter, Barbara, joined their family.

Dorothy and her husband spent thirty wonderful years serving in Cameroon. She experienced varied means of transportation, traveling by ships, planes, old trucks, Landrovers, car ferries, horseback, and by foot. Initially, she lived with no electricity, no running water, no indoor plumbing, no local grocery. Lacking those things, she employed and managed household help to cook on a wood-burning stove, to iron with a charcoal iron, to carry water and firewood, and to shop the local market for food. By the time she and Fred retired, she had all of those amenities and only needed to employ a part-time helper.

Perhaps the greatest hardship she faced was sending her daughters off to boarding school. At times, that separated the family by a three-day trip for three to four months at a time with only letter communication available. At times an ocean separated the family when children stayed in the United States for high school and beyond.

Dorothy was an avid gardener and could make things grow where no one else could. She was a great cook, a welcoming hostess, and a wonderful partner for her husband as they made trips for ministry to the outback areas. She planned and packed their needed supplies in carrier-sized loads, packing often enough for up to two weeks. But her greatest passion was spending time with and teaching Scripture and life skills to the younger and older women of Cameroon.

Dorothy unexpectedly lost her husband to cancer a year after they retired. God has given her many new friendships since her husband’s death. They and her Bible Studies have been wonderful sources of strength and encouragement to her. Her last ten years have been very physically difficult, and though her family misses her, they are assured that she is with Jesus now and free from those difficulties.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

 

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