In Memory of Mins Reinsma

In the early morning of Friday, August 14, Mins Reinsma passed away in his sleep and went to be with the Lord. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 12, at 3:00 pm at First Christian Reformed Church of Seattle (the church across the parking lot from the school). The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Shoreline Christian School in Mins' name.

Mins Reinsma was born in Friesland, in the Netherlands, on January 19, 1923. The first of two sons, he survived the Nazi occupation during WWII, saw the world (Indonesia and Wales) on the Dutch navy’s only aircraft carrier, and married his childhood sweetheart Tryni (Romkes) on July 4, 1947 – an anniversary which, he was delighted to discover, all of the United States joined in celebrating.

With Luke, age 2, in tow, the young couple moved to New Holland, South Dakota, in 1950, and then to Independence, Missouri, where he learned the jewelry trade and where Barbara was born. Eventually, his family was blessed with the care and support of the community at Seattle’s First Christian Reformed Church and (then) Watson Groen Christian School, where he served on the church council and the board of education and delighted in the company of school children. Together with his long-time associate Ted Triezenberg, he ran Phil’s Jewelry in Ballard for over a decade, until his retirement at the age of 63.

A life-long servant of God and lover of the mountains, music, bonsai, and books, for many summers he and Tryni took their children – Luke, Barbara, Clarence, and Teresa – on two-week hikes through the Olympics, around Mount Rainier, and through much of the Cascades. A devotee of Bach, he played an instrumental role in providing the First CRC with its current organ. He read voraciously and widely – Henry James, Edith Wharton, travel narratives, and a wide range of non-fiction. Perhaps his greatest regret is not having lived long enough to have read the final volume of Robert Caro’s magisterial, albeit interminable, biography of Lyndon Johnson. Upon retirement, Tryni and he explored and hiked through still more of the world: Nepal, New Zealand, Britain and Wales, the Pyrenees, Kenya and more.

Almost every day of his adult life, he read the Bible – often in Dutch – the devotional Our Daily Bread, and The Seattle and New York Times. When in the hospital, librarians visited him; when not, teachers at (now) Shoreline Christian begged him to talk to their students. With but an eighth-grade education, he was a life-long lover of learning, respected by all for his integrity, intelligence, and wisdom.

He is survived by his wife, Tryni, his four children, and ten grandchildren: Luke and Barbara (Feikens) Reinsma, Nat, and Marika; Barbara and John Ottenhoff, Sam, and Chloe; Clarence and Lisa (Pitstick) Reinsma, Micah, Hanna, Grace, Emma, Peter, and Rachel; and Teresa Reinsma. Opa will be sorely missed.

Article Tags