MENNENGA, Frederike 1872-1948
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 12/24/2016 at 14:36:15
Funeral Services Saturday for Mrs. John Mennenga
Funeral services were held Saturday for Mrs. John J. Mennenga. The service at the home in Wellsburg was at one o'clock and later at the First Christian Reformed church west of Wellsburg. Rev. Joseph VandeKieft was the officiating pastor. Burial was by the side of the husband in the cemetery adjoining the church.
Casket bearers were Ben P. Riekena, Henry E. Nederhoff, Jake G. Geerdes, Fred Luppen, Edward Mennenga and Evert H. Bleeker. Music was by Mr. and Mrs. Claus H. Primus. Mrs. Arthur Cooper was organ accompanist. Flower attendants were Mrs. Thomas Flessner and Mrs. Don Ross.
Cause of Tragic Death Not Fully Known
The cause of Mrs. Mennenga's tragic death is not fully known. She was alone in her home during the day. About the middle of the afternoon Wednesday, Mrs. Albert Lutterman went to call on her, as had been her daily custom. When she entered the home she was horrified to see the body of her sister reclining in a rocking chair in the kitchen. All of her clothes excepting her shoes had been burned. Dr. Kienzle who examined her believed she had been dead three or four hours when the body was found. The chair in which she was seated was scorched and one leg was partly burned off. It was still smoldering when the body was found. The linoleum on the kitchen floor showed signs of having been scorched. Because the house was tightly closed is the only explanation as to why the building did not burn.
It appears that Mrs. Mennenga had been rendering lard on a gas stove in the kitchen and that the lard caught fire and spread to her clothing. Because the water in the sink was running, it is believed she tried to put the fire out with water. The gas stove had been turned off. It is believed also that Mrs. Mennenga attempted to go to the telephone to call for help when she was overcome and sank in a rocking chair. There was a kettle on the stove with tallow at the bottom. Just how the accident happened no one will ever know. The suppositions given as reported above may be the right explanation.
County Coroner L. D. Coffman from Grundy Center was called. He was satisfied that death resulted from an accident for which no one was to blame and he regarded no inquest necessary.
Long Time Resident of This Locality
Mrs. Mennenga was a longtime resident of Shiloh township, Grundy county. She was born March 18, 1872, and was 76 years, 8 months and 20 days old at the time of her death.
Her maiden name was Frederike Riekena. On March 11, 1909, she and John J. Mennenga were married. They lived on their farm in west Shiloh township until five years ago when they moved into their home in Wellsburg. Her husband died January 1st, 1944. Mr. and Mrs. Mennenga had but one son, Jans, who survives. Other surviving relatives are three brothers and three sisters. The brothers are Peter Riekena, Wellsburg, and Joe and Gratus Riekena of Forest City. The sisters are Mrs. Ebbo Nederhoff and Mrs. Albert Lutterman, Wellsburg, and Mrs. Geert Geerdes, Steamboat Rock.
Out of County Relatives
Relatives from out of the county attending the funeral were: Mr. and Mrs. G. B. Riekena and Evelyn; Mr. and Mrs. Joe B. Riekena and family, Ben G. Riekena, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Riekena, Mr. and Mrs. Gratus G. Riekena, Mrs. Geo. G. Riekena, all of Forest City; Mr. and Mrs. Ben J. Riekena, Darlington, Wis.; Mrs. Michael Honken, Mr. and Mrs. Ben W. Riekena, Worthington, Minn.; Mr. Etje Aukes, Buffalo Center; Mrs. Ray Lillibridege, August Shaffer of Sheffield; Mr. and Mrs. Geerd Geerdes, Wall Lake; Mr. and Mrs. John Geerdes, Ackley; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Isbrands and son John, John Isbrands, of Titonka; Mr. and Mrs. Oltman Oltmans, Allison; Mr. and Mrs. Edward Geerdes, Alfred Geerdes, of Ackley; Mr. and Mrs. G. Geerdes, of Hubbard.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 16 December 1948, pg 19
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