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0948 Winnie 2024

Winnie Hoeksema

December 31, 0948 — March 30, 2024

Winnie (DeGroot) Hoeksema, 75, of Placitas, NM, passed away Saturday, March 30th, 2024.

Winnie was born December 3rd, 1948 to parents Pier and Faye DeGroot in Artesia, CA and raised on her parents’ dairy farm as the fourth of seven children.  Winnie was the first of her siblings to be born in the U.S. once the DeGroot family immigrated from the Netherlands after World War II.

Winnie graduated from Valley Christian High School in 1966, and shortly after, her family moved to Chandler, AZ to continue dairy farming there.  After high school, Winnie enrolled at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI where she met Ken.  They married a year later in Scottsdale, AZ.

Winnie had a gift for making a loving home for her family.  As a devoted stay-at-home mom, she raised three sons with Ken in Grand Rapids, always welcoming and accepting of guy humor and 24/7 sports, teaching them to be loving and thoughtful, and steadfastly remaining their biggest supporter through thick and thin. When Ken’s career with Amway Corporation took them to live in South Korea, she made a home in a high-rise apartment in Seoul and enjoyed many visits from her family and friends.  After Ken’s retirement, they relocated to New Mexico, to be closer to family; first living in Las Cruces for eight years and then in Placitas for the last nine years.  During this time, Winnie and Ken traveled extensively together, especially to spend time with their beloved grandchildren and to bring their family together for annual vacations to beautiful places.  She also treasured her annual travel adventures with her sisters and nieces.

At home in New Mexico, Winnie loved bringing together her grown children and their families each year for Christmas.  Nothing made her happier than having everyone together under one roof, keeping them (very) well-fed, while joking and enjoying family time filled with Dutch traditions, such as stuffing stockings with chocolate letters and frying oliebollen as a Christmas morning treat.  Winnie was the world’s best nana to her four grandchildren.  In her presence, they were the most important people in the world, completely and deeply loved.

Besides her strong faith and caring for her family, Winnie loved music.  From her youth onwards, she sang in many church choirs and also played piano and the organ.  In Albuquerque, she found a place for her musical talent with the Sandia Presbyterian Church and with the Albuquerque Civic Chorus.  She reveled in each season of new music and program of songs.  With the Civic Chorus, she spent many hours practicing her Alto part and was known to be a mentor to many other choir members who purposely sat with her as she kept people on the pitch and explained some of the directions given during rehearsals. This is but one example of how Winnie radiated kindness and joy.  Her warm smile and approachability drew people into her sphere.

Another of Winnie’s great passions was for gardening.  In Grand Rapids, she became a Certified Master Gardener and cultivated her talent for producing stunning flower beds.  This penchant continued in New Mexico, where she helped Ken to create a beautiful desert yard full of plants that attracted humans and birds alike, including a roadrunner who felt at home enough to roost in a sconce on their Las Cruces patio.

In their neighborhood in Placitas, Winnie’s spirit for fun and socializing really shined, as she spearheaded a new tradition of regular happy hours, and established Ken & Winnie’s annual epic “ping-pong and posole” party.   Winnie was always game to celebrate and live life to the fullest.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Winnie Hoeksema, please visit our flower store.

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