Ella Munnik Gabrielse, age 90, died peacefully on Sunday, July 3 at the Christian Health Care Center in Lynden, WA. Ella was born on October 13, 1925 in Sheboygan, WI. She was the 3rd of 8 children born to Herman and Cora (Doelder) Munnik. She graduated from Sheboygan North High School in 1944 and married John Gabrielse on November 9, 1944. Ella is survived by her 4 children: Sharon (Ben) Snoeyink of Grand Rapids, MI, Phyllis (Jim) Kramer of Lynden, WA, Tim (Kris) Gabrielse of Kohler, WI and Greg (Cheri) Gabrielse of Sheboygan, WI.; 12 grandchildren and 27 great-grand-children. She is also survived by her sister Sophie Thun of Sheboygan, WI. Ella was preceded in death by her parents Herman and Cora; her sister Lena Spatt; her brothers Eddie, Casey, Tony, Harvey and Robert; and her husband of 69 years - John. Ella was a homemaker her entire life. When first married, Ella and John lived in Sheboygan, WI where they raised their 4 children. During their early retirement years, Ella and John spent many months each year on their boat in Florida. In 1998 they moved to Lynden. Ella was a warm, endearing hostess. She loved having people in her home (or on their boat) for a meal, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (or sometimes all 3). Nothing would bring a bigger smile to Ella's face than someone asking for seconds (or thirds) of her cooking! Ella had an infectious laugh and laughed readily and often. Ella was adventuresome - she was afraid of water and did not know how to swim - yet she and John went down the Mississippi on their boat (which took them through many locks on the river). Ella loved to read and loved to crochet. She made many afghans for her children and grandchildren, and we cannot count the number of baby afghans she made - for her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and for her friends' grandchildren. Ella loved Jesus, her husband, her children (and their spouses), her grands and her greats. She was a member of Sonlight Christian Reformed Church in Lynden and enjoyed singing 'the old hymns!' She missed being able to attend 'her church' the last year of her life. The family would like to thank the staff of the Christian Health Care Center for the amazing love and care shown to our mom during her approximate 1 year stay there, and Whatcom Hospice for their compassionate end-of-life care. A Memorial Service will be held at Sonlight Christian Reformed Church, 8400 Bender Road, Lynden, WA at 2PM, Saturday, July 9. Memorials in Ella's name can be sent to the Christian Health Care Center, 855 Aaron Drive, Lynden, WA 98264.
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Published in Bellingham Herald from July 7 to July 9, 2016