Homer Henry Siebenga, 99, went home to be with his heavenly Father on November 20, 2012. He was born in Katlyk, Friesland in The Netherlands on December 30, 1912. He was really looking forward to his 100th birthday and although he didn't quite make it, he loved the birthday party we had for him a few days before he died.
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As a boy, Homer worked for one of the neighboring farmers for a quarter a week. Part of that job was guiding the horses that pulled the milk cart as the milk cans were loaded and unloaded. His formal education ended with eighth grade. School was over at noon on his final day of school and that afternoon he started working fulltime for the farmer he was currently working for.Throughout his entire life he found pure joy in hard physical labor and seeing the results of those labors. As a young man he also worked for a butcher. That shop was next to a shop Tena Bouwma worked in and that is how he met his future wife. They were married on September 4, 1939.
In the Netherlands, Homer was known by his friends as the "rich hired man" not because he was rich but because he received the highest wages. However, he longed to own his own farm so in the spring of 1950, after 13 days on a storm tossed ocean, he and Tena and their two young daughters came to the "land of opportunity" they had heard so much about. Immigrating to a another country takes a great deal of courage; this was especially true back then when the distance seemed greater in so many ways. They were not able to return to The Netherlands for 18 years. Their sponsors lived south of Churchill and Homer and Tena worked for them for a few years. After that, they rented various farms in the Gallatin Valley over the next several years until they had the opportunity to purchase a farm, then owned by Ray Ypma, in 1959. On this farm, Homer and Tena had a Grade-A dairy with about 30 Holstein cows and raised barley, wheat, oats and alfalfa. Many improvements were made to the farm over the next several years. They also farmed several acres of dryland south of Amsterdam for many years.
Homer retired from farming at the age of 65. During his retirement years, he loved being a Grandpa, bowling, working in the garden at his home in Churchill or in Vince and Darlene Guhin's garden, and processing game with Vince. He also "rode the ditch" (monitored the water for several farmers in the Churchill area) for 24 years after his retirement. He did this mostly on a Honda 110 motorcycle until he was around 80 years of age and was encouraged to switch to a four wheeler. He retired completely at the age of 89. He then moved to Bozeman and loved traveling around on his scooter, especially to Walmart and the Senior Center. He was pretty excited to make the police report in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle when he was 93 because the battery on his scooter died and a Bozeman police officer helped him (thank you!). Throughout his life and especially in his later years, he loved going for rides to see how the crops were coming along and talking about how the current weather would affect farmers.
Homer passed on to his family a deep faith in the God who made this world and all the creatures in it, a love of working hard and making the most of the opportunities in life, the desire to help others in need, and a great appreciation for living in one of the most beautiful places on earth. He was very thankful to God for the many blessings in his life.
Tena preceded him in death in 1996. He is survived by his five children - Wietske Siebenga, Norma Farrand (David), Kathy Bruxvoort (Carl), Irene Decker, and Charles Siebenga; nine grandchildren - Sarah Carney, Joshua Farrand, Rachel Francetich, Micah Bruxvoort, Jordan Bruxvoort, Kelsey Bruxvoort, Katie Erickson, Christy Millard, and Scott Decker and seven great grandchildren. His five brothers and one sister preceded him in death.
Our family would like to thank Price Rite Pharmacy and Internal Medical Associates, particularly Dr. Robbins and the late Dr. Saari for their great care of Homer over the last several years. Donations in Homer's name may be made to Bloodwater Mission at this website: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/BloodWaterMission/OnlineDonation.html or you may send a contribution to: Bloodwater Mission, PO Box 60381, Nashville, TN 37206. Please ask that your donation go towards digging wells in Africa.
Dear Grandpa, no more pain, no more pills, home at last; you will always be in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. at Grace Bible Church. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Nov. 23, 2012