Magdalena Schimmel, 95, died peacefully Friday, June 20, at her daughter Nancy’s home in Salem, Ore. She had been diagnosed with cancer in May.
She was born on Dec. 22, 1918, to Albert and Helena (Van Tilburg) Scheffer near Carmel, Iowa. In 1921, the family moved into Carmel where her father owned and operated the general store for nearly 30 years. She attended the rural school and graduated from Sioux Center High School in 1935. She attended Western Union College in LeMars, Iowa, earned her teaching certificate and returned to Carmel to teach.
On June 8, 1939, she married Arie Schimmel in the Carmel Reformed Church. For the first 37 years, they lived on a farm near Sioux Center. She became a full-time homemaker. During theses years they had four children, all graduated from Sioux Center High School and received various college degrees. In the 1950s, the family hosted International Farm Youth Exchange students: Kees Perdok , The Netherlands, and Gopal Krishna, India.
Maggie volunteered for many church and community activities. A lifelong member of the Reformed Church of America, she had a strong faith in God and enjoyed teaching Sunday school, Catechism, participating in Bible studies, women’s circles and choir. In 1977, she was chosen to chair Sioux Center First Reformed Church’s Centennial Committee. Being active in the community, she was a member of Sioux Center Hospital and Northwestern College Auxiliaries, a 4-H leader, and on the Sioux County Care Review Committee. She was a long time member of the Federated Women’s Club and served for 12 years on the Sioux Center Public Library Board. She often held office and served on special committees within these organizations. Her enthusiasm in all she undertook and her cheerful, positive outlook on life was a source of joy to many who knew her.
Arie and Mag moved to Sioux Center in 1976. Between 1969-90, they made numerous trips to The Netherlands establishing close relationships with many cousins and surviving aunts and uncles. During these years, one of her favorite volunteer projects was teaching a Dutch Heritage class at Kinsey Elementary School. She was an avid reader and stayed current on world events and government, active in politics for many years.
To be near family and escape Iowa winters, Arie and Mag moved to Davis in 1993. Making new friends in the neighborhood, they began hosting an annual Christmas gathering. As Davis Community Church members they participated in Soup and Song. Maggie often recounted these Davis years as special for her and Arie, thoroughly enjoying one another’s company.
As a great sports fan, she closely followed her children and grandchildren’s events, as well as college and pro teams. She loved music and enjoyed her families’ choir concerts and various music performances. Her other hobbies included writing, playing cards, tile rummy, sewing, crocheting and cooking. Stroop waffles, a Dutch cookie she made and shared with many, became and will remain a family tradition.
In 2003, Arie and Mag made the move to retirement living at The Atrium in Carmichael. Arie died April 2003. Maggie moved to Hidden Lakes Retirement Community in Salem, Ore., in 2004. Here she enjoyed being close to her daughter and family as well as the natural beauties of the state.
Her family was always the most important part of her life; time spent with them was highly treasured. Surviving her are four children, Allan (Reid Reames) of Philadelphia, Pa., Leon (Annette Cody) of Davis, Ardys of Gleneden Beach, Ore. and Nancy (Jay Allred) of Salem, Ore.; 10 grandchildren and spouses; six great-grandchildren; her sister, Florence (Clinton Van Roekel); and nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by the following: parents, husband Arie, brother Cornelius (Margaret Scheffer), sister Emma (Esten Brown) and sister-in-law Harriet (Wilbert J. Vermeer). A memorial service of remembrance, joy and praise will be held on Saturday, July 26, 2014, at First Reformed Church in Sioux Center, Iowa. Her remains will be interred with Arie’s in Memory Garden Cemetery, Sioux Center, Iowa. Memorial gifts may be made to Medical Teams International, P.O. Box 10 Portland, Ore. 97202 or R.C.A. Global Relief Fund, First Reformed Church, Sioux Center, Iowa 51250.