Cornelius Arie Zevenbergen, age 92, of Baldwin, Wisconsin, died on October 14, 2011 at the Baldwin Area Medical Center.
Cornie was born on November 3, 1918 in Rotterdam, Holland to Jan and Suzanna (Voogt) Zevenbergen. At the age of 22 months, the Zevenbergen family immigrated to America by way of Ellis Island. They began their new lives in America on a dairy farm in Orange City, Iowa and Cornie and his siblings attended school at the Country School in Orange City. While on a trip to visit his sister, Jocoba, Cornie met a young woman named Elizabeth Vis. Elizabeth was working for Jocoba as a house maid. Cornie and Elizabeth fell in love and on January 15, 1941 the two were united in marriage in Hull, Iowa at the Vis family farm. The marriage would be blessed with 6 children, Sue, Cornie, John, Hendrena, Willard and Cliff. In 1957 Cornie and Elizabeth moved to Baldwin and settled on a farm just north of the city. The family would farm the land and raise dairy cattle. This continued until 1968 when Cornie began working at Ford Motors in Baldwin as a salesman. He was a well known and award winning salesman who made many friends, connections and memories along the way. He worked for the local Ford dealership until his retirement at the age of 62. Cornie enjoyed his retirement but remained very active within the community performing various odd jobs. He worked as a janitor for the First Reformed Church in Baldwin and also assisted at the Dull Funeral Home by working visitations and helping with removals. He and Elizabeth traveled extensively through the continental US and he particularly enjoyed the mountains and Yellowstone National Park area. In February of 2002 Elizabeth passed away. Cornie would remain in their duplex until moving to the Baldwin Care Center in 2008, where he enjoyed his time with friends and visiting family.
Cornie was a hard-working, dedicated, and loving husband, father, and grandfather with a great sense of humor. He had many hobbies including: woodworking, garage sale-ing and even amateur auctioneering. He was a “collector of collections” owning sets of model cars and tractors, bronze horses, figurines and other items. He very much enjoyed singing. He loved old gospel music and with his brothers at an early age he even recorded their music on records. He was a faith driven man who was very active in his church, the First Reformed Church of Baldwin. He taught Bible classes, went on church retreats and was always happy to share his testimony with others. Cornie loved to laugh and make others laugh. He enjoyed time with his friends and family and always left a positive impression wherever he went.
Cornie is survived by his: children, Cornie (Linda) of Baldwin, Hendrena (Robert) Olson of New Richmond, Willy (Carol) of Baldwin, and Cliff (Barb) of Muskego, WI, son-in-law, Harvey Hielkema of Baldwin, 20 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren, as well as other relatives and dear friends.
Cornie is preceded in death by his: parents, Jan and Suzanna (Voogt) Zevenbergen, wife Elizabeth, daughter, Sue Hielkema, son, John, granddaughter, Jody Lynn, great-granddaughters, Stormi and Breanna, daughter-in-law, Joan, and 7 brothers and sisters.
Funeral Celebration of Life for Cornie will be held at 1pm on Monday, October 17, 2011 at the First Reformed Church of Baldwin. Burial will follow at the Baldwin Cemetery. Visitation will take place at the church from 11 o’clock until time of service. Memorials given will be donated to a charity of the family’s choice in Cornie’s name. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home – Baldwin. 715-684-3434