Trina De Roo

Trina De Roo (Van Althuis)

Tuesday, November 26th, 1929 - Friday, June 2nd, 2023
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Please share your favorite memory of Trina to be included in a special keepsake book for the family.
Trina De Roo 93 formally of Vernon Twp., passed away peacefully to be with her Heavenly Father on Friday, June 2, 2023 at The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ.
Born in Clifton, NJ to the late George and Gertrude Van Althuis, Trina spent the majority of her life in Vernon Twp., before moving to Wyckoff six months ago. Trina; along with her brothers William and Edward Van Althuis, purchased Dagmar Dale Farms, Sussex, NJ from their father, George Van Althuis. As partner, Trina took care of the bookkeeping for the Van Althuis family farm until her retirement in 1982.
A longtime member of the Sussex Christian Reformed Church, Trina devoted herself to caring for others. She spent 25 years volunteering for World Renew after natural disasters, member of Ora et Labora, Woman’s Missionary Union and other charitable church events. She loved knitting baby blankets which she donated to Cary, Mississippi for unwed mothers in need. She also enjoyed quilting beautiful blankets and wall hangings for her loved ones. In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, watching the birds and above all, spending time with her family and friends.
Predeceased by her first husband, Alfred Muller, her beloved two sons, Kenneth and Dean Muller, beloved grandson, Jason Postma and beloved great grandson, Conner Whyte. Trina is survived by her loving husband of 41 years, Albert De Roo and her loving and cherished children Sharon (Dirk) Postma, Carol (George) Munniksma, George (Leona) Muller and Gregory (Josephine) Muller. Loving step mother of Wanda (Jerry) Vogel, Linda (Mark) Everett, Donna De Roo, Barbara (Harold) Kuipers and Brenda (Ray) Cornetto. Adoring grandmother of 24 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
The family will receive their friends at the Sussex Christian Reformed Church on Friday, June 9, 2023 from 4:00 PM- 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at the church. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Trina’s memory to Sussex Christian Reformed Church or to the Sussex Christian School ( or to World Renew, 8970 Byron Commerce Dr., SE, Byron Center, MI 49315-7400. Funeral services are under the care of Ferguson Funeral Home, 27 Third St., Sussex, NJ. Online condolences may be offered to the family at
Read Less

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, June 9th, 2023 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Friday, June 9th, 2023 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Sussex Christian Reformed Church
    49 Unionville Ave.
    SUSSEX, NJ 07461
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, June 10th, 2023 | 11:00am
    Saturday, June 10th, 2023 11:00am
    Sussex Christian Reformed Church
    49 Unionville Ave.
    SUSSEX, NJ 07461
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Kendall Everett
  • Interment

    Clove Cemetery
    Rt. 23
    Wantage Twp., NJ 07461
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    ***Burial will be private.***
  • Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event

    Online Event

    About this event

    In Loving Memory Of

    Trina De Roo

    November 26, 1929 - June 2, 2023

    Look inside to read what others have shared

    Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Trina here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

Private Condolence

Josephine (Josie) Muller

Posted at 04:07pm
Dearest Mom
My heart feels so heavy knowing I will never again laugh with you, spend time talking to you, saying I love you and hearing you say you love me too. I feel a sense of calm knowing that I will see you again in Heaven. I will miss you teasing me and telling me how lucky I am that Greg is my husband.

I came across your story that you wrote for the Soup & Story Meeting held at the Sussex Christian Reform Church in March 2017.

Here it is:

Song: Great is Thy Faithfulness
My Story by Trina De Roo

I would like to give you some of my background first...............

My mother, formally Gertrude Hamersma, came to the United States with her family in 1914 at the age of eleven. They settled in Byron Center, Michigan for one year and then moved to Clifton, New Jersey by train.

Pake Hamersma, my grandfather, bought a small farm in Clifton, New Jersey. On the farm were fruit trees and grape vines, so Pake started selling fruit first door to door. One customer suggested that he should sell milk as well. So he began raising cows instead of fruit. Milk was sold raw and delivered by horse and wagon.

My father was born in Holland to a poor family. Pop, as we called him, was the eighth child in a family of eleven children. In 1921, at the age of sixteen, he left home to work and earn his own keep. His father had passed away the year before at the age of fifty-three.

In 1924, at the age of nineteen, he immigrated to the United States arriving in early December. A man from a large dairy farm in Princeton, New Jersey came yearly to Holland to recruit workers. He asked around and heard that George, my father, had an interest in going to America. He offered him a job and made the necessary arrangements needed to travel by boat. After bidding farewell to mother and family, George arrived here penniless. Work coveralls were provided but money for work shoes had to be borrowed and the fare for the trip also had to be paid back. At the dairy he was paid by piece work, according to how many cows he milked by hand, working from one barn to the next; milking three times a day. It was hard work, so he asked his sister Anna who lived in Passaic, New Jersey to see if he could get another job. In the spring he moved in with Anna and family and paid them ten dollars a week for room and board. He got a job working as a mason for Nick Andela earning sixty cents an hour. It too was very hard work and hot. His mason job work brought him to a small farm in Clifton and was introduced to Gertrude Hamersma. She was quick to invite him to church. He went and was greeted by many Hollanders. He took a liking to Gertrude and soon a courtship developed.

Upon their marriage, George went into a business partnership with his brother-in-law, Peter Hamersma. Together, they took over the farm and dairy business from Pake Hamersma, Gertrude's father, who then retired. Pake and Beppa built a new house on the property on top of the hill. George and Gertrude were to live in the Brownstone house on the farm. And then renovations were planned to install electricity in the Brownstone. However, Beppa's health was failing and she died at the age of fifty-seven. She never saw the inside of their new house.

George and Gertrude were married just two weeks later in the church parsonage, dressed in black, the same dress she wore to the funeral. Their honeymoon was simply walking down the hill to the Brownstone farmhouse which was home for the next twenty-five years.

Also, in their first year that they were married and because my father was then in the United States for over four years, he now wished to bring his mother here to visit and meet his wife and see the farm. Yes, she would dare to venture the trip by boat of course for a visit. She soon arrived for a few months stay. However, in the late fall, she became ill with pneumonia. Her condition worsened and on the last day of October, she died at the age of fifty-nine.

I was born at home just after that. I was the oldest of six children. My name was Trina Van Althuis after my grandmother Hamersma.

While still living in Clifton, I went to a Christian school and then went to Eastern Academy in Prospect Park, New Jersey, later called Eastern Christian High. I would take three buses each way on public buses. There were no school buses. After graduating, I found a job doing office work.

By this time, I was going to Catechism at our church in Passaic, New Jersey. I went by bus or my father took me. I was to go home by bus. I knew Al Muller (Alfred) as we went to the same Christian School and the same church. He had enlisted in the Navy because being the oldest boy in the family he knew that he would be drafted into the Army, World War II was going on. He ended up going to the Pacific to invade Japan, on the way there the war was declared over. So he spent the rest of his time (a year or more) on the island of Guam. When he came home, he went to the same Catechism class I was going to. He offered to take me home. We soon began dating and then after two years, we were married, living in Clifton.

While living there, we had two boys; Kenny, born fifteen months later and Dean, born three years later.

As time went by, Clifton was becoming heavily developed so much of the farm land was lost to developing homes, making it necessary for a move. My uncle was a little older and didn't have children. He wanted to retire from the milk business. My parents still had children at home so they went looking for another farm. Of most importance, they had to live near a church.

My father and mother soon found a farm called Dagmar Dale Farms in Sussex. He built a new creamery and knowing he would need more help for this new operation, he asked my husband Al to work for him and started the same type of business as in Clifton. My brother Bill would also work for him. So we moved to Sussex also.

After three years, we were expecting another baby, a girl named Sharon. The same year in September 1956, Dean wandered away and drowned in a pond on the farm, on September 24, 1956. So life went on with sadness in our hearts. The Lord giveth and taketh away. Blessed be the Lord.

Then, September came again and it was time to take in the corn. At this time, the Vander Akker Family arrived from Holland and worked for my father. Their son Henry and Kenny would play together. They were playing down near the river and my father was busy taking in the corn. At about 2:30-3:00 pm, he told the boys to hop on the wagon to take them home, as they were done there for the day. Going up the hill slowly and almost near the barn, Kenny decided it was going too slow, so the boys were going to run up. Kenny stepped on the hitch just when it moved from side to side and fell under the wheels of the corn wagon. He lost consciousness but ‘came to’ right away. He was taken to the hospital and x-ray showed no broken bones. Later they operated on him looking for internal injuries as he was complaining of pain.

Later that night, after surgery, he passed away. Autopsy showed that he hemorrhaged along the spine into the chest. This was on September 10, 1957, less than a year after Dean died. So in one year we had only one child left.

I was already expecting my fourth baby. It was another girl, named Carol and always believed that the Lord giveth and taketh away when He knows best. He gave us the strength to go on. It was through His grace and faithfulness that we kept going.
After three years, I was expecting again and this time we had a healthy baby boy named George.

He was born on March 9, 1951 in the evening. The next morning the nurse came to my room and asked me what my blood type was. I said "O Negative". About a half and hour or so later, my doctor came and told me that he was a RH baby and had to be taken to the Middletown Hospital for a blood transfusion. So my husband Al and nurse's aide took him by car to Middletown, New York, where he had a transfusion and was kept there for about four or five days.

So I came home without our baby. God had blessed our family and three years after that we had another boy, named Gregory, in August 3, 1954.

So life went on. We were happy with our family and always busy and were thankful for what we had. People would say "how could you live through those kinds of tragedies?" But it was through faith and prayer and the Grace of God that got us through it.

In 1976, my husband left his family to move in with a waitress of a restaurant he served on the milk route. We were married twenty-six years at the time. I trusted him and never dreamed he would do this, but I knew there was something wrong, he wasn't happy anymore. After two years we divorced. I had two boys (ages twelve and fifteen years old) to raise and I had to go to work fulltime. (After 28 years).

This was very hard on me. I was rejected by my first love. I asked God why did this happen, many times. But I had the support of my parents and siblings and church family.

After about four years, there was an announcement in our bulletin that a Christian Singles group was starting in Midland Park Church. Sharon said to me "Mom you should go there. You could ask Betty Kolk to go too." We did go to the meetings. It was there that I met Al (Albert) De Roo and as we knew each other a little, we soon hit it off and began dating. His wife also left him with three girls at home. Two girls wee married at that time.

We were later married in January 1982. As we had three children in Eastern Christian High, we decided to live in his house in Hawthorne and rent my house out. My son George was living with his sister Carol and Al's daughter Donna was working and living at home. It was five years before most of the children were married or on their own. We then moved to my house in Sussex.

One day, while living in Hawthorne, our church bulletin had a notice in it, saying "Construction type workers wanted for volunteer work in McCall, South Carolina." Upon returning home, Al said to me that I would like to do this sometime and I said that I would like to do it too.
So we volunteered first doing it for two weeks on vacation time. This was for Disaster Response CRWRC. After that we volunteered usually two or three weeks at a time for approximately twenty years.

By this time, we both had grandchildren. In July 1990, Sharon and her family went on vacation to Michigan to visit her sister Carol and her family. Sharon and Carol each had a boy the same age. While there, Jason and Jeremy decided to ride bikes to a sports store a few miles away. While going there, a girl in a car went speeding by and blew her horn. Jason looked and turned, his bike into her car. He was taken with severe head injuries to GR Hospital where he died a few hours later, his organs were donated. It was a month before his thirteenth birthday. So they came home sadly without their oldest son. Again the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Lord.

Al and I continued working with the CRWRC. We only work for poor people in tornado, hurricane or flood areas.

In December 2005, Carol's youngest son, Josh was diagnosed with cancer. He was only nineteen, just out of high school. He had Stage Two Non Hodgkin's and then it was Stage Four as he also was found to have bone cancer in his spine. He had first Chemo and then radiation for a year. He lived through all of this and is now cancer free. He was also told that he may not have children. But he later married and they were blessed with a girl and boy.

So life went on. We would volunteer one or two times a year for three weeks at a time, going all over the states. We really enjoyed doing it. Al did carpentry work and spackling and I did painting or helped in the kitchen.

On our way to a new site, we would talk about where we were going and wondering where we would sleep that night. I am reminded of the time we went to Fort Smith, Arkansas. We stayed in an army barrack at Camp Chaffy. It was a large army camp from WWII, built by German prisoners of war.
John Kuperus was stationed there during the Korean War. Now the National Guard was in part of it. We slept in a barrack. The barracks were two floors. Very large open space. They made bedrooms by putting eight foot plywood up. The ceiling was at least nine feet high so there was an open space all around the top. The doors were shower curtains. They were not to use a nail. I don't know how they did it. The Mess Hall was about thirty or forty feet in another building. The kitchen had every piece of equipment you could think of. There were tables for eating and a sitting area.

It is hard to explain to others how we lived through so much tragedy but it is by having faith in God and through His faithfulness and Grace of God that gives us the strength to survive and go on.

I am reminded of a plaque my mother had in her bedroom that says "My Grace is sufficient for Thee" II Cor 12:9

We also found a poem she copied on grace.

God knows the way of the righteousness
Even though it be dark and drear
He knows when we are tired and weary
Our burdens too heavy to bear
We ask as the shadows lengthens
"Lord lift thou this burden of care"
and often His voice replieth
"My child I placed it for you there"
With grace that is all sufficient
That you might grow stronger in Me
So trust, weary child, your Father
He knoweth and careth for thee!

My husband and I have been blessed with good health and happiness. I have two daughters and two sons and spouses and five stepdaughters and spouses. Grandchildren, step grandchildren and great grandchildren.

What a blessing!

Sing Song: God is so good
He cares for me
He's all I need
God is so good

A Memorial Tree was planted for Trina De Roo

Posted at 03:48pm
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Ferguson Funeral Home, Inc.

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