ORANGE CITY—Mrs. Paula Ribbens, age 66, of Orange City, was taken to her eternal home by her Lord and Savior, on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.
There will be a memorial service at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Robert Drenten will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City. There will be a family prayer service at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church. Visitation with the family will be 5-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 12, at the church.
Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.
Paula was born on Oct. 30, 1952, in Orange City, the daughter of Ivan and Alma (Vollink) Visser. She was raised in Orange City, where she attended Orange City Christian School and Unity Christian High School. She then attended Dordt College in Sioux Center, where she graduated with a teaching degree. Following graduation, she moved to Denver, Colorado, where she taught at Van Dellen Christian School.
On March 29, 1975, she married Larry James Ribbens in Orange City. They spent the early years of their marriage in Denver and later moved to Orange City. Paula was passionate about Christian Education and devoted her teaching career to it. After spending a few years at home raising kids, she returned to teaching at the Orange City Christian School and filled many roles as needed during her 31 years there.
She was a member of the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church. Over the years Paula served as part-time church secretary, sewed church banners and enjoyed being in small group.
A devoted mother and grandmother, Paula cherished spending time with her family and was dedicated to providing a godly example for them to follow. She delighted in teaching her grandchildren about God’s love for them, His gift of salvation, and how they can let their light shine for Jesus.
Along with lifting up her immediate family, Paula enjoyed welcoming brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and friends who were visiting or attending college in the area. She was intentional about making others feel loved and special, whether it was a birthday or another occasion. She didn’t think of her acts of love and service to others as anything extraordinary, it was just part of who she was.
For those left cherishing her life, what a blessing God gives us in memories of fun times we enjoyed together with her, her selfless giving and her encouragement.
She is survived by her husband of more than 44 years; a son, Joshua Ribbens, and his wife, Sara Ribbens, of Aurora, Colorado; two daughters, Shelly, and her husband, Christopher Wallenburg, of Grimes; and Rebecca, and her husband, Nathan Miedema, of West Des Moines; seven grandchildren, Lane and Lucy Ribbens; Alivia, Cora, and Jude Wallenburg; and Bennett and Alex Miedema; four brothers, Evan (Jill) Visser of Venice, Florida; Tim Visser of Englewood, Colorado; Jeff (Cathy) Visser of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Mark (Carrie) Visser of Lynden, Washington; a brother-in-law, Mark Kauk of Orange City; two stepbrothers, Dale (Mary) Andringa of Mitchellville; and John (Kathy) Andringa of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; a stepsister, Avis (Mark) Bennett of Farmington, New Hampshire; Larry’s siblings, Barb (Ken) Addink; Sherry (Phillip) Brummel; Don (Mindy) Ribbens; and his sister-in-law, Marilynn Ribbens-Gritters; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her stepfather, Marion Andringa; a sister, JoEllen Kauk; her parents-in-law, Ted and Lois Ribbens; and a brother-in-law, Tim Ribbens.
Paula loved and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ. She was an encouragement to others, often reminding them that each day was a gift from the Lord. She lived her life as a testimony to the promise of God’s faithfulness.
Memorials may be directed to Immanuel Christian Reformed Church Building Expansion, Orange City Christian School or Orange City Area Home Health and Hospice.