Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Rinse Spoelstra Memorial
Rinse Spoelstra Memorial

Rinse Spoelstra

Rinse Spoelstra

Monday, July 20th, 2020

Rinse Spoelstra (friends called him Ron or Ronnie, but his family called him Rinnie) of Bow passed away Monday, July 13, 2020 at the age of 80.

Rinse was born March 2, 1940 in Sneek, Friesland, the Netherlands just before the occupation of Germany during WWII. He was the eldest son of Jaap and Siepie Spoelstra.

As a young boy in Holland, he loved anything with the water. He would tell us he learned to swim before he could walk. He would jump the canals with a pole, ice skate, and go sailing. He was also an avid soccer player.

After the war, things were not getting any better, so in 1952 the family packed up their belongings and said their goodbyes to family and friends. He never saw his Opa Rinse again whom he loved dearly. The family immigrated to the United States and settled in Skagit County.

While working on the “pea stack” in Edison, he met Marianne Sloan who had come with a friend to see the cute Dutchman. They were married on December 30, 1960.

They lived in Edison and Blanchard, then built their home on Bow Hill where they raised their three girls.

He worked as a blueberry farmer for Bayview Farms until his retirement in 2007. He raised and raced pigeons with the NCI Racing Pigeon Club, a pastime he enjoyed with his own dad. He would always come to dinner with a few pigeon feathers on his head. Every morning you could find him at the Edison Cafe or the Edison Gun Club having coffee with the boys and rolling dice, playing “4, 5, 6.” You could also find him often at the United General Health Club.

In the summer he loved to go camping with his family on Reed Lake. He attended Edison Lutheran Church and would usually be the last to leave after visiting everyone at coffee hour. In 2016, he became a proud citizen of the United States, but still had a strong love for his Dutch heritage; his Fatherland. He also approached life with a sense of humor. But the most important thing to him was his family. He instilled in them hard work, love and respect, and kindness.

He is survived by Marianne, the love of his life. His three daughters and son-in-laws: Debbie (Terry) Shaffer of Bow, and Michele (Leonard) Libbey of Stanwood, Gina and (Mike) VanderWal of Mount Vernon. Six grandchildren: Kaylee (Laine), Lacey and Tye Shaffer; Calvin and Josh (Casey) Libbey; and Jacob VanderWal. Three great grandchildren: Easton and Gunnar Rayfield and Leonard Libbey. His five siblings: Margaret (Gary) Morrow, Eddie (Gwen) Spoelstra, Hilda (Ernie) Goetzinger, Annie Spoelstra, and Jackie (Curt) Johnson. His nieces and nephews: Laura, Lisa, Kim, Kelly, Scott, Mindi, Aaron, Ron, Jeni, Carrie, Jeff, Jason, Pam, Tina, Justin, Alicia. His Ome Eddy and Tante Hanneke Wierstra of Sneek, Friesland and numerous cousins in Holland and in Washington. Also his close friends Chala, Loren and Chub.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Rinse was a loving husband, dad, papa and friend. He will be dearly missed by many. We were blessed to have him home and to care for him this last week. The family wishes to express a special thank you and appreciation to all the staff at Hospice. He was laid to rest at the Bow Cemetery.


  • Sandy & Donnie Ruyle

    May God be with Ron’s family at this time. Sandy & I enjoyed visiting with Ron & Marian. Going to Pigeon Show and Washington State Racing Pigeon banquets with Ron and family.

  • Todd FISHER

    Debbie sorry to hear about the lost of your father . I always enjoyed his smile and the conversations i had with him . He always address me and others with a Mr Fisher instead of Todd . He was a wonderful man and I am sure a wonderful father . Once again my best to you and your family . Todd and Debbie Fisher

  • Diana G Pearson

    Debbie and family, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved father, husband, and Papa. You have a beautiful family that depicts the kind of upbringing you’ve had with Rinse and Marianne. Rest in peace, Rinse. You’ll see your family again someday. Wear your wooden shoes!
    Love, Diana Pearson

  • teresa flinn

    Michelle and Debbie (I don’t remember your youngest sister), I am so sorry for the loss of your father. what a great memorial of his life…

  • Mindi Morrow Brock

    Uncle Rinnie, I hope you know how much I loved you. As a child, I was your biggest fan. You were like a second father to me and always treated me with such kindness. I have such fond memories with you and your family. Thank you for being an amazing man. You will be greatly missed.