Louis Brouwer

January 4, 2018

obit BrouwerLouis photo2BEVELJuly 21, 1925 – Dec. 24, 2017

Funeral services for Louis “Lou” Brouwer, age 92 of Pipestone, formerly of Tyler, will be Friday, Jan. 5, 11 a.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Hol­land. Visitation will be Thursday, Jan. 4, 4-7 p.m. at Hartquist Funeral Home – Utoft Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Burial will be in Danebod Cemetery in Ty­ler.
He died peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 24, 2017 at the Avera Behavioral Health Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Arrangements are pro­vided by Hartquist Funer­al Home, Utoft-Johansen Chapel in Tyler. Send on-line condolences at www. hartquistfuneral.com.
Peter Louis “Lou” Brou­wer was born to Arie and Gertie (Brands) Brouwer on July 21, 1925 near Larchwood, Iowa and baptized in the Reformed Church in Inwood, Iowa. For the first year and a half of his life, transportation was by horse and buggy. Later the family moved to a farm near Inwood, Iowa and when Louis was 10½, to a farm near Chandler. He attended country school, finishing grade school at age 12, having taken two grades in one year. He then helped on the farm. In 1940 the family moved to a farm north of Edgerton, where Louis made profes­sion of his faith in God at the Reformed Church.
When Louis was 19 he met Esther DeWilde at the Christian Reformed Church in Holland. They married on Nov. 27, 1947 at her parents’ home in Tyler. They then lived in California for six months where Louis worked for his uncle John Brouwer at a service station in Lodi. In May 1948 they returned to Tyler, where Louis was a carpenter’s helper and Es­ther cared for her parents for the remainder of their lives. Since he enjoyed the outdoors and math was his strong subject in his lim­ited schooling, Louis chose the construction trade to earn a living for the family they hoped to have.
In the spring of 1950, Louis and Esther formed their own construction business. While Louis bid jobs and built a crew with which he worked side-by-side, Esther was book­keeper and interior de­sign consultant. She was a great partner and took the brunt of raising the four fine children born to this union, passing on to them her musical talent and love for music. Louis spent much of his time operat­ing the family business. In the early 1970s, Louis and Esther purchased sev­eral small tracts of land in southwest Tyler and put them together to form Brouwer’s Bicentennial Addition, which has many fine homes in it today.
Louis enjoyed being with his family. They took many trips in the family car over Christmas holidays when he stopped construction for two weeks so the crew could enjoy time with fam­ily. Tyler was Lou’s and Esther’s home for their married life, except for six months in California just after their marriage, and six months in 1961 when the family lived in Phoenix, Arizona.
Louis readily engaged with the community, serv­ing as the first president of Lincoln County’s Hous­ing and Redevelopment Authority for three years. He was chair of the Tyler Hospital Board and on the board of the Christian Re­formed Church and later First English Lutheran Church, both in Tyler. He was elected to the Chris­tian Reformed General Synod in Grand Rapids, Michigan and voted for buying Calvin College.
After their retirement in January 1990, Louis and Esther did a great deal of traveling together, which they both enjoyed, and spent several winters in Arizona. Louis enjoyed baking and giving away his baked goods. His philoso­phy was, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” He was known for his love of the Lord and family, as well as for the hundreds of af­fordable and sought-after quality homes he built.
Louis faithfully cared for Esther the last five years of her life, keeping her home until the last few days. He felt that God gave him the willpower to do this. Plus, she was a sweetheart to care for which helped them get through this dif­ficult time. Esther passed on June 15, 2004. After her death Louis continued to live in Tyler for three years. During this time he and Alvina Vander Sluis became good friends. They married on Dec. 14, 2007 at Alvina’s home near Hol­land, where the couple then resided. They lived 10 happy years together. In 2007 he transferred his church membership from First English Lutheran in Tyler to the Holland Chris­tian Reformed Church.
Lou Brouwer is lovingly remembered by his wife Alvina; four children— Lorna (Arlin) Bylsma of Orange City, Iowa, Rev. Dr. Lynnette Brouwer of Pay­son, Arizona, Dennis (Re­becca) Brouwer of Purcell­ville, Virginia, and Estelle (Gary DeCramer) Brouwer of Mendota Heights; 13 grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; two brothers, Jasper Brouwer of Demotte, Indiana and Bert Brouwer and his wife Bernice of Edgerton; and two sisters-in-law, Harriet Brouwer of Dexter, Michi­gan and Katherine Brouw­er of Eastpointe, Michigan.
He was preceded in death by his wife Esther; his parents; parents-in-law Herman and Etta DeWilde; brother- and sister-in-law Floyd and Edna DeWilde; four brothers—Gerrit, Edward, Arie and Merle; sister and brother-in-law Jeanette and Harris Deth­mers; two sisters-in-law, Berniece and Betty; and son-in-law Gary DeCra­mer.
Blessed be his memory and his life through us, his contributions through his life on this earth, and his spirit and soul.