Celebrating a Century of Sisterhood

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Turning 100 years old is a significant event for anyone, but it is even more special when the occasion is shared with sisters.

On May 4, Cornelia Gabrielse of Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Sheboygan, Wisc., celebrated her birthday at Pine Haven retirement home, where she resides, with her sisters, Maude Simmelink, 98, and Jeanette Davies, 96.

Approximately 70 residents from the retirement home, a few guests, and family members enjoyed cake and ice cream and looking through old photos of the sisters’ lives. “All three still have very sharp minds, so the childhood stories began to fly, and a lot of cackling was heard,” said Bernie Gabrielse, Cornelia’s youngest son. “If one of them told a story slightly wrong, they were quickly corrected!”

All three women are lifetime members of Christian Reformed churches in Sheboygan and continue to be involved in church affairs. “[The sisters] recalled the importance and influence of ministers like Rev. Edward Pekelder and Rev. William Terpsma played in leading them to make profession of faith at young ages,” said Bernie. Edward Gabrielse, oldest son of Cornelia, said, “All three are a powerful testimony to God’s abiding love.”

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.