Marilyn Arlene De Jonge Koops, age 91, died of complications from Parkinson's Disease on the evening of Friday, November 25, 2022. Born June 5, 1931 to John and Martha (Petroelje) De Jonge in Zeeland, Michigan, she graduated from Zeeland High School and then Calvin College, and began her teaching career in Michigan. She and her husband, Hugh Koops, lived in Michigan and Illinois before moving to New Jersey in 1970, where she lived in the greater New Brunswick area for over fifty years. While teaching in New Brunswick, she was concerned about the difficulty that some students had learning to read. This led her into the newly developed Learning Disabilities program at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) where she obtained her Master’s Degree and then worked as a Learning Disability Teacher/Consultant in the New Brunswick School District until she retired at seventy-five years old.
Marilyn served as an officer of the Women’s Auxiliary at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, as Vice-President and President of New Brunswick Classis, and as delegate to the General Synod of the Reformed Church of America. She was an elder, a deacon, and the emeritus organist at College Avenue Community Church, formerly known as Second Reformed Church, in New Brunswick. She is remembered for playing hymns with great style and tempo. She also loved to sew, knit, read, do word puzzles and make pecan pies. Although she didn’t like to cook, her grandchildren have fond memories of her chocolate chip cookies, pork chop casserole and Thursday night spaghetti.
She was predeceased by her husband; her parents; her sister, Stella Wildschut; and brothers, Peter De Jonge and Joy De Jonge; as well as her brothers-in-law, Ralph Wildschut, Stan Sluiter, Ed Koops and Paul Brink. She is survived by her children, Myra and husband Richard Thayer, Laurel DeJonge, Nathan Koops and wife Deborah Tromblay, and Ann and husband Jeffrey Hays; her grandchildren, Dawn and husband Drew, Kacy and husband Michael, Aaron and wife Anna, Alexander, Daniel and wife Linden, Taylor, Luke and wife Shenella, Stephanie and husband Henry, and Samuel and wife Madison; and her great grandchildren, Amber, Haydn, Arianna, Dorian, Lyra, Rowan, Ethan, and Clementine. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, Joyce Sluiter, Sharon Koops, and Karen Brink; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.
When Parkinson’s advanced to the point where Marilyn could no longer live independently, she wanted to have her own place and be able to be with others her age. Parker at Landing Lane was the place for her. The family is deeply grateful for the loving care that was provided to Marilyn, allowing her as much independence as possible while providing support and encouragement.
Marilyn could not leave a gathering without stretching out the “good-bye”, so a Memorial Service will be held in her honor next year, on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at College Avenue Community Church, 100 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Following the service, all are invited to share memories and enjoy Marilyn’s favorite desserts at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marilyn’s memory to Parkinson's Disease Research and Education Institute (parkinsonsdiseaseresearcheducationinstitute.org), Alzheimer’s Association (http://www.alz.org), or a charity of your choice.