August 25, 1930 - May 2, 2017
Grace Wormer of Ontario CA died on May 2, 2017 of complications from a massive stroke and pneumonia, in hospice care at Inland Christian Home. She was 86, having been born Gretha Cornelia Tientjes on August 25, 1930 in Utrecht, The Netherlands to Bernardus and Grietje de Ruiter-Tientjes.
Grace grew up on a tennis club in Zeist where her father strung tennis racquets by hand, and her mother served concessions from the kitchen of their home attached to the clubhouse. As WWII broke out in Europe, Grace and her brother climbed a tree to watch the German Luftwaffe bomb the village behind them, and she would gather food scraps from German soldiers occupying a nearby school. Her father worked for the Dutch underground, and her parents sheltered defectors from the German military and Allied soldiers. After the war, Grace excelled in the “Household School” and became an accomplished cook and seamstress. She created abundant needlework in crochet, knitting, counted cross stitch, hardanger, tatting, and later quilting. Grace taught kindergarten before marrying the love of her life John Wormer on November 7, 1956. Three months later, the newlyweds began a new life in America working together for a wealthy La Jolla CA family with John working as chauffer/gardener/butler and Grace as cook/maid/governess. John and Grace became naturalized US citizens, moving 13 times their first two years in San Diego accommodating four of John’s six brothers whose emigration from Holland they sponsored, again after the births of daughters Lucie and Peggy, and then to Bellflower/Lakewood for 27 years. The family was very active at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Downey, where in 1971 Grace returned to her love of teaching at the church’s school. She taught a combination 1st/2nd grade class for 18 years, and her retirement money tree was spent chiefly on Legos to play with her six grandchildren. Grace also taught Sunday School, led Girl Scouts, and was a Youth Group leader with John. Later, John and Grace lived in Chino for 5 years and happily enjoyed retirement in Escondido for 6 years. After losing John in 2001, Grace moved to Inland Christian Home and joined Peggy’s Sew Blessed Quilters ministry, where she was loved by many and known by them all as “Oma” until being called Home to be reunited with her beloved John.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband John in 2001. She is survived by her children Lucie (Tracy) Woolery of Chico CA and Peggy (Bill) Pearson of Chino CA; brother Ben Tientjes of New Zealand; sister Ina van Breemen of The Netherlands; 6 grandchildren: Jason Pearson, Cody Pearson, and Ty Pearson of Ontario; Shaina (David) Garcia of Menifee; Evan (Rebekah) Woolery of Los Angeles; and Alex Woolery of Chico; 6 great-grandchildren; 5 sisters-in-law; 4 brothers-in-law; 19 nieces and nephews; 28 great-nieces and nephews; and 6 great-great-nieces and nephews.
The family appreciates the care that Grace received from Inland Christian Home, San Antonio Regional Hospital, and to Carmen, Mailu, Peniel, Bobby, Debbie, and Leticia from A-One Hospice.
A funeral service is scheduled for Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 5648 Jefferson Avenue in Chino, beginning at 10AM and followed by a reception with slideshow in the parish hall. There will be a private scattering of Grace’s ashes off the coast of Newport Beach. Online condolences may be given at http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/gracewormer/homepage.aspx
A video of Grace telling stories of her life is online at <https://youtu.be/QIzz-UjVHIQ>. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Wycliffe Bible Translators or to Inland Christian Home.
Her grandson Jason said it best. “I firmly believe the true measures of a person are the people they attract, raise, and seek out and the way they handle what life throws at them. Oma raised a wonderful family that in turn raised wonderful families of their own, was adored by amazing people, kept a positive attitude and robust sense of humor in spite of everything she went through. She was truly an ambassador for The Greatest Generation.”