Symon John Elzinga passed away at his home in Meridian on Sunday, February 25, at the age of 91. He was surrounded by many friends and family in the days leading up to his death.
Symon was born on April 19, 1926 in Allingawier, Province of Friesland, Netherlands. As a teenager, he lived with a family (members of the Dutch resistance) who were hiding Jews and downed pilots in Nazi occupied Netherlands. After World War II, he left the war-ravaged Netherlands for another war in Indonesia, joining the Korps Mariniers, the elite Royal Netherlands Marine Corps. After many close calls, including being wounded by a grenade and subsequently returning back to the front, he was discharged and found himself back in Friesland. During a 2 year stint in the Merchant Marine Academy and living on the high seas as an apprentice, he met the love of his life on shore leave: Julia Ann Wijnja. In just two weeks after they were married in 1952, they emigrated from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. With just $64 dollars to their name, they began to carve out a life for themselves by working in Sarnia, Canada. In a few short years, they emigrated to America, and became part of the Greatest Generation that personified the American dream. After working for others in a variety of positions, he established himself as the most independent “Independent owner-operator” of a trucking business that provided increased success and stability for his family. Through it all, he continued to give glory to the God who met him near death in a wartime foxhole, and who is still with him this very day. In 2000, Symon and Julia moved from the East to Meridian, Idaho, to be near their children and grandchildren. They were married for 59 years until Julia’s passing in 2011.
Symon is survived by 4 sons who married well, in the pattern of their parents: Jerry (Beth), of Salmon, Idaho; Dr. Henry (Kathryn), of Boise; William (Laurel), of Pacific, Missouri; and Glenn (Caryl), of May, Idaho. From those unions came 14 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by a sister, Jantje Schurer, of Sneek, Friesland, Netherlands, and a half-sister, Ada VanderWeert, of Vergennes, Vermont. Symon had a love of learning and a love of places. Despite having little formal education, he was widely read (in his non-native English) and well-traveled. Symon was extremely personable and by finding “common ground” through good conversation, he established a huge network of friends from all walks of life.
In his last days he made it clear that the story of his life was beginning yet another chapter—one far more joyful and glorious in the presence of his Lord Jesus. He also remarked that if anything was said of his life, it shouldn’t be about him; rather, that his life only be a standing testament to the faithfulness of his Lord. He will be sorely missed!
A Memorial Service will be held at the Cloverdale United Reformed Church, 3580 N. Cloverdale Rd. in Boise on Saturday, March 3 at 12 noon. A light lunch will follow. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – Nampa – 208-442-8171. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
The family suggest memorial contributions be made to World Renew, 1700 28th St. S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49508.