Cover photo for Kenneth R Tilstra's Obituary
Kenneth R Tilstra Profile Photo
1933 Kenneth 2021

Kenneth R Tilstra

October 9, 1933 — May 6, 2021

Kenneth (Ken) R. Tilstra, 87, passed away at Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center May 6, 2021.

Ken Tilstra was born at home October 9, 1933 to Alice and Walter Tilstra in Inwood, IA. He was the third of ten children. Ken served in the US Army in 1955 and 1956 in France. On January 18, 1957 he married Mary E. Zomermaand. They were married for 64 years.

Ken and Mary farmed and ranched in Iowa until 1970 and then moved to Park City, Mt. It had always been his dream to move west and be a rancher. They lived in Park City, MT for four years and then purchased a ranch on the East Bench, Twin Bridges MT in 1974. They lived in Twin Bridges for 8 years and in Oct. 1982 moved to Bridger MT. They lived in Bridger MT until spring of 2001 and then moved to Sheridan MT.

Ken served on numerous church boards, school boards and county related boards. He enjoyed reading, and listening to gospel and country music. As a teenager and young man, he played guitar and sang with Tilstra family relatives. In later years he sang solos for weddings, funerals, and church gatherings. He also sang in a men’s quartets which included his sons.

His most cherished times were those spent with his children and grandchildren. Holidays were special times with family, whom he loved dearly.

He is survived by his wife, Mary. His four sons, Jim (Shelley), Kent (Vicki), Rick (Mary), Mark(Traci) and grandchildren Ryan, Michelle, Matthew, Alyssa, Michael, Mikayla, and Amy. Sister Marcine Kempema, Clarence Pennings (brother-in-law), and 5 sister-in-laws; Henrietta Tilstra, Nellie Tilstra, Marilyn Tilstra, Caroline Tilstra and Donna Tilstra.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Alice Tilstra and brothers Garrit, John, Rodney, Elmer, Merle and one sister Henrietta Pennings. Identical twin brothers Marinus and Marvin died at a young age. Sister-in-law Betty Zomermaand and brother-in-law Lloyd Kempema.

A family graveside service will be at Sheridan MT Cemetery Sat, 5/8/2020.

Memorials may be sent to Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center Foundation, PO Box 481, Ennis MT 59729.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth R Tilstra, please visit our flower store.

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