Genevieve “Gen” Zuidema


Genevieve “Gen” Zuidema, age 86, of Willmar, passed peacefully to her heavenly home on Thurs., March 30, 2023, due to cancer. A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, April 7, 2023, at 2 PM at Bunde Christian Reformed Church. Burial will be in the Spring. Visitation will be one hour prior. Livestream will be available via the church’s website.

Genevieve Laura Bohlsen Zuidema was born to Martin & Dena (Peters) Bohlsen on April 28, 1936, on her parent’s farm in Clara City, MN. She attended country school & graduated from Clara City High School in 1954. Genevieve was baptized & made her personal profession of faith in Jesus at Bunde Christian Reformed Church, where she was a life-long member.

On July 27, 1955, Gen married Robert “Bob” Mahlum, making their home in Clara City. From this union, three children were born: Ricky Gene, Julie Diane, & Gregory Robert. Gen worked at Variety Supply Center (VSC) in Clara City. After Bob’s death in 1983, she moved to Arden Hills, where she was employed at Dain Bosworth for 11 years. In 1996, Gen moved back to Clara City & remodeled the home her parents left her. On June 14, 2003, she married James Zuidema & they made their home in Willmar.

Gen enjoyed raising her children, crafts, sewing, gardening, travel, playing the piano & singing, cooking & baking her famous cinnamon rolls that were enjoyed by the family on every occasion.

Gen is survived by her husband, Jim Zuidema; children, Rick (Pat) Mahlum, Julie (Bill) Toppson, Gregory (Trish) Mahlum; grandchildren, Ericka, Robert & Courtney, Will, Jessica & Kelsey, Laura & Ashley; great-grandchildren, Lena, Marie, Deacon & Benton; brother, Virgil (Hilda) Bohlsen; stepchildren, Arlin (Doris), Charris (Gary), Douglas & their loving children & grandchildren; & a host of other loving friends & relatives.

Gen is preceded in death by parents, Martin & Dena; first husband, Robert; grandson, Matthew Robert Mahlum; brothers, Henry (Doris), John (Betty), Marvin (Marion); sister-in-law, Mildred (Harold) Slater.

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