Nesta Schoonhoven

Nesta Schoonhoven, age 89, of Brookings, S.D. passed away on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023, at the Prairie View Healthcare Center in Tracy, Minn.

Memorial services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Nesta J. Schoonhoven was born on March 6, 1934, in Doon, Iowa, the daughter of John and Irene (Post) VanderWilt. She started her education in Doon, Iowa. Nesta’s family then moved to Ruthton, Minn., where she was a graduate of the Ruthton High School in 1951. Nesta was only 17 years old when she graduated as Salutatorian.

Nesta worked for the Jack Sprat Food Store in Ruthton, Minn., before beginning her career at Northwestern Bell in Minneapolis, Minn. She was united in marriage to Henry Schoonhoven on Jan. 8, 1954, in Holland, Minn.

Nesta and Henry moved to South Dakota where they farmed near Ward until 1984. After moving to Brookings, she was employed at 3M from 1977 until her retirement in 1994. Nesta then worked at the United Retirement Center until 2000. She also worked in the school lunch department at Hillcrest Middle School and at Dakota Sun in Volga for several years. Henry died on Sept. 2, 2002, in Brookings.

Nesta enjoyed gardening, riding snowmobile in her younger years, caring for animals, and adult fellowship. She also loved to watch her boys play sports during their high school years.

Survivors include her sons; Greg Schoonhoven of Kemmerer, Wyo., Todd Schoonhoven of Pipestone, Minn., David Schoonhoven of Kearney, Neb., and Daniel Schoonhoven of Brookings, S.D.; 11 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; one brother, Tyson (Lois) Van Der Wilt of Tracy, Minn.; and numerous other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; one son, Thomas; infant son, Gregory James, one brother, William; and two sisters, Ruth and Norma.