Juliana Houtsma Obituary, Death Cause – On January 11, 2023, Algene John “AJ” Houtsma, who was 87 years old and lived in Syracuse, Kansas, went to be with his heavenly Father. He passed away on that day. He was born on October 11, 1935 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as the first child to his parents, Albert Cornelius Houtsma and Gertrude Nora (Rowenhorst) Houtsma. He was the oldest son. AJ spent his childhood years on a dairy farm in Volga, South Dakota, not far from the Houtsma grain silo, which is still in operation today.
When he was 13 years old, he finished the eighth grade, which was the final grade of his official education. He gave up his goals of becoming a doctor despite having a great desire to complete his study and high prospects of becoming one. Instead, he chose to help support his family by working. After moving to Santa Ana, California when he was 17 years old, he was teaching Sunday school at the Christian Reformed Church in Artesia, California when he first met Margaret Elizabeth teVelde.
They tied the knot on October 3, 1958, and by 1970, they already had the joy of raising six children: five daughters and one son. Before relocating to Stephenville, Texas in 1979, the family lived in Spanaway, which is located in the state of Washington. AJ relocated to Syracuse, Kansas, in 2007, and was soon followed by Margaret. There, they were able to take pleasure in being close to their offspring and grandkids. AJ was a devout follower of the Presbyterian faith and attended the First Presbyterian Church in Syracuse.
His children and grandchildren will remember him as a kind and caring parent and grandfather throughout their lives. He instilled in his children the value of hard work and pushed all of his daughters to pursue educations at reputable educational institutions. It was a source of great pride for him that his son, Jay, had established a successful dairy business. His love of agriculture and animals lasted his entire life, and he got his start in the dairy business.