Obituary: Elaine Mae Gouwens


September 10, 1935 – April 29, 2022

information provided by Smits Funeral Home

Elaine Mae GouwensElaine Mae Gouwens, nee Stegenga, age 86, of Thornton, IL went home to her Lord and Savior on Friday, April 29, 2022. Beloved wife of the late Roger L. Gouwens. Loving mom of the late Christie Rae Gouwens, Lori (Jeff) Reidenga, and Larry (late Pam) Gouwens. Loving Nana of Kayla (Alex) Bulthuis, Benjamin (Gina) Gouwens, Karen (Nick) Blevins, Jenna Rae (Jason) Stoit, Natalie (Dave Kolember) Gouwens, Elizabeth (Jeremiah) Dunwell, and Dana (Jon) Kamphuis. Loving Great-Nana of Owen Stoit, James Bulthuis, Willa Bulthuis, and Alexander Blevins. Dear sister of Raymond (Sandra) Stegenga, the late Mariella (late Eric) Bertelsen, and Randall (Lynn) Stegenga. Dear sister-in-law of Nancy (nee Gouwens) and Wayne VanSwol. Loving aunt of many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by her parents Raymond and Marie (nee Jellema) Stegenga.

Visitation with family and friends will be held on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, from 4 – 8 p.m. at Smits Funeral Home, 2121 Pleasant Springs Lane, Dyer, IN. A Funeral Service will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at Smits Funeral Home with Rev. Steve Miller officiating. A private family burial will take place at Oak Ridge Cemetery – Lansing, IL.

Mrs. Gouwens lived in Thornton for 62 years; while raising her three children with Mr. Gouwens, she worked in the cafeteria for School District 205, then worked for South Suburban College for 25 years. Mrs. Gouwens will be fondly remembered by her family and friends as loving, steadfast, and hard-working. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Village Free Church or the Sterling Strong Foundation, which helps bring awareness to congenital heart disease and help families whose children are in the PCICU for an extended period of time in honor of Elaine’s great-granddaughter, Willa, who is a Heart Warrior living with CHD. For further information, please contact 219-322-7300 or visit our online obituary and guest book at