Virginia "Ginnie" Diane Zijlstra

July 29, 1951 ~ June 8, 2020 (age 68)


Our beloved Virginia (Ginnie) Diane Evert Zijlstra found eternal peace on June 8, 2020, passing at Harborview Medical Center, after suffering a massive stroke. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who cared deeply for her family. Ginnie was known to have a big heart and went out of her way to do things for her friends and family.

Ginnie was born on July 29, 1951 at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, IL, while her father was serving in the US Air Force. She was the second of six children born to James Robert and Marilyn Jane (Treest) Evert.  After her father’s military service, she moved with her family to Kaneville, IL where she attended the first and second grade. In 1959, she moved with her parents and five siblings to Yakima, WA. She attended school in Yakima, ultimately graduating from Davis High School in 1969. Ginnie also attended school at Yakima Valley Community College.

After college, she worked for a number of years for Pacific Northwest Bell phone company. She continued friendships with a number of her co-workers, even after leaving the phone company in 1990.

Ginnie eventually met the love of her life, Johan Zijlstra, in 1988 on a blind date. They married at the United Methodist Church in Yakima on June 3, 1989. The two then made their home in Sunnyside, WA, where they had two children, Jamie and Joey. In 1993, Ginnie and Johan started a successful butchering business. Ginnie worked with the business taking phone calls, scheduling clients, and book-keeping while also raising her two children.  

Ginnie enjoyed traveling with her husband and children, taking several trips to Europe to visit family and sight-see. Ginnie and Johan also enjoyed visiting the Oregon Coast and taking walks on the beach. Over the last two years, Ginnie babysat her grandson, Landon, and loved watching him grow. The role of grandmother and babysitter was very important to her and together they loved reading books and watching Disney movies.  

Ginnie loved to visit with, and be surrounded by, her family and friends. She enjoyed hosting parties, as well as attending family gatherings and BBQs. While living in Sunnyside, she gained many friendships over the years and was always a phone call away to provide advice or lend an ear. 

Ginnie is survived by her husband, Johan: daughter Jamie (Kyle) Pearson and grandson Landon Pearson of Prosser, WA.; son Joey Zijlstra, Sunnyside, WA.; brothers Steven (Winnie) Evert and Daniel Evert of Olympia, WA: Richard Evert of Molalla, OR: sister Christine (Louis) Tercier of Orcas Island, WA; half-brothers John (Theresa) Evert of Detroit, MI; Andrew (Dawn) Evert of Camas, WA; step mother Lorry Evert-Garvin of Yakima, WA; step father Donald Center of Coulee City, WA. She was preceded in death by her father, James, her mother, Marilyn, and her brother Thomas. 
Ginnie’s wonderful smile and intense love for her family and others will be greatly missed.

Viewing and visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, WA.  Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside, WA.  Burial will follow at Terrace Height Memorial Park in Yakima, WA for immediate family only.   Those wishing to sign Genny’s online memorial book may do so at    Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside.   



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Virginia "Ginnie" Diane Zijlstra, please visit our floral store.


June 16, 2020

4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Smith Funeral Home
528 S. 8th St.
Sunnyside, WA 98944

Funeral Service
June 17, 2020

10:00 AM
Smith Funeral Home
528 S. 8th St.
Sunnyside, WA 98944

Private Interment

Terrace Heights Memorial Park, WA, Yakima

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