obituary Betty Jean Zeilstra

Betty Jean Zeilstra was born in Chicago, IL March 7, 1934 in Little Company of Mary Hospital.

She is the oldest child of Edward Herman Bollhoffer and Elizabeth Othelia (Hildebrandt) Bollhoffer, married in 1929.

She grew up during the depression and WWII on the south side of Chicago and had lots of stories about people raising farm animals in their tiny city backyards.  One neighbor raised lambs, another chickens, another rabbits.  When she was little, her German grandpa moved from the farm in Michigan to live with his daughter and family, so she has stories about trying to communicate with him in German.

Betty went to high school at Loring School for Girls and attended one year at University of Wisconsin – Madison.  That was a year they went to the Rose Bowl, so she had lots of stories about the parties in CA over the holidays.  Deciding she wanted to focus on art studies, she transferred to the Art Institute of Chicago for her last 3 years of college. That’s where she met and partied with Don Zeilstra and eventually, after he completed boot camp, they were married April 7, 1956.  In October 1956, Betty joined him in Germany and they setup their first home together in an off-base apartment, at the top of 94 steps.

For about 8 months Betty and Don had a fabulous time touring Europe during Don’s leaves.  Skiing in Italy and touring German cathedrals during the winter and then a full-blown 3-week road trip in May.  This trip took them to northern Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, London and other places.  In June 1957, oldest child, Sharon Scotte was born. The return to the states was August 9, 1957 and there was a formal discharge process through New York City that took a couple weeks. 

After brief visits to Chicago and California relatives in late 1957, Don settled into a position as Associate Art Director for Field Enterprises, and Betty set-up their first home in Lombard, IL.  In 1962, Betty welcomed their first son, Steven Scott and their second son, Stuart Donald in 1964.  With 5 people and one boxer named Rip, they were outgrowing that small ranch home. In 1966 Don and Betty built their third home together in North Barrington, IL.  Betty was busy designing the interior and garden areas of that new home, while learning to love and hate golf.  Betty was always actively volunteering at her church, from Altar Guild to Choir.  She sang for many years in the Barringtones, Choir of Lake County and the Sacred Choir of the Lakes as well.

In the early 1970s, Don struck out on his own to build a small advertising and graphic arts agency and Betty was bookkeeper and office manager.  In the early 1990s, after their kids were grown, Don and Betty built their fourth home together in Pinehurst, NC.  Serious golf continued. 

Betty continued to be active in her church here, especially with the choir.  In addition, she participated in a Moore County chorus, Sandhills Chorus and Linden Garden Club.

Betty was preceded in death by her son Steve in 2017.

Betty is survived by her sister Marjorie Schofield of Ft Wayne, IN and preceded in death by her brother Edward Bollhoffer Jr.

Betty is survived by her daughter Sharon Zeilstra of NC, son Stuart Zeilstra (Kathy) and granddaughter Lauren of IL and daughter in law Carol Breeze Zeilstra and grandson Atticus of MO.

Memorial service will be scheduled at a future time

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to : Our Savior Lutheran Church of Southern Pines, 1517 Luther Way, Southern Pines, NC 28387

Online condolences may be made to

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst.

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