Lori Carol Natelborg died peacefully at her home Friday, March 13, 2020, after a 21-month battle with a brain tumor. She was surrounded by a number of precious family members.
Lori was born in Waterloo, the eighth and youngest child of Herbert and Marjorie Mulder (Primus). She attended Parkersburg schools and went on to receive her degree in elementary education in 1992. She obtained a cosmetology license and began working for Reflections Hair Design in Pella before she obtained her teaching positions. Lori worked for Newton Christian School for one year and Des Moines Christian School for two years before having the privilege of being able to be a full-time mom to her three children. Lori began a business at home and also worked at church as a custodian in order to be able to stay home with the children; they never had to spend a minute in daycare and got their mom 100 percent of the time. When the kids were in school, she began substitute teaching. Lori was set to begin teaching kindergarten in August 2018 at Pella Christian Grade School, but due to being diagnosed with a brain tumor, never began this job.
Lori’s first love was her family and caring for them. Lori married Russ Natelborg Dec. 30, 1995. They were married for 24 years and she loved being his wife. She was the best wife to Russ every day. Lori and Russ had three children, Ellie Jonna Natelborg, age 19, Ethan Michael Natelborg, age 17, and Isaac Benjamin Natelborg, age 15. She loved and cherished every second of being their mom and taking care of their needs. She loved them with her whole heart. Ellie, a freshman at Northwestern College, was her joy and delight. She loved her dearly and talked often of how special her one daughter was to her. Her son Ethan, fun-loving, social and hilarious, was her cherished son who she loved to love. Isaac, quiet and strong, was recognized as being a gift from God, which is why she named him Isaac, meaning laughter.
Lori loved family and friends and spending time with them, above doing anything else. Lori was not very good at fighting with any of the people in her life, because the truth is, she didn’t know how. She did not understand how people had so much conflict in their lives, because for her it was so easy. She was the best at relationships and loving and caring for the people around her. She loved to decorate, organize, plan, cook great meals and take care of people. She was always willing to try new things: she played softball, kayaked, hiked in Colorado and even tried hunting because her husband wanted her to come along. She attended sporting events with her kids and especially loved football games. Lori had a knack for always catching the T-shirts or mini footballs that are thrown to the crowd after a touchdown.
Lori was much more than the “typical” things that are normally written in an obituary. She was a loving mother. She wanted only to be number one to her kids, for them to see her spiritual walk and to hopefully be the example they could follow. Lori was not the typical friend. If you were her friend, you knew she was the best. Lori never missed an opportunity to crack a joke or impress her friends and family with her witty humor. Lori was not the typical teacher. If you had her, you knew you were loved. Lori was not the typical anything. She was the best mom, best wife, best friend that there was.
Lori is survived by her husband, Russ; and their three children previously mentioned; siblings, Doug Mulder of Wisconsin, Milt (Carol) Mulder and their son, John of Cherryville, Ind., Donna (Rienco) De Jong of Goleta, Calif., and their children, Amanda (Neil) Munroe and children Levi and Isaac of Seattle, Wash., Robin Rosenquist of Albuquerque, N.M. and Martin (Becca) De Jong of Muskegon, Mich., Sue (Mike) Halma of Sioux Center, Brenda (Duane) Brandhof of Mitchellville, John (Rebecca) Mulder and children, Claire, Cai and Leah of Hermantown, Minn., brother Phil (Fran) Mulder and children, Haley, Cassidy, Lucy and Jack of Redlands, Calif.
Lori is also survived by her parents-in-law, Ken and Sharon Natelborg; sister-in-law, Mary (Lyle) Van Ravensway and their four children, Erin (Tayler) Hoekstra and Savannah, Jenna (Brad) Potjer, Jon Van Ravenswaay and Levi Van Ravenswaay; brother-in-law, Tim (Sonya) Natelborg and their three children, Brett, Kayla and Ryan. Lori also has countless cousins, aunts and uncles left to cherish her memory.
Lori was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert and Marjorie Mulder.
In her final 21 months, Lori was sustained by the prayers, love, compassion, grace and good works of so many people. She wrote special Bible verses even when she could no longer see or completely comprehend them. She prayed the most wonderful prayers, even with her mind failing. She even believed in the final days that she had cooked for her family and she couldn’t wait for them to eat together at night.
Lori was the most unassuming, caring, kind, compassionate, godly and graceful wife, mother, friend, sister and teacher. She never once felt sad for herself; she only felt sad that she would not get to finish the job of raising her children. We all love her and will miss her dearly.
A funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21 at the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church. Burial will take place at Waveland Cemetery. Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 22 also at the church. Memorials may be directed to the Prairie City Christian Reformed Church and condolences may be left for the family at coburnfuneralhomes.com.