Yvonne S. Lustenhouwer

Yvonne S. Lustenhouwer

Yvonne S. Lustenhouwer, a skilled gardener and crafter, died peacefully surrounded by the love of her family on Thursday, April 7, 2022. She was 74. 

“Yvonne was loved by all who knew her, and she will be greatly missed,” her family wrote in a tribute.

She lived in Holland until she was 9, when her family came by boat to America, settling in Guilderland Center.

“They came for a better life,” she told The Enterprise in 2013 when her garden and many crafts were featured in the newspaper’s Home & Garden section.

Her father was a master carpenter. “He did gorgeous work,” she said. His well-worn wooden shoes were displayed on a shelf in her living room. “He wore them every day,” said Ms. Lustenhouwer.

On another wall hung wooden skates — runners to which shoes were attached — that Ms. Lustenhouwer used as a girl.

“I got my green thumb from my mother,” said Ms. Lustenhouwer, noting the Dutch are known for their flowers.

Ms. Lustenhouwer’s garden undulated along the back of the Altamont Oaks property where she lived and served as a memory garden for the residents there. She loved to garden.

“You hate it or you love it,” she said. “I love getting my hands dirty. It’s therapeutic. If I have a bad day, the dirt makes me feel better.”

Ms. Lustenhouwer said she didn’t plan out her gardens’ designs; they just evolved. “If it doesn’t grow here, it wasn’t meant to be,” she said.

Ms. Lustenhouwer made scrapbooks that were as intricate and personal as her gardens. One detailing her family’s life, starting with her parents in Holland, was entirely in black and white — the photographs, the fabric, the sentimental sayings.

“I’m not a sitter,” said Ms. Lustenhouwer, who worked for the Guilderland School District. “I’m a lunch lady at Lynnwood,” she said at age 66 with no plans to retire.

“My thing in life is to keep active,” said Ms. Lustenhouwer. “I figure I can lie down when I’m dead.”


Yvonne S. Lustenhouwer is survived by brothers, Paul and Dick (Donna), and sister Nancy (Bob); by her daughters, Michelle (David), Sheila, Traci, and Rebecca; by her grandchildren, DelaneyAnn, Julianna, Emily, Dominick, Matthew, Brogan, and Ireland.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Her parents, Anna and Matthew, died before her, as did her sister in-law, Joyce, and nephew, Mark.

Per her wishes, there will be no memorial service.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer


Traci can be contacted at  518 598 7116




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