Tressa was born in Rock Valley, Iowa on July 8, 1940.
She was one of 7 children, 5 surviving into adulthood.
Tressa met her husband Carl in 1959 at Northwestern Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Tressa served as a missionary and nurse in Singapore and Taiwan for 10 years. She learned to speak and read fluently in Mandarin Chinese.
In Taiwan, she gave birth to her son Ned in 1968 (named after her father, Nicholas Elijah Dykstra).
When Tressa and Carl returned to the United States, they lived in Nebraska and in California. In 1972, their daughter Rachel was adopted.
Tressa and Carl helped to raise their three local granddaughters, Marisa, Brittney and Jessica and welcomed all their family into their home in Glendora.
Tressa was immensely proud of her children and grandchildren. Her daughter Rachel is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and her son Ned is a published novelist and technologist.
Tressa was a life-long learner. Tressa finished her AA in Nursing in 1982, her BS in Nursing in 1985 and her Masters in Nursing (MSN) in 1994. Even up to the time of her death, she was collecting materials and past research for a possible PhD in the Nursing field.
During her nursing career, Tressa worked for more than 20 nursing agencies or hospitals over 3 continents, doing hands-on patient care and on-call home health nursing for many years. Often, she did this work on the weekends and holidays.
One of her most rewarding work assignments was work in hospice, and in fact, she wrote some of her graduate papers on hospice care and end-of-life procedures.
For over 10 years, Tressa was also a senior nurse consultant for the State of California, shaping healthcare policy for counties across the state. This was her weekday job.
Tressa was also a highly involved and active mother and grand-mother, attending children’s events, caring for family and feeding and clothing her family with hand-made clothing (she fashioned 3 amazing hand-sewn wedding dresses), as well as many quilts and other hand-made gifts.
Tressa was with Carl for over 60 years, and was a mother for 53 years. She is survived by her sister Lucy, her husband Carl, her children Ned and Rachel. Her heirs include grandchildren Marisa Hayes, Kathryn Hayes, Brittney Grilli, Jessica Grilli and Nicholas Hayes, as well as great-grandchild William Hayes.
She was loved, and she will be missed.