December 28, 2012


AUG. 20, 1932 — DEC. 26, 2012

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — Raymond Van Zee, 80, of Oskaloosa, died Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, at Mahaska Health Partnership in Oskaloosa.

He was born Saturday, Aug. 20, 1932, in Otley, the son of Antonie M. and Hattie Menninga Van Zee. At age 9, Raymond’s family moved from Otley to a farm west of Oskaloosa where he lived and farmed his entire life. In 1952, Raymond enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. On June 25, 1956, he was united in marriage to Ruth Jackson at Chicago, Ill., and they later divorced. To this union four children were born: Cal, Ken, Kim and Cliff. In the spring of 1957, Ray and Ruth moved back to Oskaloosa to continue farming the family farm. In 1958, Ray lost his right arm in a farming accident but his love for the land wouldn’t allow anything to deter him from his chosen profession. Ray’s children and grandchildren were the center of his life. He also loved being outdoors, gardening, tinkering and fixing things, playing cards, grilling, cooking, and attending social events with his very special friend: Martha McGlothlen. Ray is well known for being very meticulous and always having a well-kept farm and yard. Ray had a love for all animals and could often be found feeding the strays that gathered around his house. He was a former member of the American Legion and a member of the Leighton Christian Reformed Church.

His family includes his children: Cal (and Lorraine) Van Zee, of Laramie, Wyo., Ken Van Zee, of Oskaloosa, Kim Davis, of Leighton, and Cliff (and Patty) Van Zee, of Oskaloosa; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; a very special friend: Martha McGlothlen, of Oskaloosa; and three sisters: Leona (and Leonard) Jabaai, of Colfax, Celia (and Mart) DeVries, of Pella, and Patsy Vermeer, of Oskaloosa.

Ray is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Art and Marvin Van Zee.

Funeral services will be held Monday, Dec. 31, at 1 p.m. in the Leighton Christian Reformed Church in Leighton with Pastor Alvern Boetsma officiating. Burial will be in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. Graveside military rites will be given by members of the Oskaloosa American Legion and V.F.W. Visitation will begin Sunday after 10 a.m. in the Bates Funeral Chapel with the family present at the funeral chapel on Sunday from 2 – 4 p.m. to greet friends and relatives. Memorials may be made to the Good News Chapel or Mahaska Hospice.

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