NEW SHARON —
Velma DeBoef, 93 of New Sharon went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Thursday, August 1, 2013 at the Mahaska Health Partnership Serenity House in Oskaloosa. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at the New Sharon First Christian Church with a luncheon immediately following in the fellowship hall of the church. Burial will be held in the Evergreen Cemetery in Leighton. Visitation will begin after 12:00 pm Monday, August 5, 2013 with the family present from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Christian Opportunity Center (COC) or the Mahaska Health Partnership Hospice Serenity House. Holland-Coble Funeral Home of New Sharon is in charge of arrangements.
Velma Lucille DeBoef, daughter of Wietz and Catherine (Brand) Kooistra, was born August 30, 1919 at the family home north of Lynnville. She was the seventh of nine children. When Velma was five years old her father died as a result of a farm accident.
At the age of 14, she received Christ as her Savior. It was a memorable, never to be forgotten experience that sustained her all through life.
Velma attended both Sully and Lynnville High Schools, graduating from Lynnville in 1936. She then enrolled in the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls for a short course which qualified her to teach in the rural schools of Iowa. She taught nine years in Jasper and Mahaska Counties. Feeling the call to Christian ministry, she attended Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri and graduated with a degree in Biblical Education in 1949. In 1956, she embarked on a missionary career which took her to Kenya, East Africa, and British Guiana, South America. While in South America, her close friend, Jeanetta DeBoef, passed away. Upon her death Jeanetta left behind her husband, Arthur and nine motherless children. In 1965, Velma and Arthur were married and Velma happily assumed the responsibility of his family. They lived together on a farm near Lacey, Iowa.
In 1979, after the children were all grown and married, they retired from the farm and moved to New Sharon. In their retirement years they did extensive work in Christian helps ministry in various states and countries including Texas, New York, Alaska, the Northwest Territories of Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. They also distributed Bibles in China.
Velma is survived by her husband, Arthur, and her nine step-children; John (Pat) DeBoef, Clarence (Marian) DeBoef, Harold (Betty) DeBoef, Duane (Linda) DeBoef, Lucille (Chuck) Richardson, LaVerne (Carol Sue) DeBoef, Arvin (Crystal) DeBoef, Rose (Dave) Bennett, and Phil (Jan) DeBoef. Arthur and Velma also enjoyed 34 grandchildren and 95 great-grandchildren. Though she had no biological children, she became matriarch to 177 family members and blessed countless others.
Of her original family she leaves behind a brother, Virgil Kooistra.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters; Frances, who died in infancy, Lenora Reynolds, Edna Vande Krol, Sylvia Renaud, Frances Van Wyk and two brothers; Bernard Kooistra and David Kooistra. Also three premature step-children; Lily, Darrell, and Carol DeBoef.