March 21, 2011


OCT. 24, 1914 — MARCH 18, 2011

The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — John W. Van Weelden, 96, of Oskaloosa, died Friday evening, March 18, 2011, at Oskaloosa Care Center in Oskaloosa.

John W. Van Weelden, son of William and Jennie Bouma Van Weelden, was born Oct. 24, 1914, at the rural home of his parents, south of Oskaloosa. He was the oldest of 14 children. He attended “Red School” in Harrison Township. After graduating from eighth grade he began helping his father on the family farm. John married Cornelia “Kay” Jacoba DeRonde, Feb. 28, 1936, in Oskaloosa. At that time, John started to farm for himself. He and Kay established their home and farm 4 miles west of Lacey; where they raised their five children. John retired from farming after 35 years and went to work for Mathew Lumber and Carpet Company. He worked full time for several years and then went to part-time work, he eventually retired in 1989. After 60 years of marriage, Cornelia went to be with the Lord Oct. 10, 1996. John was soon blessed with the companionship of Ruth (VerMeer) Stursma Van Weelden and they were married at John’s home in Oskaloosa, May 23, 1997.

John was baptized at the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa and from 1926 to 1960 he was a member of the Protestant Reformed Church. In 1960, he transferred his membership back to the First Christian Reformed Church. John served on the church council as a deacon for 2 years and an elder for 24 years. He taught Sunday school classes, including Junior and Senior Men’s, Mr. & Mrs. Society and Catechism Classes. John served on the Oskaloosa Christian School Board for several years. He was a former member of the Oskaloosa Kiwanis Club, Gideons and Promise Keepers. John will be remembered as a man that was always ready to help a friend or neighbor, no matter what the need; and his neighborhood reached as far as Bolivia when he and Kay traveled there for a mission trip. John enjoyed bowling and golfing (until age 94) and has traveled every state except Hawaii and Louisiana.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Ruth of Oskaloosa; his sons and daughters-in-law: Leroy and Lola Van Weelden of Osage Beach, Mo.; Casey and Esther Van Weelden, of Pella, and John Henry and Pat Van Weelden, of Albia; daughters and sons-in-law: Alida Ann Van Weelden, of Asheville, N.C., and Janice Kay and Al Rozenboom, of Cutlerville, Mich.; 15 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; sisters and brother-in-law: Dorothy DeRonde, of Oskaloosa; Anna Kelderman, of Mesa, Ariz., and Francis & Lester Spoelstra, of Redlands, Calif.; brothers and sisters-in-law: Henry and Grace Van Weelden, Ray and Wilma Van Weelden, Harold and Eileen Van Weelden and Wilma Van Weelden, all of Oskaloosa; the Rev. James and Adrianna Van Weelden, of Grimsly, Canada, and Ernest and Mary Van Weelden of Wesley; many nieces and nephews and a host of very good friends including Sam Van Maanen.

Besides his parents and his first wife, Cornelia, John was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Joan Elizabeth; three brothers: William, Jr., Peter and an infant brother; and two sisters: Sylvia Kelderman and Jean Boender.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 23, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa with the Rev. Dale Visser officiating. A 10:15 family prayer service will be held in the fellowship hall prior to the funeral. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m., Tuesday at Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel. The family will be at the funeral chapel from 5-7 p.m. to greet visitors. Memorials may be made to Oskaloosa Christian School Endowment Fund.

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