James Vander Kooi

Date posted - August 6, 2014

Mr. James Vander Kooi, age 93, of Hull, passed away on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at the Pleasant Acres Care Center in Hull.

There will be a memorial service on Friday, August 8, at 6:30pm, at the American Reformed Church in Hull. The Rev. Steven Bierly will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the Hope Cemetery in Hull. There will be a family prayer service on Friday, at 3:30pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

 Visitation will be after 5:00 pm Thursday, with the family present from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

ames was born on August 31, 1920, in Hull, the son of Benjamin and Theresa (Boogerd) Vander Kooi. He was raised at Hull, where he attended the Christian elementary school and graduated from the public high school. He also attended Northwestern College in Orange City and the Mankato Commercial College in Minnesota.

He served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. In 1944, his B-24 bomber was shot down over Austria, and he became a prisoner of war in Germany. In 1945, he was liberated and honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant.

On October 22, 1943, Jim married Velma Beth Koele in Sioux City. They made their home in Hull, where he was the owner and operator of the Vander Kooi Freight Line, retiring in 1983. Velma passed away on September 13, 2009, in Sioux Center.

He later became a resident of Pleasant Acres.

Mr. Vander Kooi was a member of the American Reformed Church, where he served on the consistory as an elder and a deacon and taught Sunday school and catechism classes. He also belonged to the Wegman-Koele American Legion Post in Hull and served on the boards of directors of the Community Betterment Corporation and Hope Cemetery.

He enjoyed sports as a player, as well as a spectator. He played basketball in high school and college; he was the center-fielder for the Hull Orphans All-Star Team for fifteen years; he bowled on the Hull Dairy Bowling Team for over 25 years; and he was an avid golfer. He was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, Northwestern Red Raiders, Boyden-Hull-RockValley Nighthawks, Boyden-Hull Comets, Minnesota Twins, and Minnesota Vikings.

Jim’s legacy is his deep spiritual faith, his patriotism, and his servant heart.

Survivors include his son and his wife, Dr. Bruce and Helen Vander Kooi, of Storm Lake; two daughters and their husbands, Bette and Terry Boote, of Hull; and Becky and Oots Altena, of Sioux Center; seven grandchildren, Dr. Jeff Vander Kooi, of Ballwin, Missouri; Dr. Andy (Amy) Vander Kooi, of Arvada, Colorado; Megan (Austin) Lorenzen, of Waverly; Courtney (Adam) Boone, of Orange City; Abbie (Wade) Vander Maten, of Hull; Erin (Shane) Smith, of Sheldon; and Katie Getting, of Des Moines; nine great-grandchildren; and a sister, Gert Scholten, of George.

In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother and his wife, Bill and Grace Vander Kooi; three sisters and their husbands, Agnes and Wilfred Wortman, Sally and Jake Timmer, and Josie and Jake Van Berkum; and a brother-in-law, Gene Scholten.

Memorials will be directed to the American Reformed Church Building Fund and Pleasant Acres.

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