Karla Wiarda

Karla Wiarda, age 64, of Rock Rapids, IA, died Monday, February 20, 2012 at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester, MN after a lengthy illness.

Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, February 24, 2012 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rock Rapids, IA with Rev. Dan Kordahl officiating. Private family burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Rock Rapids.

Visitation with family present will be Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to the time of service at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Rock Rapids.

A complete obituary and register book can be found at www.jurrensfuneralhome.com

Wendall D. Blau

Wendall D. Blau, age 61 of LeMars, IA formerly of George, IA died February 19, 2012 at Floyd Valley Hospital in LeMars, IA.

Funeral service will be 2:00 PM Friday, February 24th at Jurrens Funeral Home of George, with Rev. Dale Lint officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Lawn Cemetery in George.

Visitation will be Thursday, February 23rd at Jurrens Funeral Home of George from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, with family present from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Jurrens Funeral Home of George.

Janice Smith

Janice Smith age 71 of Inwood, IA formerly of George, IA died Sunday, February 19, 2012 at the Fellowship Village Nursing Home at Inwood, IA.

Funeral service will be 10:30 AM Thursday, February 23rd at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in George with Rev. David Vander Laan, officiating. Burial will follow in the Evergreen Lawn Cemetery at George.

Visitation will be will be Wednesday, Feb. 22nd from 2:00 8:00 PM with the family present from 6:00 8:00 PM at the Jurrens Funeral Home of George.

An online registry and full obituary will be available at: www.jurrensfuneralhome.com


Howard R. Baker

Howard R. Baker, age 79, of Storm Lake, Iowa and formerly of Ocheyedan, Iowa died February 17, 2012 at Methodist Manor Retirement Community in Storm Lake.

Memorial services will be held Monday, February 20, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at Hope Evangelical Free Church in Storm Lake.

Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church where the family will be present the entire time. Burial will be in the Ocheyedan Township Cemetery in Ocheyedan at 3:00 p.m. on Monday.

The Sliefert Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements.

Gerrit Van Aartsen

Gerrit Van Aartsen, age 80, of Luverne, Minnesota, formerly of Rock Rapids died on Wednesday (2/15) at Sanford Hospital in Luverne.

The funeral will be on Saturday (2/18) at 10:30 AM at the First Reformed Church of Rock Rapids.

Visitaiton with the family present is this afternoon and evening (2/17) from 4 until 8 PM at the Hartquist Funeral Chapel of Luverne. Burial will be at the Riverview Cemetery in Rock Rapids.

Online expressions of sympathy may be left at hartquistfuneral.com.

The Hartquist Funeral Home, Luverne Chapel in charge of arrangements for Gerrit Van Aartsen.

GERRIT VAN AARTSEN was born to Henry and Jenny (Roelofs) Van Aartsen on May 20, 1931 in Matlock, Iowa. They lived near Hull Iowa and moved in 1942 to Rock Rapids. His father died in 1944. Gerrit attended country school near Hull and Rock Rapids. He graduated from Rock Rapids high school in 1948. Following his schooling, Gerrit began his career in construction working for Glen Foltz. He enlisted into the United States Army Corps of Engineers in November of 1951. Gerrit was stationed with the 59th Engineer Construction Co. in Alaska until his honorable discharge in October of 1953. He then returned to northwest Iowa and continued his job with Foltz Construction. While attending the roller skating rink at the Lyon County fairgrounds, Gerrit met his future bride, Mary Ann Akkerman. The couple was united in marriage on July 2, 1956 at St. John Lutheran Church in Luverne, Minnesota. The couple made their home in Rock Rapids for a short time. They then moved two and half miles south of Luverne in 1957. Here they raised their four children while Gerrit continued to work construction. He then partnered with Vernon Van Wyhe for a short time. In 1975, Gerrit went to work for Virgil Christiansen and was a part of building some of Luvernes landmarks such as the Centennial Apartments, St. Catherines Catholic Church, and the Tri-State Insurance building. In the fall of 1979 Gerrit went out on his own and began Van Aartsen Construction. His son, Darrel, joined him in 1980. The pair worked alongside of one another for the next 28 years. Gerrit transferred ownership of the company to his son in 1991. Gerrit formally retired in 2008, but remained active in handyman projects for those who called. On Wednesday, February 15, 2012, at the Sanford Luverne Hospital, Gerrit went to be with his Lord at the age of 80 years, 8 months and 25 days.

Gerrit was an active member of the First Reformed Church of Rock Rapids where he professed his faith, served as Elder, Deacon, and directed the church choir. His love of music led him to establish church choirs in both the Steen Reformed Church in Steen, Minnesota and the American Reformed Church in Luverne. The faith Gerrit had in God was very important to him and he made sure to pass this gift on to his family. His zeal for singing was his gift from God which he shared with many happy listeners over the years at weddings, anniversaries, funerals, and on area stages. Gerrit was also a part of several singing groups over the years, including The Reformers, The Messengers Quartet, Sheldon Chord Masters, The Dialtones Barbershop Quartet, River Valley Players, Green Earth Players, and In His Service. A special love in Gerrits life was his family. In his later years, Gerrit seldom ever missed an opportunity to be with his family, especially his 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Gerrit’s wonderful smile and great wit will be greatly missed.

Gerrit will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann; four children, Darrel and his wife LaDonna Van Aartsen of Luverne, Peggy and her husband Vince Gacke of Luverne, Bonnie and her husband Randy Muller of Jasper, Minnesota, and Kathy and her husband Kevin Jacobsma of Luverne; ten grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister, Jane Albers of Rock Rapids, Iowa; three brothers, Bernie and his wife Tillie Van Aartsen and John and his wife Ruth Van Aartsen, all of Rock Rapids, Iowa, and Henry and his wife Marlys Van Aartsen of Orange City, Iowa; and other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Jenny; one infant brother; a sister, Hermina Boote; and two brothers-in-law, John Boote and Marv Albers.

Dolores M. Poss

Dolores M. Poss age 84 formerly of Sibley, IA died Thursday, February 16, 2012 at the Brookestone Village Nursing Home in Omaha, NE.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Sibley, with Father John Vakulskas as celebrant. Burial will follow in the St. Andrews Catholic Cemetery at Sibley.

Visitation will be Monday, February 20th from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 8:00 p.m. at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley. There will be a rosary service at 5:00 p.m. and a vigil service at 7:30 p.m.