Evelyn Van Leeuwen

Mrs. Evelyn Van Leeuwen, age 86, of Hospers, passed away on Tuesday, December 31, 2013, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital.

There will be a funeral service on Saturday, January 4, at 10:30am, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Hospers.  The Rev. Marvin Leese will officiate.  Interment will follow at the Hospers Cemetery.  Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Friday, with the family present from 5:00pm to 7:00pm, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Hospers.

Evelyn Pearl was preceded in death by her husband, Henry John Van Leeuwen; daughter, Linda Van Leeuwen; parents, Peter and Mary Swets; husband’s parents, Al and Agnes Van Leeuwen; and three sisters, Nell Vanden Berg, Wilma Mouw, and Kathryn Rensink.

Survivors include six children, Pat (Gordon) Bruxvoort, of Orange City; Barb (John) Van Vugt, of Hospers; Mary (Ron) Jansen, of Dorr, Michigan; Joel (Doris) Van Leeuwen, of North Liberty; Emily (Darwin) Boer, of Boyden; and Tom (Jodi) Van Leeuwen, of Hull.

This kind hearted grandmother is sadly missed by 23 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandson.

Also mourning are a sister, Della Mae Kreykes, of Sheldon; a brother-in-law, Bill Beltman, of Sheldon; and three sisters-in-law, Corky Van Leeuwen, of Jenison, Michigan; Joan (Andy) Miedema, of Orange City; and Betty Van Schepen, of Hull.

Born and raised on a dairy farm just outside of Hospers, Evelyn met John shortly after the end of World War II. They were married in 1948, making their home in Hospers for 54 years. Through the years, John and Evelyn were blessed with seven children.

Evelyn very much loved the people and town of Hospers and the Hospers Christian Reformed Church. She excelled in extending her own style of Iowa hospitality to many friends, acquaintances, and family members. She was known to have a quick wit and enjoyed sharing her signature jokes with her grandchildren. Evelyn enjoyed visiting and having coffee with the many friends and family who came to visit her around her kitchen table and later in the Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City.

Memorials are being directed to the Christian Education Fund at the Christian Reformed Church.

Richard L. “Blu” Blumeyer

Blumeyer_Richard L. “Blu” Blumeyer, 81, of Waterloo, Iowa died at Manor Care Health Services in Waterloo on Saturday, December 28, 2013, of natural causes.

Funeral Services will be 2:00 PM Friday January 3, 2014 at the Locke Funeral Home, Waterloo, Iowa. Committal Services will be 12:00pm Saturday, January 4, 2014 at the Sheridan Township Cemetery, Boyden Iowa.

Visitation is  4:00 to 7:00pm Thursday, January 2, at the Locke Funeral Home.

Memorials: American Red Cross (Black Hawk County Chapter) or (Greater Northwest Iowa), East High School Athletic Assoc. or Cedar Valley Hospice.

Condolences may be left at www.LockeFuneralHome.com

He was born on July 13, 1932 in Rural Matlock, IA, son of Ed and Mildred Grooters Blumeyer. He graduated from Sheldon High School and Sheldon Junior College with an Assoc. of Arts degree.

Morningside College, Sioux City with a Bachelor of Science degree where he was also a student athlete. Later he attended graduate school at the Univ. of Northern Iowa.

He taught and coached boys basketball and baseball teams in Twin Rivers High School, Bode, IA. Later he was a salesman for Craft‑Cochran Athletic Goods Co, Waterloo, Iowa for fifteen years. He was the general manager of the Waterloo Royals and Waterloo Indians Professional Baseball Teams for three years which he served on the Board of Directors for twenty-five years and was a part-owner. He was also the general manager of the Waterloo Black Hawks for one season. He scouted baseball talent as an associate scout for both the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals for a number of years.

He helped organize the Waterloo Merchants as a player and helped co-manage the team for thirty-five years winning nine state championships. With athletics being a big part of his life, he officiated basketball for thirty-five years and baseball for twenty-five years. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association and Iowa High School Athletics Association Officials Halls of Fame. He was President of the Waterloo Sports of Sorts Club for twenty five years and the Iowa Amateur Baseball Association for fifteen years. He served in the US Army.

He was a follower and shareholder of the Green Bay Packers Football Team and loyal fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team for many years. Over the years, he enjoyed supporting Cedar Valley Area high school athletics and attending his grandsons’ sporting events.

He is survived by his daughter: Susan Robertson of La Porte City, IA. Two grandsons: Dallas and Damon Powell, both of Waterloo, IA. Sister: Marlys (Harold “Booty”) Hector of Sheldon, IA. Three nieces and one nephew.

He was preceded in death by his parents and niece Debbie Hofmeyer.

Mrs. Nettie (Smit) Mellema

Mrs. Nettie (Smit) Mellema, age 91, of Orange City, passed away on Friday, December 27, 2013, at the Orange City Area Health System Hospital in Orange City.

There will be a memorial service on Tuesday, December 31, at 11:00 am, at the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Orange City.  The Rev. Robert Drenten will officiate.  Interment will be prior to the service at the Hospers Cemetery near Hospers.  There will be a prayer service on Tuesday, at 9:30 am, at the church.

Visitation will be after 4:00 pm on Monday, with the family present from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, at the church.

Arrangements are with the Oolman Funeral Home in Orange City.

Nettie Alvina was born on January 3, 1922, in Orange City, the daughter of John and Nettie (Vink) Fedders. She was raised at Orange City and Alton, graduating from the Orange City Christian School.

On May 4, 1945, she married George Smit at the Alton Reformed Church. They farmed near Hospers, where she was a homemaker. George passed away on April 14, 1973, in Orange City.

On November 29, 1974, she married Henry Mellema in Sioux Center. They made their home in Orange City, where she was employed in the laundry service at the Orange City Municipal Hospital. In September of 2007, they became residents of the Pioneeer Memorial Home in Orange City. In November of 2009, they transferred to the Happy Siesta Care Center in Remsen. Henry passed away on June 16, 2011, in Remsen.

Nettie then moved to the Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community in Orange City.

She was a member of the Immanuel Christian Reformed Church and a former member of the Hospers Christian Reformed Church. She was active in Bible studies, Coffee Break, the Crossroad Bible Institute, and Friendship Series.

Mrs. Mellema enjoyed baking, handwork, singing, and walking. She was also a senior aide at the Orange City Christian School.

Survivors include her two sons and their wives, David and Marian Smit, of Sioux Center; and Don and Myra Smit, of Alamosa, Colorado; two step-sons and their wives, Melvin and Linda Mellema, of Maurice; and Brian and Barb Mellema, of Sioux Center; six grandchildren and their spouses, Jana (Travis) Peck, Jeff (Gina) Smit, Joel (Stefanie) Smit, Jennifer (Justin) Nemeth, Leslie (Jonathan) Velasquez, and Lance (Melissa) Smit; five step-grandchildren and their spouses, Teresa (Stacey) Jasper, Tammy (Rick) Fowler, Cherie (Gary) Van Donkelaar, Maggie (Jesse) Hagey, and Lee (Jenni) Mellema; 25 great-grandchildren; and two sisters and their husbands, Marie and John Maassen, of Sioux Center; and Johanna and Frank De Haan, of Hudsonville, Michigan.

In addition to her parents, step-father, Dick Verdoorn, and husbands, she was preceded in death by a step-son, Robert Mellema; a grandson, Loren Smit; two brothers, Dick and Gerald Fedders; a sister, Bernice Pruis; and a special family friend, Dick Prins.

Memorials will be directed to the Orange City Christian School and the Crossroad Bible Institute.


Karen Klein

Funeral-female1Karen Klein, 56 years old, of Glenwood, IA and formerly of Granville, IA, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, at Creighton Medical Center in Omaha , NE.

A private funeral service will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Granville with Rev. Terry Roder officiating. Burial will be in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Granville.

Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.

Karen was born Feb. 19, 1957, at Sheldon, IA, the daughter of Marcel and Ann (Goergen) Klein. She was the 7th of 8 children. Karen lived at her Granville home until spring 1972 at which time she became a resident of the Glenwood Resource Center.

Karen enjoyed the simple things in life. Her family knew they had an angel on earth and they loved her dearly. She brought joy to those who knew her and cared for her.

Those left to cherish her memory are her brothers, Donald Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Walt (Paula) Klein of Spencer, IA, Dave (Jeanie) Klein of Sioux Falls, SD, Mike (Elaine) Klein of Sioux City, IA, John (Rose) Klein Omaha, NE; Her sisters, Susie (Mark) Ruden of LeMars, IA, Debbie (Steve) Wandersheid of Sheldon, IA, along with many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.  Preceded by: her parents, a great niece Olivia Grace Gourley.

Leah Gonnerman

Leah GonnermanLeah Gonnerman, age 89 of Hartley, IA, passed away at the Community Memorial Assisted Living in Hartley, IA on Wednesday, December 25, 2013.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 28th at 10:30 a.m. at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Hartley.

Visitation will be held on Friday, December 27th beginning at 2:00 p.m. with the family present from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday evening.

The Hartley Funeral Home in Hartley is in charge of the arrangements for 89 year-old Leah Gonnerman of Hartley, IA.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.sanborn-hartleyfuneralhomes.com

Leah Arlene Gonnerman, daughter of Arnold and Edith (Stellish) Frick was born on February 4, 1924 in Hartley, IA. She lived her younger years in rural Hartley, IA and attended Lincoln Township Number 6 Country School and went on to graduate from the Hartley High School in 1941.

On November 17, 1942, Leah was united in marriage to Moris Gonnerman at a parsonage in South Sioux City. To this union, two children were born: a son, Tom, and a daughter, Susan. Following their marriage they lived on the farm northwest of Hartley where they farmed and raised their family. They moved to town in 1983. Leah worked at Gene’s Foodland and later at Fiesta Foods in Hartley.

Leah moved to the Community Memorial Health Center Assisted Living in 2010 and resided there until her passing on Wednesday, December 25, 2013, at the age of 89.

Leah was a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Hartley, where she belonged to the Dorcas Society and the Comfort Makers. She enjoyed working with young people and served as a Sunday school teacher and a youth fellowship sponsor. Leah was also a 4-H leader and enjoyed camping and fishing with her family.

She is survived by her husband, Moris of 71 years; her children: Tom Gonnerman and his wife, Betty, of Sheldon, IA; Susan Guggisberg and her husband, Mark, of Hartley, IA; grandchildren: Heidi Ernst (Lowell), of Pella, IA; Kevin Gonnerman (Sue), of Sanborn, IA; Dan Gonnerman, (fiancé, Lisa Roth), of Sioux Center, IA; Greta Todd (Steve), of Holstein, IA; Tracy Jacobsma (Bruce), of Orange City, IA; Kristy Dykstra (Chris), of Indianola, IA; and Randy Guggisberg of Custer, SD; 14 great grandchildren; special sister-in-law: Doris Nagel of Hartley, IA, and sister-in-law: June Gonnerman of Milford, IA.

Preceding her in death were her parents; special aunts, Edna and Lindy; her twin brothers in infancy and a granddaughter, Shelley Gonnerman.

Wilmer Elbers

Wilmer “Willie” Elbers, 76, of Brandon, SD, formerly of Steen, MN passed away on December 25, 2013 at the Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls, SD, after a courageous battle with Leukemia.

Funeral service will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 28th at Steen Reformed Church in Steen, MN, with Rev. Dan Kuik officiating.   Burial will follow at Eastside Cemetery in Steen, MN.

Visitation will be on Friday, December 27th, 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., with family present from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Steen Reformed Church in Steen, MN.

Wilmer Gene Elbers was born Oct. 3, 1937 to Edward & Verna (VanderHaar) Elbers, grew up in Steen, MN and graduated from Hills High School in 1955. Wilmer married Betty Boeve on October 6, 1959 and resided in Hills, MN for most of their life until they moved to Brandon, SD in 2006. He was a baptized member of Steen Reformed Church and served as a deacon. Wilmer’s business endeavors included milk hauling, construction, retail appliance sales, and various manufacturing. He invested in various businesses and real estate, but spent most of his career as owner / CEO of Hills Stainless Steel since 1986 now located in Luverne, MN. He loved the challenge of growing a business, building relationships with people, and deeply loved providing for his family. Wilmer served as a volunteer firefighter, member of the Eagles Club and the Rock County Agricultural Society. Wilmer loved to travel with his wife (especially by RV), visiting family & friends, hunting, fishing, auto racing and a good football game. Wilmer was known and loved by many; no matter where he was he always seemed to run into someone he knew. Blessed be the memory of Willie Elbers.

Wilmer is survived by his wife Betty of 54 years, 5 children – Darwin Elbers (Kim) – Sioux Falls, SD, Peggy Hill (Chad) – Charlotte, NC, Twila Walker (Tom) – Luverne, MN, Nyla Hucks (Mack) – Myrtle Beach, SC, and Cheryl Elbers – Sioux Falls, SD, 9 grandchildren – Kelsey Grahn (Peter), Tony Elbers, Chris Iverson, Coryn Iverson, Ryan Walker (Amanda), Steven Walker, Alex Newsome, Mitchell Elbers, Madison Elbers, 1 great grandchild – Zoey Grahn, and 3 siblings – Nelvina Kroese, Edwin Elbers, and Ruth Verbrugge.

He is preceded in death by his parents and one stillborn son.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred.