Thomas Riley

Thomas Riley, 81, of Worthington, died on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington, MN.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 4, 2012, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Worthington, MN, with Father Jim Callahan officiating.  Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Worthington.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012, from 4:00 8:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN.

Thomas Delaney Riley was born Dec. 13, 1930 to Frank and Florence (Delaney) Riley. He attended Riley school District 117, then Sioux Valley High School graduating in 1948. His father died when Tom was 19 and he had to take over the farming operation.

Thomas was united in marriage to Catherine Theobald September 11, 1954 in Sherburn, MN. They settled on the Riley homestead in Round Lake Township where they lived until 1961. That year they moved to their own farm located outside Worthington where they raised cattle, hogs and grain. In 1984, he saw an opportunity in the John Deere business and bought his first store, Tracy Equipment in Tracy, MN. He subsequently bought two additional John Deere stores in Sheldon, IA and Slayton, MN. Catherine passed away January 25, 2006. He married Mary R. Royer in March 2008 in Mancos, CO. Thomas died on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at the Sunset Hospice Cottage in Worthington.

Thomas is survived by his nine children: Frank (Chris) Riley, Worthington, MN; Mary Catherine Riley, Bloomington, MN; Dan (Jan) Riley, Round Lake, MN; Peter (Vanessa) Riley, Hartley, IA; Dr. Ann Riley (Dr. Mike Gmurek), Tahlequah, OK; Patrick Riley (Teresa Owens -special friend and her children Coral, Jasmine, Ashley & Calah); Colleen (John) Bowman, Algona, IA; Michael (Christy) Riley, Brewster, MN; Dr. Rose Riley (Steve Dennison) Sioux Falls, SD and eight grandchildren: Officer Mark Riley (Worthington) Leah Riley (Marshall, MN), KC Riley (Worthington), Vincent Riley (Worthington), Amanda and Katie Murek (Tahlequah, OK), Gabriel Riley (Hartley, IA), Annette Dennison (Sioux Falls, SD). He is also survived by his wife, Mary Rene, sister, Sally Fairchild Nordstrom, Terril, IA and brother, Jim, Salt Lake City, UT.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Catherine, his father, mother and a brother, Phillip.

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Gertrude Waalkes

Gertrude Waalkes, age 92, of Sibley, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at Valley Center, Kansas.

Funeral Services will be Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 10:30 A.M. at the Christian Reformed Church in Sibley. Rev. Marvin Leese officiating.  Burial in the Holman Township Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Friday, May 4, from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family present from 6:30 to 8:00 P.M. at the Andringa Funeral Home in Sibley.

Gertrude Waalkes, daughter of Gerrit and Gertie (Groendyke) Vander Meulen, was born March 31, 1920, near Ocheyedan, Iowa. She lived in Osceola County during her youth and began to teach in the Osceola County Schools in 1938.

She was united in marriage to Lammert Waalkes on February 17, 1956, in Sanborn, Iowa. They lived all of their married life in Sibley.

Gertrude worked as a telephone operator, a teacher, Deputy Recorder for Osceola County and worked in the Assessor’s office. She retired from employment in 1982.

She was a member of the Sibley Christian Reformed Church.

Gertrude enjoyed her family and traveling to serve her family when she could. Lammert and Gertrude visited their children and grandchildren when it was possible and Gertrude spent her time serving her family in any way she could. Even into her advanced years, serving was what she did. She enjoyed mission work, volunteering time at prolife ministries and ministering to the underprivileged.

She passed away on Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at her son’s home in Valley Center, Kansas, at the age of 92 years, one month and one day.

Those left to cherish her memories are: three sons and daughters-in-law, John and Yvonne Waalkes of Springfield, Colorado, Gary and Veronica Waalkes of Bear, Delaware, and LaVerne and Doris Waalkes of Valley Center, Kansas; one daughter and son-in-law, Gwenyth Waalkes and Chris Bochmann of Maxwell, Iowa; 17 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren; one sister, Geraldine Vander Meulen of Sibley; one sister-in-law, Jennie Beers of Spirit Lake, Iowa, and one brother-in-law, George Bents of Rushmore, Minnesota; and many relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lammert, her parents, 4 brothers, Horton Vander Meulen, Ray Vander Meulen, Neal Vander Meulen, and Fred Vander Meulen, and 5 sisters, Bessie Zevenbergen, Belle Peters, Nellie Vander Meulen, Ella Iedema and Kathryn Dykstra, and one grandson, Matthew Waalkes.

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Mrs. Alice Langstraat


Mrs. Alice Langstraat, age 87, of Orange City, formerly of Hospers, passed away on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at the Orange City Area Health System Long Term Care Facility.

There will be a funeral service on Friday, May 4, at 2:00pm, at the Newkirk Reformed Church in rural Hospers.  The Rev. David Powers will officiate.  Interment will follow at the Newkirk Cemetery.

Visitation with the family will be on Friday, from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm, at the church.

Alice was born on July 29, 1924, to Henry and Dora (Mantel) De Haan. She attended school in Newkirk and Hospers.

She was united in marriage to Lester “Ted” Langstraat on January 18, 1945, at the home of her parents in Hospers. They made their home on a farm north of Newkirk, where she helped with the farm work, raised chickens, had a huge vegetable garden, and enjoyed her beloved flower garden, being particularly fond of roses. They moved to Hospers in 1977. Ted passed away in June of 1991.

Mrs. Langstraat moved to the Pioneer Memorial Home in Orange City in February of 2009 and became a resident of the Long Term Care Facility in December of 2010.

She was a member of the Newkirk Reformed Church, where she belonged to the Mission Society. She was a founding member of the Golden Hour Society and sang in the Woman’s Chorus.

Alice enjoyed cooking and baking and was a cook at various cafes for many years. She also liked to make crafts, do embroidery, make quilts, play cards, and tend to her flower garden. While at Long Term Care, she was a faithful member of the bell choir.

She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Faye and Fred Ahlers, of Remsen; a granddaughter, Ann Heerde, of Rockford, Michigan; a grandson, David Heerde, of Le Mars; a sister-in-law, Ida De Haan, of Artesia, California; a brother-in-law, Herman Langstraat, of Sheldon; a sister-in-law, Anna Rensink, of Sheldon, and numerous nephews and nieces.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a son-in-law, Don Heerde; a brother, John De Haan; a sister and her husband, Elizabeth and Elden Boone; and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Peter and Tracy Langstraat, Bernard Rensink, Grace Langstraat, Winifred Langstraat, Lawrence and Johanna Den Hartog, Nellie Langstraat, and Elmer and Harriet Zorgdrager.

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Mrs. Brenice Van De Griend

Mrs. Bernice Van De Griend, age 96, of Hull, passed away on Friday, April 27, 2012, at the Pleasant Acres Care Center in Hull.

There will be a memorial service on Monday, April 30, at 11:30am, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Hull. The Rev. Carl Klompien will officiate. Interment will be prior to the service at the Hope Cemetery in Hull. There will be a prayer service on Monday, at 10:30am, at the Oolman Funeral Home in Hull.

Visitation will be after 4:00pm on Sunday, with the family present from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, at the funeral home.

Bernice Henrietta was born on August 1, 1915, at Hull, the daughter of Charles and Johanna (Hofmeyer) De Boer. She was raised on a farm southeast of Hull and graduated from the Hull High School, where she played softball and basketball.

On December 2, 1938, she married Andrew Van De Griend at Hull. They made their home and farmed ½ mile east and ¾ mile south of Hull, from 1942 to 1960. Bernice kept busy with five young children, helping her husband on the farm, canning many jars of fruits and vegetables from her large garden, and making delicious meals for her family. When her oldest children were in high school, the family moved to Sheldon, where they operated Andy’s Handy Grocery. In 1968, they moved to Hull, where they were custodians at the Western Christian High School, and spent many summers readying the facility for another school year.

In retirement, Andrew and Bernice continued to live in Hull. They enjoyed visiting their children, helping out where needed, taking care of the grandchildren, and getting the family together most Sundays for dinner. The grandchildren have fond memories of the good meals at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, eating apples from their tree, and playing together. Bernice will be remembered for her strength in caring for “Andy” after his stoke for 13 ½ years, until his death on May 3, 2000. He received the best care possible from his best friend. Her simple faith mandated that she care for her husband as long as she was able.

Bernice later moved to the Franken Manor in Sioux Center. More recently, she returned to Hull, where she became a resident of the Pleasant Acres.

She was currently a member of the First Christian Reformed Church in Hull but had also been a member of the Christian Reformed Churches in Middleburg and Sheldon.

Mrs. Van De Griend enjoyed sewing and quilting, making bedspreads for her children and crib blankets for her grandchildren. She also liked watching sports.

Survivors include her five children and their spouses, Alvin and Marcia Van De Griend, of Visalia, California; Roger and Betty Van De Griend, of Hastings, Michigan; Irma and Bernard Fedders, of Orange City; the Rev. Kenneth and Wanda Van De Griend, of Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Lyle and Lois Van De Griend, of Orange City; eighteen grandchildren, Scott (Christine) Van De Griend, Penny Aberson, Tim (Desi) Van De Griend, Randy Van De Griend, Holly Yavanian, Russell (Janna) Van De Griend, Angela (Brad) Todd, Nicholas (Sonja) Van De Griend, Andy (Rebecca) Van De Griend, Kristen (Phil) Dorhout, Brenna (Mark) Walters, Tom (Cheryl) Van De Griend, Jeanie (Jim) Heethuis, Cory (Angela) Van De Griend, Michael (Jocelyn) Van De Griend, Rebecca (Neil) Graves, Philip (Kristin) Van De Griend, and Sarah (Dan) Bonnema; 45 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-granddaughter.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by five brothers and a sister, August, Clarence, Dowie, Gerrit, and Gilbert De Boer, and Ellen De Leeuw.

Bernice was the last surviving member of her generation in both the De Boer and Van De Griend families.

Memorials may be directed to Leadership Resources International, an organization for which Ken and Cory currently work, to train pastors in third world countries.

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Earleen D. Schroder

Earleen D. Schroder, age 90, of Sheldon, Iowa, passed away on Friday, April 27, 2012 at Sanford Sheldon Hospital in Sheldon, Iowa.

Her services will be 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheldon, Iowa with Rev. Daniel Hart officiating. Burial with a graveside service will be at 9:30 A.M. on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 in the Evergreen Lawn Cemetery in George, Iowa.

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 1, 2012 after 3:00 P.M. with the family present from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. at the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon.

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Earleen Dorothy Schroder, the daughter of Chris and Mattie (Blumeyer) Staufacker, was born March 22, 1922 on the family farm in rural George, Iowa. She attended Wheeler #6 country school and later graduated from George High School in 1939. After graduation Earleen attended Northwestern College in Orange City from 1939 to 1941 earning her Associate Degree in Education. She furthered her education and training at Westmar, Augustana and the University of Colorado. She earned her Bachelor Degree in Education in 1972 from the University of South Dakota. Earleen taught 1st and 2nd grades in Maurice, Iowa from 1941 to 1943, taught 2nd grade in Freeport, Illinois from 1943 to 1945 and from 1945 until her retirement in 1987 she taught at Sheldon, Iowa. On August 21, 1948, Earleen was united in marriage to Vernon Schroder Jr. on the Staufacker family farm. The couple rented an apartment and home in Sheldon before Vernon custom built their home for Earleen in 1957. She passed away on Friday, April 27, 2012 at the Sanford Sheldon Hospital in Sheldon reaching the age of 90 years, 1 month and 5 days.

Earleen was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheldon. She was also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma on December of 1967, ISEA and a lifetime member of NEA

Left to treasure her memory, a brother, Ivan Staufacker of George, Iowa; sister-in-law, Lois Staufacker of Tracy, Minnesota; eight nieces and nephews and their families, Steven and his wife, Pauline Staufacker of Rapid City, South Dakota; Craig and his wife, Mary Staufacker of Garvin, Minnesota; Kristi and her husband, Ron Krause of Lake Benton, Minnesota; Janine Staufacker and her husband, Steve Albrecht of Maplewood, Minnesota; Kerry and her husband, Chris Harrelson of Columbia, South Carolina; Michael Staufacker of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Jennifer and her husband, Kyle Hansen of Irene, South Dakota and Eric Staufacker of George, Iowa; also other relatives, friends and dear friends, Phil and Pam Grove, Rick and Lori Cannoy, Rex and Rita Weber and their families.

Earleen was preceded in death by her husband, Vernon in 1982; a brother, Glennis Staufacker and a sister-in-law, Irene Staufacker.

Irene Leinen

Irene Leinen, age 87 of Sibley, IA died Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at Country View Manor in Sibley, IA.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM Monday, April 30, 2012 at the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sibley, with Father John Vakulskas as celebrant.  Burial will follow in the St. Andrew’s Catholic Cemetery in Sibley.

Visitation will be Sunday, April 29th from 2-6 PM with the family present from 4-6 PM at the Jurrens Funeral Home of Sibley.  There will be a rosary at 3 PM and a vigil service at 5:30 PM Sunday evening.

Irene Mary Leinen was born on August 7, 1924, the daughter of Emil and Margaret (Gaul) Hansen in Lismore, MN. She attended grade school in Oyens, Iowa. On September 9, 1947, she was united in marriage to Florian Stoffel and following his death in 1972 she married Walter Leinen on February 19, 1982 in Sibley, Iowa. Irene worked as a daycare provider out of her home for a while, then worked for Sibley Egg & Poultry and later Merrick Printing (now Keith M. Merrick Company) and retired from there after seventeen years. She was a member of the St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, where she was active in the Catholic Daughters and Women’s Guild. Irene was also a member of the Hospital Auxiliary. Irene had an extremely strong faith and met all of life’s challenges without fear. She was a hard worker and always seemed to be busy doing something. Irene really enjoyed people, loved to fish, travel, and garden; do word puzzles, weave rugs and crochet.

Left to cherish her memory are her four children, Nancy (Arthur) VanBruggen of Boyden, IA, Jean VandeGarde of Katy, TX, Becky (Stan) McAndrews of Ames, IA and Nick (Debbie) Stoffel of Inola, OK; nine grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren; six siblings, Jerome Hansen of LeMars, IA, Emil Hansen Jr. of Slayton, MN, Mary Ann Streff of Slayton, MN, Rita Pottebaum of Yuba City, CA, Mildred Gearke of LeMars, IA, and Sister Margaret Hansen of Auburn Hills, MI; and many nieces, nephews, and other extended family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; first husband, Florian Stoffel; second husband, Walter Leinen; very special adopted grandson, Samuel Harris Kruger; and seven siblings, Cletus Hansen, Alfred Hansen, Gerald Hansen, Lawrence Hansen, Ambrose Hansen, Leonard Hansen and Delores Ludwig.

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