Kenneth A. Van Gelder

May 21, 2019

Le Mars, Iowa, formerly Ireton, Iowa

Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder, 85, of Le Mars, formerly of Ireton, died Saturday, May 18, 2019, at the Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First Reformed Church in Ireton, with the Rev. Gerald Norman officiating. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, with military rites. Visitation with the family will be 6 to 8 p.m. today at Porter Funeral Home in Ireton. Condolences may be sent to www.porterfuneralhomes.com.

Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder was born on Sept. 20, 1933, in Orange City, Iowa, the son of John and Anna (DeVries) Van Gelder. Kenneth was the last of 10 children. He was raised in the Orange City area. Kenneth graduated from Newkirk High School in 1950, where he played on the state qualifying basketball team. Kenneth served in the U.S. Army from August 1955 to July 1957 as a medical aidman and was deployed to Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany.

On Sept. 26, 1958, Kenneth married Henrietta Bronkhorst in Orange City. They lived in Orange City and Hawarden, Iowa, and in 1968 moved to Ireton. Kenneth was a mason/concrete man for his whole life. Kenneth started by working for his uncle Dick, partnering with Bud Bolluyt, and finally working as his own boss as Van Gelder Construction. In September 2013, Henrietta became a resident at Good Samaritan in Le Mars and Kenneth joined her the following September 2014. Henrietta passed away in May 2015 and Kenneth continued to live at Good Samaritan until his death.

Kenneth was active at First Reformed Church, where he sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, served as an elder, participated in men’s brotherhood, and 55 Alive. Kenneth was an avid gardener. He grew the best watermelon and cantaloupe. He was a faithful fan of the Minnesota Twins and Iowa Hawkeyes.

Survivors include one son, Gary Van Gelder (Crystal) of Ireton; two daughters, Laura Van Gelder of Sioux Falls, S.D., and Sandra (Kenny) Barnes of Alcester, S.D.; grandchildren, Rie Barnes of Brookings, S.D., Erik Barnes of Watertown, S.D., Sonjia Barnes of Beresford, S.D., and Carter Erickson of Hawarden; one brother, Randall Van Gelder of Orange City; one sister-in-law, Carol Van Gelder of Orange City; and many nieces and nephews.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife, Henrietta; his parents, John and Anna; three brothers, George Van Gelder and his wife, Frances, Charles Van Gelder, and Gary Van Gelder; five sisters, Margaret and her husband, John Reinders, Jennie and her husband, Marion Schalekamp, Mary Ann and her husband, Marv Vlieger, Agnes Van Gelder, and Johanna Hofland; a niece, Mary Wissink; Kenneth’s in-laws, Gerrit and Tillie Bronkhorst, Geurt and Willie Leeuwis, Dick and Vivian Bronkhorst, and Henry and Toni Van De Stroet; and nephew, Dennis Bronkhorst.

The family sincerely thanks the Good Samaritan Society in Le Mars for their excellent care and kindness shown both Ken and Henrietta.

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