November 27, 2021

Dick Van Gelder

Lenox

Dick Van Gelder, 96 of Lenox, passed away Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Celebration of Life services will be 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, at Lenox United Presbyterian Church. Visitation with the family greeting friends will be one hour prior to services. Interment with military rites accorded by the Parkinson American Legion Post No. 250 and Iowa National Honor Guard will be held in the North Fairview Cemetery in Lenox.

Memorials may be directed to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, National Kidney Foundation or National Pancreas Foundation. Memories may be shared with the family at www.ritchiefuneralhome.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the Ritchie Funeral Home of Lenox.

Dick Edwin Van Gelder was born Oct. 23, 1924, in Ocheyedan, Iowa, the son of Ed Van Gelder and Jennie (Feenstra) Van Gelder. He grew up in various locations in northwest Iowa. Dick was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served in occupational Japan toward the end of World War II.

When he returned home from military service, he married Clarena DeGroot, and from that union three of his six children were born: Darwin, Rodney and Jean.

After Jean’s birth, Clarena succumbed to kidney disease, leaving Dick a widower. In 1952, Dick married again to Antoinette (Net) Vander Vegte of Orange City. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Darien and then Delavan, Wisconsin, where they rented dairy farms.

In 1960, they purchased a dairy farm near Baldwin, Wisconsin, and lived there until 1975, when Dick grew weary of the dairyman’s life. During the Wisconsin years, three more sons were born to Dick and Antoinette: Terry, Paul and Chuck. They then purchased a farm near Lenox.

During the 1980s, in addition to crop farming and raising cattle and sheep, he had a grain bin and building business with his youngest sons, Paul and Chuck.

Dick enjoyed collecting and restoring Model A cars and Model T cars along with farm equipment. He enjoyed his trips to Texas with Antoinette, family reunions and most recently his karaoke machine!

Dick is survived by his children: Dar and Lanor Van Gelder of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Rodney Van Gelder of Holland, Michigan, Jean and Wayne Tjarks of Zeeland, Michigan, Terry Van Gelder of Escondido, California, Paul and Leesa Van Gelder of Lenox and Chuck and Rachelle Van Gelder of Lenox; his siblings: Joyce (Van Gelder TeBrink) Hulst, Kathy (Van Gelder) Van Wyhe and John and Thelma Van Gelder; 15 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Preceding Dick are his parents, Ed and Jennie Van Gelder; his first wife, Clarena Van Gelder; his second wife, Antoinette Van Gelder; his daughter-in-law, Ginger (Brummels) Van Gelder (Rodney); his siblings, James Van Gelder, Wilbur Van Gelder and Irene Schiebout.