Andrew's Story

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Andrew Isaac was born July 18, 1925, to Leendert Andrew and Anna, nee De Haan, Beerends at their home located at 706 Independence Street, in Pella, Iowa. He was baptized at First Christian Reformed Church, Pella, as an infant and received his elementary education at old Webster School. He graduated from Pella Christian High School with the class of 1943 when the school was located in the big house on north Main Street.

Andrew made public profession of faith in Jesus Christ at First Christian Reformed Church in Pella. He served this congregation in several capacities: Elder, Treasurer, Sunday School Superintendent, and Secretary of the Covenantal Finance Committee. Nearly 20 years ago, Andy and Marcella joined the consistory as charter members of the congregation which is now named Covenant Reformed Church of Pella.

His work experience included working summers at De Jong Greenhouses (painting rafters, etc.), and the summer following graduation he worked for horse-farmer Brummel near Leighton. This was short-term since he had absolutely no experience to bring to this employer, not even knowing how to harness or un-harness a team of horses. Following this he hired on with Andrew Lubbers who owned the Clover Leaf Dairy at East Washington Street.

At this time World War II was raging and though he was in an exempt occupation, he heeded the call to serve his country and was inducted into the U.S. Army on April 4, 1944. After boot camp training at Fort Hood Texas, he was deployed to the European theater of action serving with the 26th Infantry Regiment of the Army's First Division as an ammunition handler where he fought in the Hürtgen Forest and watched the night-time allied bombing of Cologne, Germany. On Thanksgiving Day (he always considered it a day of thanksgiving for God's providential care for removing him from the battlefield just before the bloody Battle of the Bulge offensive began), he took shrapnel wounds from enemy fire, was shipped to England for treatment, and then state-side to Barnes General Hospital in Vancouver, Washington, for convalescence. He was mustered out at Atterbury, Indiana, on July 10, 1945. Decorations and citations include European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart.

In April of 1950, Andy married Marcella Vander Wilt in the living room of her parents' home on a farm a few miles southeast of Pella. He knew her from years of seeing her with her family when they attended First Christian Reformed Church, and his parents thinking it was high time for him to look for a wife, he stopped Marcella one day after work when she was walking to her boarding place. She accepted his offer for a ride and that was the beginning to a marriage that lasted over sixty-six years.

In October of 1945 "Andy" was hired by Rolscreen Company where he began work typing shop tickets. In a year or two an opening arose in the Traffic Department which he filled and made his career for the remainder of his more than sixty-three years at then-named Pella Corporation. Heading the company's truck lease fleet and his association with the truck drivers was a special pleasure for him.

Andy will be fondly remembered by family and friends for his insightfulness, loyalty, integrity, dry (some say wicked) sense of humor, but most of all our memories will be of a dear man who knew himself a sinner loved by God.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Marcella; his sister-in-law: Eleanor and Vernon Boot; his brothers-in-law: Arvin and Carolyn Vander Wilt, Robert and Mary Vander Wilt, and Loren Vander Wilt; and many dear nieces and nephews.

Those preceding him in death are his parents Leendert and Anna Beerends.

Funeral services were held Friday, June 3, at Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Pella or Peoria Christian Grade School. Garden Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on June 3, 2016
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