Bob Ira De Ronde was born February 2, 1928, the youngest son of Arie and Hendrikje Menninga De Ronde. He grew up on their family farm near Galesburg, Iowa. Bob was 18 months old when his mother died of cancer and 5 years old when his father died of meningitis, so he grew up living with his siblings. He lived with his sister, Jennie and her husband, Harold Ver Meer, during his high school years. With Jennie, being his closest sibling, they enjoyed a lifelong bond.
He attended Rose Hill Country School and for a time was taught by Net VanDenBerg, a sister to the wife he would meet in the future. On September 28, 1946, after graduating from Pella High School, he enlisted in the United States Army. He was a squad leader, trained as a paratrooper, and received his Parachutist's Badge, Glider Badge, and Rifle Expert Badge. He served in Japan, received a World War II Victory Medal and Army of Occupation Medal -Japan, before he was honorably discharged in 1948. He was active in the American Legion in Pella and served as historian of the newsletter. A highlight of his retirement was the Honor Flight to Washington, DC in 2009, and making a final parachute jump on his 80th birthday.
Growing up, he attended the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa. He met and married Dorothy 'Dot' Kaldenberg on June 17, 1950. They attended the United Presbyterian Church when they moved to Newton, Iowa and after retirement they moved to Pella, Iowa where they attended Trinity Reformed Church. His church life included singing in the choir.
Bob worked for his brother, Jake De Ronde, at Pella Implement while attending high school and after returning from Japan. He worked for a short time as a machinist at Maytag Company in Newton, Iowa. He was a master mechanic, working 30 years at Newton Implement as a mechanic and service foreman. He worked at Alliant Energy (formerly ISU) as a "jack-of-all-trades" until his retirement. During his retirement he was a truck driver for Geetings and a "fix-it man" at Jaarsma Bakery in Pella, Iowa.
He was active in the Dutch Masters Antique Car Club making many road trips with the group, and driving either his 1951 or 1978 Mercury in parades.
Bob was very creative. Many people have been the recipients of his homemade bread, his wooden bowls, his turned pens, his stained glass figures, his woodworking or poetry recitations. He loved being of service to others and loved visiting family, those in need, the sick and his many friends. He enjoyed having something to offer when he visited and had a memorized poem for almost any occasion.
He was always fascinated by the wonder of God's creations and instilled that interest in his children. He treasured his time outdoors: boating, water skiing, hunting, camping and just sitting to watch the birds and animals. He and Dot volunteered and camped at the Iowa State Fair for 20 years.
Bob passed away on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at the Pella Regional Health Center at the age of 89 years. He was dearly loved and will be missed by his wife of 67 years, Dot, two children, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren:
Denni (Denise) and Zen Miller - Appleton, WI
Bart and Ashli Miller - DePere, WI
Ky, Kade, Krew and Everly
Bret and Charise Miller - Stuttgart, Germany
Cooper, Lynndon, and McCoy
Sadie Miller - Appleton, WI
Craig and Nora De Ronde -Otley, IA
Jason and Camie Bersinger - Chehalis, WA
Jordan and Chase
Brad and Stephanie Bersinger - Chehalis, WA
Lena and Brett Dalton - Pella
Austyn, Danika, Deegan and Dane
Matt and Kathy DeRonde - Palos Hills, IL
Nicolas, Marcelo, and Daniel
Bob leaves the following sisters-in-law: Gladys (John De Ronde) Karlin of Ankeny, IA; Ruth Hannay of Pella, Agnes Masselink of Santa Rosa, CA, Sibel Hanson of Tucson, AZ, Chic Visser and Darlene Klein, both of Pella.
He was preceded in death by his parents, all his siblings and their spouses: Jake De Ronde and his wives, Lucille (Klein) and Cora (Hoksbergen), Nick and Margaret De Ronde, Johanna and Raymond Van Heukelom, Dora and Peter Rus, Neal and Wilma De Ronde, John De Ronde, Jennie and Harold Ver Meer.
Published on November 13, 2017