Gareth Paul Vande Kieft was the first of three children that were born to Gerrit J. and Grace (Wanders) Vande Kieft. He was born near New Sharon, Iowa on December 4, 1928. The family later moved to Tracy, Iowa where he completed the 9th grade in high school. Bud as he became known, then worked as a farm hand in Marion County near Otley, Iowa until 1951.
In January, 1951, Bud was inducted into the United States Army. From Knoxville, Iowa he was bussed to Fort Riley, Kansas for 14 weeks basic training and then two weeks by Coast Guard Ship enroute to Yokahama, Japan. By narrow gauge rail open car trip to the southern tip of Japan Osaka, across the channel to South Korea, then by Army 6x6 trucks to North Korea. He was placed in the 1st Cavalier Division, 7th Regiment-Baker Company combat group. Bud was a combat foot soldier rifleman from May, 1951, until wounded by shrapnel in both legs and shoulder on October 10, 1951. He was treated in a MASH unit hospital in Korea, Army hospital in Japan, then to an Army hospital at Camp Carson, Colorado. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal W/1 Bronze Service StarUnited Nations Service Medal Combat Infantry BadgePurple Heart. He was honorably discharged on October 20, 1952. This experience impacted Bud the remainder of his lifetime.
On November 19, 1953, he and Mary Lou Zylstra were united in marriage and to this union four children were born: Paul Kyler in 1955, Carol Evon in 1957, Gregg Kelvin in 1961, and David Kent in 1965. Bud farmed near Monroe, Iowa and then began driving truck. In 1967 the family moved to Pella, Iowa where he worked as a welder for Vermeer Manufacturing Company and Parsons Manufacturing in Newton, Iowa. He was an orderly at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa and eventually returned to driving truck. During this time Bud had earned his pilot's license and did some flying and enjoyed hunting and trapping. His retirement years found him dancing, playing pool, and enjoying time with his grandchildren.
On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, he passed away at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa at the age of 88 years.
Bud is survived by his four children and their families: Paul and Elizabeth (Rietveld) Vande Kieft of Pella, IA, Kyler, Griffin; Carol Vande Kieft of Whitefish, MT, Rachel and David Kirschbaum, Camden, Declan, Alyson Fugitt; Gregg and Lynette (Zonnefeld) Vande Kieft of Olympia, WA, Emily, Luke, Joel; David and Karen (Phillips) Vande Kieft of Traverse City, MI, Nicholas and Lilia Vande Kieft, Vaira, Mary, Zoë. Bud leaves his brother, Robert Vande Kieft and his wife, Anne, of Fremont, Michigan, and his sister, Mavis (Ike) Vos of Pella, Iowa and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Lou (Zylstra) Van Steenis; his parents, Gerrit J. and Grace Vande Kieft; his brother-in-law, Ivan Vos and a sister-in-law, Judy (Robert) Vande Kieft. Bud was a member of the First Christian Reformed Church and the Van Veen- Van Hemert American Legion Post No. 89 of Pella, Iowa.
Funeral services were held on Monday, June 26, at the First Christian Reformed Church. Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on June 26, 2017