Gary's Story

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Gary Lee Van Rees was born on May 5, 1935, in Jasper County near Sully. He was an only son born to Cecil Joe and Wilhelmina Jansen Van Rees and had two younger sisters, Jean Lucille and Cynthia Jo. Gary attended the Sully Christian Grade School in Sully and graduated from Pella Christian High School in Pella. He enlisted in the Army of the United States of America in September 1955. On Jan. 18, 1956, he and Delores Ann Zylstra were united in marriage at the Sully Christian Reformed Church in Sully, where he was baptized and had made profession of his faith. Gary and Delores lived in Panama for 14 months while he served in the Army. In September 1958, their first daughter, Paula Jo, was born and in July 1960, their second daughter, Mary Lu Ann, was born. Following his discharge in August 1961, they returned to Sully where he farmed and sought employment. Gary then began working for the Sully Cooperative Exchange. In July 1969, their son, Calvin Jay, was born. He and Delores moved to Pella in 1980 while he continued to commute to his work at the Sully Coop. Gary worked for the Sully Cooperative Exchange for 33 years until his retirement in 1999. He last worked part time for Ewing Land Development in Pella. Gary thoroughly enjoyed following the activities of his children and six grandchildren and made this a priority! In later years he enjoyed playing with his eight great-grandchildren. Gary and Delores enjoyed traveling. They had visited all 50 states and several foreign countries. In September 2015, he was honored to go on the Freedom Flight to Washington, D.C., with fellow military veterans. Gary passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015, at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, having recently celebrated his 80th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Delores; his three children and their families: Paula and Sherwin Klyn of Pella, Renae and Joseph Vos of Pella, Sherwin David and Karissa Klyn of Zeeland, Mich. Lu Ann and Michael Blom of Pella, Cassandra and Glen Swanson of Pella, Joshua and Sarah Blom of Morton, Ill. Joseph and Krista Blom of Chicago Ridge, Ill. James Blom of DeMotte, Ind. Calvin Van Rees of Arvada, Colo. Gary leaves his two sisters and their husbands: Jean and Lewis Arkema of Sioux Center, Cynthia and Terry Hayworth of Mitchellville, and the following sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Bertha (William) Zylstra of Sully, Nellie (Orville) Zylstra of Pella, P. Marvin and Celia Zylstra of Pella, Wendall and Dorothy Zylstra of Sully, Claude and Joan Zylstra of Pella. He was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil and Minnie Van Rees; his parents-in-law, Paul and Gertie Van Den Hoek Zylstra; and the following brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: William John Zylstra, Orville Zylstra, Mary Lou (Zylstra) and Merle Van Steenis and Judy (Claude) Zylstra. Gary was currently a member of the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. He lived out his faith every day to his family and those around him, in his own quiet way. Funeral services were held on Saturday, Nov. 28, at the Covenant Reformed Church in Pella. Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on  December 3, 2015
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