Harold  De Vries

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Harold Henry De Vries was born on January 24, 1930, at home on a farm three miles north of Peoria, Iowa. He was the oldest of four children of Wiebe and Gertrude (Bennink) De Vries. Harold attended Peoria Christian School where he graduated from the eighth grade. As teenagers, Harold and five other young people were given permission to attend their church Young People's Convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Harold did not know it at the time, but amongst those teenagers was his wife-to-be, Leona Mae Langstraat. Harold and Leona were married on November 24, 1950, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. June 1951, Harold was drafted into the United States Army where he served in the Korean War as a tank commander. Leona was able to accompany him to Fort Knox, Kentucky where they lived together until January 1952 when Harold departed for Korea. Harold saw and experienced many horrific sights and sounds of war, but remained strong in his faith. During the time that Harold was stationed in Korea, Leona lived with Harold's parents. On July 2, 1952, the first of their eight children, Harlan Wayne, was born. On March 7, 1953, Leona's birthday, Sergeant De Vries received word that he was being discharged and would be coming home. He and Leona began farming and soon bought four milk cows and a John Deere tractor. He and his brother, Syburn De Vries, farmed their father's farm together. During the next 14 years, they were blessed with seven more children: Larry Eugene, Dennis Lee, Patricia Joy, Bryce Allen, Wavern Glen, Kevin Ray, and Kimberly June. Harold supplemented their family income by trucking for the Peoria Stockyards as well as being a substitute milk truck driver. Harold milked cows until their dairy barn was struck by lightning and burned down in 2004. This was a sad day for the family and ended the dairy aspect of farming for Harold and Leona. They remained on the farm, and Harold and Bryce continued to farm together until Harold's health would no longer allow him to do so at the age of 87 years. Leona suffered a stroke in November 2017, which necessitated that she live at Jefferson Place in Pella, Iowa. Harold, with assistance from Bryce, visited her every afternoon. Harold and Leona went on several memorable vacations to visit family and friends. They traveled to Alaska, California, Florida, Washington, and British Columbia to enjoy the ocean, mountains, and other scenery. In 1961, they became members of the Peoria Christian Reformed Church in Peoria, Iowa. Harold served many terms on the consistory and was a strong believer in Christian education. He served on boards and committees for the Peoria Christian School in Peoria, Iowa; Pella Christian High School in Pella, Iowa; and Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. Harold lived a life of service to his Lord and Savior and was a man of few words; however, what he said was meaningful and thought provoking. On Sunday, May 19, 2019, he passed away at the Pella Regional Health Center in Pella, Iowa at the age of 89 years. Harold and Leona were richly blessed with 68 years of life together and a large, loving family which includes 19 grandchildren and 47 great-grandchildren. They are:
Harlan & Donna De Vries (Orange City, IA), Brian & Jean De Vries, Reagan, Madison, Hunter, Mark & Sandi De Vries, Andrew, Abigail, Alex, Logan, Lisa & Dan Zylstra, Emily, Caroline, Paul, Joseph, Krista & Eric Heynen, Camden, Sophie, Derek & Kate De Vries;
Larry & Rosie De Vries (Pella, IA), Cassie & Derek Van Dyke, Makenna, Caden, Annika, Cambria, Rowen, Zach & Lindsay De Vries, Holden, Emerson, Breckyn, Taityn;
Dennis & Bev De Vries (Pella, IA),Randy & Jodi De Vries, Colby, Tysen, Jessa, Stacey & Scott De Boef, Noah, Henry, Wyatt, Valerie De Vries, Georgia;
Pat & Stan Dykstra (Pella, IA), Lynae & Matt Boender, Jadon, Kadey, Izek, Melissa & Tate Huizer, Brooklyn, Ashton, Peyton, Kypton, Steve & Laci Dykstra, Cameron, Ellie, Haddie, Michelle & Colton Verrips, Crew, Cutler;
Bryce De Vries (Peoria, IA);
Wavern & Bev De Vries (Pella, IA), Shawn & Beth De Vries, Brooks, Rhett, Remington, Tami & Josh Pommer, Lincoln, Carter, Quinn;
Kevin De Vries (Lynden, WA);
Kimberly & Brian Vander Berg (Sioux Center, IA), Cody Vander Berg, Shannon Vander Berg, Cheney Vander Berg.
Harold is survived by one brother and two sisters, Syburn (Judy) De Vries of Pella, Iowa; Gertrude Visser of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Joyce Heynen of Hull, Iowa along with sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Emily (William) Dieleman of Bella Vista, Arkansas; Henry Junior (Cynthia) Langstraat of Otley, Iowa; Terry (Coral) Langstraat of Melstone, Montana; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wiebe and Gertrude (Bennink) De Vries; a step-mother, Gerdena (Vreeman/De Boer) De Vries; a great-grandson, Collin De Vries; his brothers-in-law: Bob Visser and William Heynen; his parents-in-law, Henry and Nellie (Kelderman) Langstraat; and a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Agnes (Langstraat) and Ray Van Weelden. Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 25, at the Peoria Christian Reformed Church in Peoria, Iowa. Memorials are preferred for the Peoria Christian School. Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home in Pella was in charge of arrangements.
Published on May 28, 2019
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