Jo  Harmeling
Jo Harmeling, 89, of Pella, IA, died Thursday, September 26, 2019, at Edencrest at the Legacy in Norwalk, IA supported by Suncrest Hospice and surrounded by her family.
Ruth Joan was born to Gertrude (Van Houweling) and Ray Adrian Vanderwal on June 6, 1930, in Montezuma, IA. She attended Montezuma Public Schools and graduated Salutatorian in 1948. She attended Central College in Pella where she participated in drama, cheerleading, and was homecoming queen 1951. She graduated in 1952 as a Speech Major.
On June 14, 1952, she married John Walfoort Harmeling in Montezuma, Iowa. She was an elementary teacher in both Pella and in Lytton, IA. John and Jo lived in Sac City, IA where all their children were born and made many lifelong friends. They moved to Pella in 1960 when John became the administrator of the Pella Community Hospital.
After raising her children, Jo worked at Central College as the secretary for the food service. Many knew her as "Grandma Jo" as she loved the college and students dearly. She and John enjoyed attending football games where often she could be heard out-cheering the cheerleaders from the bleachers. They were "alumni of the year" in 1984.
She loved Second Reformed Church where she supported many activities including serving as an elder, mission trips, teaching, packing summer sack lunches, leading the funeral committee, and serving wherever she was needed.
She volunteered at the Pella Historical Village working in the miniature village and serving as a tour guide. She helped co-write the grant to build the Vermeer Windmill in Pella. She also was a Campfire leader (Wo-he-lo), supported many volunteer activities at Tulip Time, helped kids read at the community schools, helped with school registration in Alaska for her daughter Ann, volunteered with hospice and figured out different ways she could support her many friends and neighbors. Other interests included reading, walking, swimming, gardening, history, traveling, and bird-watching.
Jo is survived by a son, three daughters and spouses: Bart and Sue Harmeling of Lake Chelan, Wash., Beth and Lance Seyer of Black Diamond, Wash., Jenny and Randy Messer of Norwalk, Ann and Dave Class of Wasilla, Alaska; 12 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren; a sister Trudy Glaman of Minneapolis, MN and a brother- in- law, Bob Hawley of Clear Lake, IA.
She was preceded in death by her husband John W. Harmeling, her parents, her sister Alice Hawley; her brother-in-law, Charles Glaman, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Lois (Harmeling) and James Mulder; and a nephew Greg Hawley.
Funeral services were held on Sunday, September 29, at the Second Reformed Church in Pella. Van Dyk - Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on September 30, 2019


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