Rock Valley, IA: Gerrit John Koenen, 78, of Rock Valley, Iowa died Monday, October 19, 2020, at his residence in Rock Valley after a rigorous 6 year battle with pancreatic cancer. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, October 21, at 2:00 PM at the Netherlands Reformed Congregation with Rev. J.J. Witvoet officiating. Burial will follow at Valley View Cemetery of Rock Valley. Visitation will be held Tuesday, October 20, from 3:00-8:00 PM, with the family present from 6:30-8:00 PM, at Porter Funeral Home of Rock Valley. Memorials may be given to the Netherlands Reformed Christian School.
Gerrit John Koenen, the son Bert and Gertrude (Bakker) Koenen, was born January 6, 1942, at Shindler, South Dakota. At a young age, Gerrit’s father was killed in an accident. Gerrit was then raised north of Rock Valley, Iowa, by his Grandpa Koenen and Aunt Bertha. On January 16, 1963, Gerrit was united in marriage with the love of his life, Mary De Bruin, at her parents’ home near Hudson, South Dakota. To this union, four sons were born: Tim, Greg, Rick, and Chad.
Gerrit had a passion and love for farming his whole life. Growing up, Gerrit worked for several area farmers. He and Mary purchased a farm southwest of Rock Valley in 1966. Even after moving into town in 2008, Gerrit continued farming and helping his sons. Gerrit also enjoyed riding bike and camping. He was a life-long member of the Netherlands Reformed Congregation.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Mary; 4 sons, Tim (Denise) Koenen, Greg (Shirley) Koenen, both of Hawarden, Iowa, Rick (Sheila) Koenen, and Chad (Alanda) Koenen, both of Rock Valley; 24 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; 2 sisters, Mina (Lauren) Anderson and Edith Troff; 4 brothers-in-law, John De Bruin, John Vande Hoef, Jim (Sue) De Bruin, and Brad (Brenda) De Bruin; and 2 sisters-in-law, Elaine (Jerrold) Van Roekel and Kathy (Marv) Schelling.
Gerrit was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Gertrude; parents-in-law, Albert and Henrietta De Bruin; grandson, Ryan Koenen; 6 month old brother, Albert “Buddy” Koenen; 2 sisters and their husbands, Jenny (Clarence) Hanzen and Marie (Sidney) Grossenburg; brother-in-law, Ron Troff; and 4 sisters-in-law, Betty Vande Hoef, Doris De Bruin, Betty De Bruin, and Dawn Anderson-De Bruin.