Cover photo for Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder's Obituary
Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder Profile Photo
1933 Kenneth 2019

Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder

September 20, 1933 — May 18, 2019

  Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder, 85, of Le Mars, Iowa, formerly of Ireton, Iowa, died on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home in Le Mars.

   Funeral Service will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at the First Reformed Church in Ireton, Iowa with Rev. Gerald Norman officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Visitation with the family will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the Porter Funeral Home in Ireton. Condolences may be sent to

 Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder was born September 20, 1933 at Orange City, Iowa, the son of John and Anna (DeVries) Van Gelder.  Kenneth was the last of ten children.  He was raised in the Orange City area.  Kenneth graduated from Newkirk High School in 1950, where he played on the state qualifying basketball team.

   Kenneth served in the US Army from August 1955 to July 1957 as a medical aidman and was deployed to Rhein-Main Air Base in Frankfurt, Germany.

   On September 26, 1958 Kenneth married Henrietta Bronkhorst in Orange City, Iowa.  Together they lived in Orange City, Hawarden, Iowa and in 1968 they moved to Ireton, Iowa. 

   Kenneth was a mason/concrete man for his whole life.  Kenneth started by working for his uncle Dick, partnering with Bud Bolluyt, and finally working as his own boss as Van Gelder Construction.  

   Kenneth was active in the First Reformed Church where he sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, served as an Elder, participated in Men’s brotherhood, and 55 Alive. 

    Kenneth was an avid gardener. He grew the best watermelon and cantaloupe.  He was a faithful fan of the Minnesota Twins and Iowa Hawkeyes. 

    In September 2013 Henrietta became a resident at Good Samaritan nursing home in Le Mars, Iowa and Kenneth joined her the following September of 2014. 

   Henrietta passed away May 2015 and Kenneth continued to live at Good Samaritan nursing home until his death. 

    Survivors include one son, Gary Van Gelder (Crystal) of Ireton, Iowa; two daughters, Laura Van Gelder of Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Sandra (Kenny) Barnes of Alcester, South Dakota;  grandchildren, Rie Barnes of Brookings, South Dakota and Erik Barnes, of Watertown, South Dakota, Sonjia Barnes of Beresford, South Dakota, and Carter Erickson of Hawarden, Iowa; one brother, Randall Van Gelder of Orange City, Iowa and one sister-in-law, Carol Van Gelder, Orange City, Iowa; and many nieces and nephews. 

   Kenneth was preceded in death by his wife, Henrietta; his parents, John and Anna; three brothers, George Van Gelder and his wife Frances, Charles Van Gelder and Gary Van Gelder; five sisters, Margaret and her husband John Reinders, Jennie and her husband Marion Schalekamp, Mary Ann and her husband Marv Vlieger, Agnes Van Gelder, and Johanna Hofland; and niece, Mary Wissink. Also, Kenneth’s in-laws, Gerrit and Tillie Bronkhorst, Geurt and Willie Leeuwis, Dick and Vivian Bronkhorst, and Henry and Toni Van De Stroet; and nephew, Dennis Bronkhorst. 

    The family sincerely thanks the Good Samaritan Society Le Mars for their excellent care and kindness shown both Ken and Henrietta. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth Arthur Van Gelder, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation with the family present

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

First Christian Reformed Church

1401 16th St, Rock Valley, IA 51247

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Porter Funeral Home in Ireton

502 7th St, Ireton, IA 51027

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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