There may never be anyone who loves their hometown as much as Bill Van Maanen loved his. On April 4, 1936 William James Van Maanen was born in Rock Valley, Iowa. From that day to the day he died on Friday, September 15, 2017, the only time that Bill did not live in his beloved Rock Valley was during the two years he served in the United States Marine Corp at Camp Pendleton. Bill was deeply proud of and devoted to his hometown.
Bill was the son of Gerrit and Henrietta (Timmer) Van Maanen. He graduated from Rock Valley High School in 1954 and enlisted in the Marines. He married Joann (Jo) Miller of Hudson, South Dakota on August 2, 1957. When Bill returned home to Rock Valley he stayed, taking a job as a meat cutter at Koster’s Market where he loved sharing stories with customers. He was a member of the Rock Valley City Council and in 1971 became the City Administrator, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. Bill served as a member of the Rock Valley Economic Development Board, Rock Valley Housing Planning Committee, the Rotary Club, and for 25 years was a volunteer for the Rock Valley Fire Department. He was an original stockholder of the Rock Valley Golf Course, played in the town baseball league and was a life-long member of Pioneer United Methodist Church.
Always keeping Rock Valley’s interests in mind, in the 1980s Bill and friend Willie Jonker bought a historic railroad bridge to keep it from being dismantled while funds were raised to make the bridge part of what today is the Rock Valley trail system.
If you spoke with his three children and seven grandchildren, each one would tell you that their Papa was among their closest friends and they loved hearing him tell stories about Rock Valley. His wife Jo would tell you that Bill was her best friend for more than 60 years.
Bill shared his love of pheasant hunting with his sons and grandsons. He also enjoyed golfing and traveling, even taking all the grand kids on many trips. He had fond memories of fishing trips to Alaska, and travels in Holland and Germany. He loved solving crosswords puzzles and collecting rocks.
Survivors include his wife Jo, three children, Todd (Michelle) Van Maanen, Jody (Kevin) Kallsen, and Tom (Peggy) Van Maanen, and his brother Larry (Nancy) Hylarides. His grandchildren include Danielle (Bjorn) Langefeld, Erin (Joseph) Hill, Tyler (Roxy) Kallsen, Jacob Kallsen, Jesse Van Maanen, Kylie Kallsen and William Todd Van Maanen. Other survivors include his great grandchildren Wylie Hill, Dawson Butler, Amesley Hill, Natalie Hill, Ivan Langefeld and Uxbal Kallsen, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, step mother Lou Van Maanen, and brother John Van Maanen.
Visitation will be Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Porter’s Funeral Home in Rock Valley. The funeral service will be Wednesday at 10:30 at Pioneer United Methodist Church. Pastor Donald Nelson will officiate.
And just as it should be, memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of Rock Valley.
Tuesday September 19, 2017 , 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM at Porter Funeral Home ~ Rock Valley
Wednesday September 20, 2017 , 10:30 AM at Pioneer United Methodist Church