Ernest Allen Van Weelden passed away peacefully at his home on the family farm on March 31, 2021 at the age of 92.
Ernie was born on September 20, 1928 to William and Jennie Bouma Van Weelden at the rural Oskaloosa home of his parents, the ninth of fourteen children. He attended school in the Oskaloosa area and grew up helping his father on the family farm. As a boy, Ernie milked cows, plowed fields with a team of horses and later drove his father's tractor and one-row corn picker. Following his education, Ernie began working in the grocery business for Thriftway Grocery Stores.
In 1952, Ernie served his country in Korea as an MP in the Army, stationed near the 38th Parallel. Following his service, Ernie returned to work as a manager for Thriftway Grocery Stores in the Des Moines area.
In 1954, Ernie met Mary Ann Nordman of Wesley, Iowa on a blind date. They were married November 11, 1955 at the Woden Christian Reformed Church and settled in Des Moines. In 1957, Ernie and Mary returned to the family farm near Wesley, where they successfully farmed until their retirement in 1994. They raised three children, including David Jon, a special needs child who touched the lives of all he met until his death at age twenty.
On November 11, 2020, Ernie and Mary Ann celebrated 65 years of marriage.
Ernie professed his faith at an early age and was very active in his church for all his life. Ernie enjoyed golf, a good game of cards, and fishing - especially at his cabin in Canada with family and friends. Ernie remained close to all his brothers and sisters throughout the years. For nearly twenty years, Ernie and Mary Ann wintered in Arizona, with frequent trips to Omaha and Burleson to check on the grandchildren. Above all, Ernie was devoted to God, his wife and his family, especially his grandchildren. Ernie always took care of his family.
Ernie is survived by his wife, Mary Ann; daughter Sherri and her husband Steve of Burleson, Texas; son Mark of Omaha, Nebraska and Wesley, Iowa; grandchildren Zachary Van Weelden, Matthew Van Weelden, Douglas Sechrist and Lauren (Dan) Sechrist Silver. He is also survived by brothers James Van Weelden of Grimsby, Ontario and Harold (Eileen) Van Weelden of Oskaloosa; sisters Anna Kelderman of Oskaloosa and Fran (Les) Spoelstra of Redlands, California; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Ernie was preceded in death by his son David Jon; grandson Christopher Sechrist; five brothers: John, Henry, Peter, William, Jr., Ray and an infant brother; and three sisters: Sylvia Kelderman, Dorothy DeRonde, and Jean Boender.
Woden Christian Reformed Church
215 290th St.
Woden, IA 50484
Interment will be in Woden Christian Reformed Cemetery. Social distancing practices will be followed, and masks are recommended. The funeral and graveside will be live-streamed on Oakcrest Funeral Services' Facebook page www.facebook.com/oakcrestfuneralservices