July 6, 2017
9:00 – Noon, Sunday, July 9, 2017
Garden Chapel Funeral Home
With family present 1:00-4:00 P.M.
First Reformed Church
10:00 A.M., Monday, July 10, 2017
First Reformed Church
Hospice of Pella
Lake View Camp
Wife: Marlena Wichhart, Pella
Children: Brenda and Eric Jones, Pella
Diane and Steve Boat, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Dan and Kristy Wichhart, Otley
Clarence Ray “Shorty” Wichhart was born on December 15, 1935 to Christopher and Henrietta Groeneweg Wichhart in a farmhouse east of Oskaloosa, Iowa. He went to his heavenly home on Thursday, July 6, 2017 at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House at the age of eighty-one.
Shorty was baptized at the Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa and made profession of his faith in the Third Reformed Church. At the time of his death he was a member of the First Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa.
He was nicknamed “Shorty” when he was around 10 years old. He claimed he was about as wide as he was tall at that age and the name stuck with him. He received his early education at Cherry Grove country school and attended Pella Community High School through his freshman year. Shorty wanted to play football in high school but his father didn’t allow him to so he chose farming over school.
Growing up, Shorty loved outdoor past times including hunting, fishing and trapping. He was a member of the Fox Hunting Club from Lower Grove where he enjoyed fox and coyote hunting. He and his brothers often had their bat, ball and gloves with them and would hit pop flies out in the pasture. He would even brag a little about being a pretty darn good outfielder. He also played on a competitive fast-pitch softball team for the Peoria Stockyards and loved participating in local tractor pulls.
For fun he played a lot of ball, would go to church parties and go roller-skating. These activities led him to meet his future wife, Marlena. On August 1, 1958, Shorty was united in marriage with Marlena Clara DeGeus at the Otley Reformed Church. They were blessed with three children: Brenda, Diane and Dan.
Shorty enlisted in the Air National Guard at age 23 and he served for 6 years. He was a patriotic man who was known for putting flags on his tractor and his pickup. He was an All American farmer who loved the land and working alongside his son and grandson to teach them what he knew about the farming operation. He was most comfortable in the driver seat of any bulldozer or John Deere equipment, even though truth be known he grew up “red.” He would love to give anyone that wanted a ride with him on the tractor and combine. Shorty helped clear trees for the creation of the Red Rock Lake and was also a member of the Red Rock Thrashers.
He often took his family camping and loved to grill a good hamburger and steak. One could always find Shorty with a spatula in his hand flipping hamburgers for the Marion County Cattleman and at various church activities, where you would usually catch him sneaking bites quite often. He also loved listening to music, especially when his girls would practice piano and Marlena would play the organ. He would often crank up the radio as he drove around the countryside listening to his gospel and country favorites.
In 1990, they moved to Pella. As a farmer never “retires”, he spent most of his mornings talking over coffee with the local coffee timers before venturing out to the farm. At lunch, one would often find him at the Otley Co-Op “socializing” and playing cards with the guys. He also loved to attend farm sales and see what “gems” he could pick up to bring to the farm.
He and Marlena would often be found attending their grandkids activities or enjoying various county and state fairs. While Shorty wasn’t a big traveler, he and Marlena liked to make annual trips to Branson, Missouri, and Arkansas, and especially Colorado to visit his daughter and family.
Shorty and Marlena spent many hours cheering the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team on from the comfort of their recliners.
He was a hard working husband who provided for his family and a loving father who was a strict disciplinarian who instilled a strong work ethic and faith in his kids. He loved his family with all his heart and would do anything for them. In Spring 2016, Shorty’s cancer, while in remission, returned. While his faith was strong, he was more quiet and private about it. He fought the battle hard but in the end was looking forward to going home to his eternal home in Heaven!
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Marlena and their children:
Eric and Brenda (Wichhart) Jones, Pella, Iowa
Tyler Boeyink, Ft. Collins, Colorado
Clayton Boeyink, currently studying in Africa
Spencer Boeyink, Ft. Collin, Colorado
Steve and Diane (Wichhart) Boat, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
PJ and Jessica (Boat) Landry, Dallas, Texas
Jason and Luci (Boat) Wilson, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Dan and Kristy Wichhart, Otley, Iowa
Ryan Wichhart, Otley, Iowa
Kara Wichhart, Otley, Iowa
Shorty leaves two sisters and their husbands: Donna and Jaren Steenhoek of Pella, Helen and Mohsen Bagherian of Colorado Springs, Colorado of his original family; his sisters-in-law, Sally (Ralph) Wichhart of Pella and Pat (Bob) Wichhart of Pella, and his brother-in-law, Harold (Shirley Wichhart) Rozendaal and his wife, Velma, of Sully, Iowa; along with several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chris and Henrietta Wichhart; his sister, Shirley J. Rozendaal and his brothers, Ralph Wichhart and Bob Wichhart.