January 13, 2008
1:30 P.M. Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Third Reformed Church
5:00 - 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Third Reformed Church
Gateway Community Church - Monroe, Iowa
Hospice of Pella
July 18, 1953 - January 13, 2008
Allen Lee Van Wyk was born the fourth of six children to Elmer Richard and Hattie Lynn (Dieleman) Van Wyk on July 18, 1953. He grew up on the family farm near Otley and enjoyed playing ball with his siblings, riding horse, and being an active member of 4-H. In the countryside, he developed his lifelong passion for animals and nature. He attended Pella Christian Schools and ran competitively on the cross country and track teams. Allen attended Trinity Christian College and Calvin College, where he parlayed his strong interest in serving others into a social work degree. He worked with disadvantaged youth and as a self-employed trucker before joining his brother Jerry in construction work.
In 1989 Allen married Debra Mae Jansen at his parents' home in Pella, and they lived in Oskaloosa before moving to an acreage near Reasnor in 1996. Together they raised a daughter and two sons: Kayla Ellen Van Wyk, Shawn Eric Vande Kieft, and Cory Michael Vande Kieft. He shared his passion for animals, nature, and simple pleasures with his children by adopting pets, taking the family on numerous camping trips, and reveling in a beautiful sunrise or sunset. He enjoyed working with his hands and renovated and landscaped the family's 1913 home and gardens near Reasnor. Allen found great pleasure in reading and music and he was known to have at least four books going at any given time. He also treasured laughter and shared many memorable times with his family and his best friend, Mark De Kock.
Allen passed away on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at the Hospice Comfort House in Pella at the age of fifty-four years, five months, and twenty-six days following a courageous battle with cancer.
Allen was a member of the Third Reformed Church and a founding member of Gateway Community Church of Monroe, where he led the praise team. He also was involved in Cursillo.
As a loving, gentle, generous, and compassionate husband, father, grandpa, son, brother, and friend, Allen will be missed by his wife Debra of Reasnor; his daughter Kayla Van Wyk of Reasnor; his two sons: Shawn Vande Kieft and his wife Hillary (Wilson) of Pella, and Cory Vande Kieft of Ankeny. He also leaves his mother Hattie Van Wyk of Pella; three brothers: Jerry Van Wyk of Pella, Dennis Van Wyk of Eugene, Oregon, and Russell Van Wyk of Cary, North Carolina; one sister: LuAnn Brandsen of Ankeny; two grandchildren: Elijah and Gideon Vande Kieft.
Preceding him in death was: his father Elmer Van Wyk and his brother Gene Van Wyk.