September 4, 2008
11:00 A.M. Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Peace Lutheran Church
After Noon, Monday, September 8, 2008
with family present 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
at the Garden Chapel Funeral Home
Peace Lutheran Church
Hospice of Pella
Marion County Historical Society
November 19, 1924 - September 4, 2008
Donald Boertje was born November 19, 1924 to John and Barbara (Van Ryswyk) Boertje in rural Jasper County. He attended several country schools and graduated from Prairie City High School with the class of 1943. After graduation Don enlisted in the Air Force and served nearly five years during World War II and the Korean War. During his working years Don held a variety of jobs related to farming, including selling feed and servicing farm machinery. He also worked at Maytag and Pella Rolscreen. In 1968 he purchased a farm from his in-laws and worked there until health problems forced him to retire in 1994.
Donald married Helen Mae Van Zante on May 17, 1955 at the First Reformed Church in Pella. The couple had two children: Carlyn and Roger.
He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church where he had served as the volunteer stock person for the Pella Community Food Shelf for fifteen years before a disabling stroke in 1997. He was able to continue his work as a member of the Marion County Board of Adjustment on which he served more than 30 years. He worked as a volunteer for the Pella Historical Society and the Marion County Historical Society. He was also a member of American Legion Post 89, Friends of the Library, and the Pella Historic Trust. Once a party activist, Don maintained a keen interest in politics and was a long-time member of the Pella League of Women Voters. During the current election cycle he made sure that he saw and often personally talked with many of the leading presidential candidates.
Donald was also interested in sustainable agriculture and the preservation of farm land. He was an avid reader of newspapers, magazines, books, and even cereal boxes if nothing else was available at the breakfast table. Just days before his death he was able to surf the Internet for the most current news and interesting blogs.
In recent years he had become a familiar figure as he rode around town on his battery powered scooter. This vehicle allowed him to get close to nature, admire the many beautiful flower beds in Pella and visit with both friends and strangers.
He is survived by his wife Helen of Pella; his daughter Carlyn Wei Marron and her husband, Scott Marron of Des Moines; his son Roger Boertje and his wife Toni of Pella; five grandchildren: Alex Wei, Jessica (Cory) Lehman, Cassandra (Brady) Archibald, Jake (Becky) Boertje, Hunter Boertje; one great-granddaughter: Kiarrah Mae Lehman; his step-grandchildren: Quinn and Ian Marron. He is also survived by his brother Virgil (Shirley) Boertje of Pella and his niece Barb De Vries and nephew Bruce Boertje and their families.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law, Ken Wei.