March 4, 2012
10:30 A.M. Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Sully Christian Reformed Church
10:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M., Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at the Pella Garden Chapel Funeral Home
5:30-7:00 P.M. with family present at the Sully Christian Reformed Church Fellowship Hall
March 30, 1929 - March 4, 2012
Joe C. Vander Beek, 82, of Pella and formerly of Sully, died Sunday, March 4, 2012, at the Pella Regional Health Center. He was born March 30, 1929, in Bovenkerk in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands, the son of Gysbert and Aagje Gehrels Vander Beek. He was raised in the Netherlands, where he enjoyed playing hockey and ice skating on the canals. He graduated from school in Amstelveen, the Netherlands, and then attended two years of college at Landbouwschool in Hoofddorp. In 1948, he decided to come to the United States to pursue his dream of becoming a farmer. He was sponsored by Gerrit Branderhorst, who helped him find farm work near Prairie City, Iowa.
Early on Joe attended Prairie City Christian Reformed Church. On Sunday evenings he enjoyed coming to Pella to hang out with his friends, it was during one of these evenings he met Anna Mae Vos. After dating for a year, they were married on November 7, 1951, at her parents' home in Killduff. Three weeks later he left for 18 months and served in the U.S. Army in Korea, where one of his jobs was to make drinking water out of sea water. Following his honorable discharge, he returned home to his "Annie" and they rented a farm near Sully.
Joe and Anna Mae farmed in the Lynnville area until 1972, at that time they moved into Sully. He became a salesman for Cen-Pe-Co, a position he held until 2008. In 2010 Joe and Anna Mae moved to the Pella Manor in Pella. Anna Mae died January 31, 2012.
Joe was very civic minded, he took pride in the town of Sully, he enjoyed serving on the town council and being a part of the centennial celebration. He was also active in the Sully Christian Reformed Church where he and Anna Mae were members and he was involved in men's group. He was a member of the Gideons and saw great value in their mission. Joe had a lifelong love of horses, early on he was a member of a dressage riding team in the Netherlands, he continued to enjoy riding and training horses his entire life. He delighted in his grandchildren; he especially enjoyed taking them fishing and horseback riding. He told his grandchildren and family about his early years in a book called "Joe's Journal". The book chronicles his early years of growing up during the German occupation of Holland, and growing up during WWII. He also wrote about his military service and his experiences in the Korean War. It is a treasure to his family and friends.
Those left to cherish his memory are: his two children and their spouses: Karen and Craig Terpstra of Onalaska, Wisconsin and Jerry and Pam Vander Beek of Sully, Iowa; three grandchildren: Joel and Kara Vander Beek, Eric and Laura Terpstra, and Alex Terpstra; four great-grandchildren: Shykira and Camden Baarda, Teryn and Jaxden Vander Beek; and a sister and her husband: Agaatha and Willem Griffioen of Toronto, Canada.
In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; his parents in law: John and Henrietta Vos; two brothers: Walter Vander Beek and Bert Vander Beek; a sister: Annie VanderMeulen; and a granddaughter: Teri Vander Beek.