August 12, 2015
September 26, 1936 - August 12, 2015
Darrell DeReus, age 78, went to the great Southern Plantation in the Sky on Wednesday, August 12, 2015, after a farm accident. Darrell is likely sitting on an Antebellum porch right now sipping a sweetened iced tea – in his Casey's General Store travel mug.
Darrell was born September 26, 1936, to Raymond and Dirkie (Hasselman) DeReus near Leighton, Iowa. He attended a one-room elementary school, Black Oak #6, on highway 163. He graduated from Pella Community High School with the class of 1954 and served three years in the U.S. Navy prior to enrolling at Iowa State University, where he met Sallie (Haugen) DeReus and where he received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 1962. Darrell and Sallie shared 54 years of marriage together.
After a short stint with Gulf Oil Refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, he returned to Iowa in 1967 and began farming with his father on the family farm between Pella and Oskaloosa. Darrell had the courage to bring a full-blooded Norwegian wife to an entirely Dutch community where a fortunate exchange of Norwegian and Dutch waffles opened hearts and doors.
Darrell flew a small plane for fun at a runway three miles from his home and also enjoyed co-owning a hot air balloon for a few years with friends. He gave up his pilot's seat for a bicycle seat and enjoyed a number of two-wheeled family trips to the Netherlands in his later years.
Many people in Pella knew Darrell for his tour guiding at the Vermeer Windmill of the Pella Historical Museum. His fun demeanor and knowledge of the windmill stone grinding process endeared him to many a tourist, as well as the Historical Society staff and other volunteers. Once a year Sallie would treat him to Nordicfest in Decorah, Iowa, to balance out the Dutch-ness in their life. Darrell did not need convincing to attend the annual Strawberry festival north of Decorah. Strawberry rhubarb pie contended with Dutch letters for highest honors.
Darrell and Sallie were able to cross off a laundry list of bakeries in countries near and far before his departure. His grandchildren--Arianna DeReus, Heather O'Keeffe, and David O'Keeffe—swear he had built-in bakery radar.
Darrell's morning coffee friends will miss his insightful comments at the tables in Pella's In't Veld's Meat Market and Happy Joe's. The guys and gals at the Vermeer Windmill will miss his smile. Sallie will greatly miss his presence in her life.
Darrell is survived by his wife Sallie (Haugen) DeReus, his daughters LeeAnn DeReus and Julie (DeReus) Henszey, and his grandchildren Arianna DeReus, Heather O'Keeffe, and David O'Keeffe. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Berneil (DeReus) Taylor.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Darrell at a later date. Memorial contributions may be given to the Pella Historical Society and Museums.