Gary Lee Vander Wilt was born October 14, 1945, to Floyd and Luella (Guerts) Vander Wilt. He was united in marriage to Delores Jansen on December 5, 1969, at the First Reformed Church in Sully. To this union four children were born: Shawna, Robin, Alison and Trevor. Gary passed peacefully June 23, 2019, at the Comfort House in Pella, Iowa, at the age of 73.
Gary started school at age four, at the Junction School, a one-room school house located east of his home. He was not a fan of schoolwork and would have rather been working on the farm near Sully with his dad. In fifth grade Gary attended Lynnville-Sully School and graduated in 1963.
Following graduation, Gary worked on the farm with his dad until he was drafted into the Army in 1966, during the Vietnam War. He was stationed at Gelnhausen, Germany, where he stocked warehouses with tank and artillery parts and drove a supply truck. He was honorably discharged in 1968.
Early in their marriage, they enjoyed roller skating together in Pella at the Dutch Buffet. They also enjoyed trap shooting. As a family, they attended the Iowa State Fair and enjoyed eating pizza at Giovanni’s in Newton. Gary loved fishing, especially in Minnesota and Canada. He loved hunting fox, deer, prairie dogs in South Dakota, coyote, and pheasant. When the family got older, Gary and Dee enjoyed motorcycling with friends. His family was very important to him and he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Gary loved farming and was a faithful steward of the land. He bought his first John Deere tractor, a 4020, in the early 70s. He also worked at Co-Line as a welder for twelve years. Later he drove school bus for Lynnville-Sully School. He loved greeting the kids each morning and afternoon and would treat them with snacks and smiles.
During his childhood, he attended church at the Open Bible Brethren Meeting House in Sully. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1955, and was baptized in 1957 at Rock Creek Lake. He was an active member of the Sully Community Church where he helped Dee teach toddler Sunday school and served on the church board. He was also a devoted Gideon and wanted all to have access to God’s word.
Those left to cherish his memory. . .
His wife of 49 years, Dee Vander Wilt
Shawna and Ed Goemaat
Megan and Adam Pothoven
Andrew, Kathryn and Matthew
Robin and Darin Morvant
Travis and Tayler Morvant
Dawson and Quorra
Alison and the late Shelby Agan
Kyler, Boston and Merrick
Trevor and Janae Vander Wilt
Tyke, Sadie, Gunnar, Deacon, Charity & Betsy
Gary is also survived by his sister Shirley and Alvin Rozendaal, and his in-laws: Ron and Trudy Van Manen, Jerry and Linda Jansen, Morris and Debbie Jansen, and LaVonne and Ralph Van Donselaar.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law, Shelby Agan.
To send flowers to Gary's family, please visit our floral section.
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