Nature 21

Gary Dean Van Kooten

October 19, 1943 ~ August 18, 2019 (age 75)


Gary Dean Van Kooten was born October 19, 1943, to Gerrit and Durky (Lanser) Van Kooten, in Newton, Iowa.

Gary’s youth was spent with his eight brothers and sisters in the Sully and Leighton areas. He attended Leighton Elementary and Pella Christian High School through ninth grade before farming with his dad full-time.

On June 19, 1964, he was united in marriage to Joyce Witter, in a double wedding ceremony, at the Ebenezer Reformed Church in Leighton. To this union, they were blessed with five children: Jeff, Julie, Andrea, Allissa, and Joel.

Gary and Joyce moved to Denver in 1966 and many of their weekends were spent off-roading in the mountains in their Jeep. They returned to the Leighton area in 1972 where Gary held various agricultural jobs. Gary began hauling fuel for the Co-op in 1995 until he retired in 2017.  He also enjoyed antique tractors and the Red Rock Threshers tractor rides. He liked the challenge and creativity of fixing things without spending any money. He also enjoyed camping at the state fair and wheeling and dealing while there.  He was a gentle, compassionate man and a friend to all. He will be missed for his funny “Grandpa-isms” and playing cards by “Gary’s rules” with the grandchildren.

He was a lifelong member of the Leighton Christian Reformed Church where he made profession of faith and served as a deacon, elder and a youth leader. His greatest hope is for each of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Joyce of 55 years, and their family:

Jeff and Teri Van Kooten, Pella

               Justin and Samantha Van Kooten

                               Naaman James

               Brittany and Michael Wronski

                               Lainey Marie

               Brady and Taylor Van Kooten

Julie Klyn, Pella

               Teag and Candice Klyn

               Piper Klyn

Andrea and Bruce Van Sant, Pella

               Matt, Chase, Caleb

Allissa and Jake Grandia, Pella

               Nicholas, Nathan

Joel Van Kooten, Altoona

               Keegan, Payson, Anna B.

Gary is also survived by his sisters and brothers: Lois (Ray) Klyn of Pella, Fran De Jong of Leighton, Dwayne Van Kooten of Denver, Colorado, Janice Wielard of Pella, Ruth Van Kooten of Denver, Colorado, Roger and Eileen Van Kooten of Pella, Gloria Van Kooten of Pella, Wesley and Junella Van Kooten of Leighton; and his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jerry and Janice Witter of Pella.

Gary was preceded in death by his parents Gerrit and Durky Van Kooten, his parents-in-law Earl and Madonna Witter, a sister who died in infancy, his sister Cleora (Van Kooten) De Jong, his brothers:  Ron Van Kooten and Harvey Van Kooten, his sister-in-law Elsie Van Kooten, and brothers-in-law: Ralph Hoksbergen, Ken Wielard, and Ron Witter.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Dean Van Kooten, please visit our floral store.


August 21, 2019

3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Leighton Christian Reformed Church
415 Reid Street
Leighton, IA 50143

Visitation With Family
August 21, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Leighton Christian Reformed Church
415 Reid Street
Leighton, IA 50143

Memorial Service
August 22, 2019

10:30 AM
Leighton Christian Reformed Church
415 Reid Street
Leighton, IA 50143

Private Interment

Evergreen Cemetery
Eaton Avenue
Leighton, IA 50143


A memorial is being established in Gary's honor

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