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
Brittany and Michael Wronski
Brady and Taylor Van Kooten
Julie Klyn, Pella
Teag and Candice Klyn
Andrea and Bruce Van Sant, Pella
Matt, Chase, Caleb
Allissa and Jake Grandia, Pella
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.
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A memorial is being established in Gary's honor