Landscapes 08

Barry Van Haaften

September 4, 1990 ~ February 26, 2021 (age 30)


Barry Davis Van Haaften was born September 4, 1990, to David and Amber (Macdonald) Van Haaften in Pella, Iowa.  Barry lived in the Pella area his entire life. He attended Pella Community Schools and Indian Hills Community College for the diesel mechanic program.

On June 16, 2012, he was united in marriage to Kelsie Van Kooten at the Sully Christian Reformed Church and they were later blessed with three daughters: Addison, Emmalea, and Everlea.

After developing skills at various jobs, Barry opened  his own business - Big Bear Mobile Repair in 2016. Along with his mechanical abilities, Barry was driven to provide honest and quick services for his customers. He worked many long hours to set up a strong future for his family.

After his profession of faith, Barry became a member of Sully Christian Reformed Church where he also served as a Cadet Counselor. His Cadets remember Barry the most for his lessons, talking to them about real life, and helping them on their walk with Jesus. Barry was also a leader for COC Friendship Bible Hour. After watching his Grandpa serve the community for many years, Barry was proud to become the chief of the reserves for the Knoxville Police Department.  He learned many valuable lessons, developed strong friendships, and enjoyed serving his community in this new way. 

Barry was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019. He put up a strong fight but God called him home on February 26, 2021, at the University of Iowa with Kelsie by his side.

Barry grew up loving the outdoors; hunting and fishing quickly became favorite hobbies. If you couldn’t find him, he was always down by the river. He passed on his love for God’s creation and fishing to his daughters. He would set them up in the best spot or let them reel in a fish that he had hooked. They loved going to the river with Daddy. Barry and Kelsie rented farm ground and raised a few pigs and cows with dreams of owning the family farm someday. Barry had simple life goals: he wanted a wife that loved him no matter what, a family to call his own, and a job that could support his family. He exceeded his family goals and loved the life he had built.

Above all, Barry was a loving husband, daddy, son, brother, and grandson. Barry had a passion for many things in his life and always lived his life to the fullest. He had a heart for helping people and that was very evident in his daily life. He was known for his quick wit, working long hours, knowing random facts, being really good at about anything he tried, always wanting to learn new things, and being able to fix about anything. Barry’s faith quickly grew after he met Kelsie and he continued to be a witness everywhere he went. Barry made it his goal to live a life for Jesus so that everyone he met would see Christ in him. After his diagnosis, Barry’s faith was more evident. Barry praised God in the middle of life’s storm and had unwavering faith and hope to the very end. He was a testament to God’s faithfulness.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Kelsie, and their daughters:  Addison, Emmalea, and Everlea;  parent David (Patricia) Van Haaften of Omaha; parents-in-law Kevin and Brenda Van Kooten of Lynnville; his brother Zack Van Haaften and fiancée Hannah Coakley and daughter Olivia; brothers-in-law Corey (Laura) Van Kooten, their children: Lucas, Nick, and Noah, and Kyle (Kendra) Van Kooten; and grandparents: Marlene Stearns of Audubon, Iowa, Marvin L. and Joyce Van Haaften of Pella, Walton and Violet Van Maanen of Lynnville, and Clarine Van Kooten of Sully.      

He was preceded in death by his grandparents: Bill Macdonald, Gary Stearns, and Donald Van Kooten; and his sister-in-law Bethanie Van Kooten. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to: Van Haaften Benefit c/o First State Bank Lynnville, to be used for the girls' education. 


To send flowers to Barry's family, please visit our floral store.


March 2, 2021

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Pella Christian Grade School Eagle Gym
216 Liberty Street
Pella, IA 50219

Funeral Service
March 3, 2021

10:00 AM
Sully Christian Reformed Church
103 9th Ave
Sully, IA 50251

Please note
For the visitation at Pella Christian Grade School, please use north entrance N3.


Van Haaften Benefit c/o First State Bank Lynnville
413 East Street, Lynnville IA 50153

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