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June 21, 1945 ~ December 25, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old
Diana Ruth Van Den Baard was, the fourth of five children, born June 21, 1945, to Cornelius “Cornie” and Mary Ruth “Ruth” (Jansen), in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
They lived on the “elevator” road south of Pella where Diana went to Pleasant Grove School through 7th grade, Webster School for 8th grade and then graduated from Pella Community High School in 1963; the first class to graduate from the “new” high school on University.
Diana married Bernard “Junior” Meinders in 1964. Their son David Lee was born in 1968. They divorced in the early 70’s and later David changed his last name to Van Den Baard. In 1975, she married Larry Burkin. Their daughter Eve Elizabeth Ruth was born January 1, 1980. They divorced in 2005.
Diana started her long working career on the farm where her parents raised tomatoes for the Canning Factory. She attended Lake Prairie 4-H and had Berkshire hogs. In the early to mid 50’s she helped her grandmother Weyerse in her establishment – the Tri-W Lunch on Washington Street. Late 50’s to early 60’s her brother had the Dutch Inn in South Pella. During high school, she worked at the Steak House and Central Park Café. After her marriage, she worked restaurants in Oskaloosa until going to Rolscreen in 1967. Diana left in 1984 to move to Oklahoma and Omaha for her husband’s work, then back to Pella in 1987, when she started at Clow Valve Foundry in Oskaloosa. She worked in the pattern shop 23 years and attained the title of Pattern Maker A. She retired from there in 2011. From 2011 to 2021 she worked mainly as a sub for Pella schools, starting with lunch lady to custodial and van driver.
Before and after retiring, Diana volunteered at The Well. She enjoyed bowling, reading, puzzles and whatever the grandkids were involved in. An ongoing project for decades was having an Easter egg hunt; first for family, later opening it up for friends. She shopped all year long for “prizes.”
Diana was baptized in 1957, at the First Baptist Church. Over the years she has served on several boards, taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, and was church clerk.
Diana is survived by her son: David and Terri Van Den Baard of Ankeny and their children: Lauren Raye and Seth Thomas, and her daughter Eve Elizabeth Ruth Munson and her husband Nick of Polk City and their children Kaidyn Becvar and Alexis Ruth Munson. She is also survived by her sister Peggy Van Den Baard of Des Moines, many nieces, nephews, and great and great-great nieces and nephews.
Diana was preceded in death by her parents Cornie and Mary Ruth Van Den Baard, her sisters: Shirley Ward, and Joan Felton, brother Norman Van Den Baard, sister-in-law Pat Van Den Baard, brother-in-law Ray Van Hemert, and nephew Brian Sowles.