James Alvin Rietveld was born to Alvin and Betty (Kool) Rietveld September 12, 1951, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He was the youngest of four children, and the only boy. Jim grew up on a small farm outside of Otley, Iowa, and attended Otley Elementary School. He attended Pella High School, and later was proud to surprise his kids when he earned his GED while they were in high school (we loved you even without it, Dad).
Jim married Arla Tibboel on April 2, 1971. They later divorced. Two children were born to this marriage, Shannan Kay, and Chadrick James. The family had a small acreage on the outskirts of Pella where they raised sheep and chickens and later, llamas, burros, and horses.
Jim married Mary Bloodsworth on January 2, 2002. They owned a small farm in rural Knoxville where they enjoyed their horses, pond, watching wildlife, and puttering around on the Mule. Jim loved travelling, especially driving “out west” to the Dakotas and Wyoming with Mary. He also took joy in drives around the area, enjoying several such drives in the last week of his life.
Jim briefly farmed with his dad, then went to work at Vermeer at the age of 17, where he worked for the next 51 years in many different capacities. At the time of his death he was the facilities maintenance manager. Jim spent many hours over the years building Vermeer floats. He enjoyed the challenge of bringing the “Job Buddies” to life from coloring pages to machines driven in many Pella parades. Jim also co-owned a small fence building business for several years with his business partner and friend, Curt Hite. They built miles and miles of fences all over Iowa.
Jim could (and did) talk to anybody, and chances are if he knew you he would give you a hard time about something or other. He was also generous and ready to lend a hand to those who needed it. He cooked the scrambled eggs at the 1st Baptist Easter breakfast for many years and was particular about taking care of the egg pans! He was equally particular about his pans and cooking at home.
Jim was an outdoorsman from a young age when he would fish with his grandparents. He often took Shannan and Chad fishing as kids, and continued the tradition with his grandkids at his farm pond. He enjoyed deer and pheasant hunting with Chad and a large group of friends each year. In general, if he could be outdoors in nature, he was happy.
Jim passed away at home on May 21, 2020, after a brief battle with lung cancer. Especially after his diagnosis, Jim talked about God knowing the number of our days. He chose to fight the cancer, but knew it was all in the Lord’s hands.
He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Shannan (Tom) Duenwald of Pella, son Chad (Laura) Rietveld of Leighton, step-daughters: Amanda (Nick) Buwalda of Arizona and April (Matt) Molyneux of Rose Hill, grandchildren: Luke and Erin Duenwald, Sidona Buwalda, and Kaitlyn and Kennedy Molyneux. He is also survived by sisters: Judi (Darryl) Raterink of Holland, Michigan, and Phyllis De Reus of Pella, and brother-in-law, Jeff Laughlin of Davenport. He was preceded in death by his parents Alvin and Betty Rietveld, sister Shari Laughlin, and brothers-in-law: Gary De Reus and Harold Tibboel.
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Pella Shooting Team
Marion County 4-H