Terry James Bandstra was born December 27, 1950, to James Everett and Tena Mae (Van Wyngarden) Bandstra, in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
As a child, Terry attended Peoria Christian School and the Peoria Christian Reformed Church. He decided to go to Pella High School as a freshman so he could play football. After graduating in 1968, Terry attended Marshalltown Community College for one year, then transferred to Iowa State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Farm Operations.
On August 18, 1969, he was united in marriage to Lona Ruth Van Wyk in Pella. To this union they were blessed with three children: Matthew James, Katie Jane, and Jennie Jo. Terry worked at Iowa State as a research associate where he helped plant and maintain soybean plots in southern Iowa. While he was working on the project at ISU developed a new soybean variety that was named “Pella.”
By 1975, Terry began farming with his Dad. They raised cattle, pigs, sheep, and the usual crops of corn and soybeans.
From 1972 – 1978 Terry served in the Air National Guard where he was a Staff Sergeant. Being the humble man that he was, he never stood to be recognized when veterans were being honored. His family has chosen to honor him for his service to his country with full military rights at the Interment.
Terry was baptized at First Baptist Church on Easter of 1981. He loved his church and served in various roles including the Board of Christian Education and Sunday school teacher. He believed that it is very important for children to learn about Christ.
Terry completed the CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) course from the Pella Hospital so he could help his father care for his mother. He worked in the long-term care unit of the hospital for several years, and then switched to working for Home Health and Hospice.
Terry loved his wife, children, and grandchildren unconditionally with all his heart. His greatest accomplishment was his family. He could be seen in the stands rooting the grandkids on for their various activities regardless of the weather conditions! He always wore a matching cap/t-shirt, and grandma had the camera to capture the moment! If you were lucky, you might even receive a free meal.
Terry will be remembered for his servant’s heart. Terry had a heart for the lost and was actively involved with Prison Ministries and Gideons International. Every Christmas a “Jesus Stocking” was hung in the Bandstra home. In the stocking was a monetary gift for each child and grandchild to make a difference in the life of someone less fortunate in the upcoming year. Through this simple act of kindness Terry was impressing the value of putting others before yourselves, something Terry modeled daily. From this tradition birthed the “Blessing Jar”. A simple way to remember God’s blessing and provision in our lives regardless of the circumstance. This year the Blessing Jar will have a special tribute to Terry for a life well lived for Christ. His faith was unwavering through life’s trials and triumphs. Now he has passed on his legacy to his family to love Christ, family, and those around you.
We close this tribute with something you would hear Terry say often, “Jesus Christ…nothing else matters.”
Matthew and Charity Bandstra
Grace, Noah, Samuel, Faith
Katie and Jesse Peterson
Braydon, Annika, Jace
Jennie Jo and Chris Shilhanek
McCartney, Lennon, Harrison
Terry was preceded in death by his parents James and Tena Mae Bandstra; his parents-in-law Harold ‘Shorty’ Van Wyk and Betty Lou Van Wyk-Bandstra; his brothers Darwin in infancy, and Roger Bandstra; his grandson Isaiah John Peterson in infancy, and his niece Melissa Bandstra.
First Baptist Church
PO Box 161, Pella IA 50219
Des Moines IA