Wilma Colleen Ver Heul, daughter of Russell and Lela (Smith) Brubaker, was born September 9, 1927, at her parent’s home south of Knoxville, Iowa. Growing up on a farm in the rural Knoxville area Wilma and her sisters attended country school. We enjoyed hearing stories/adventures of their walks to and from school. Later the family moved to town where she graduated from Knoxville High School with the class of 1946.
On July 31, 1948 Wilma was united in marriage with Jean Ver Heul. The couple lived in Knoxville prior to moving to Pella in 1950. They then farmed near Pella where they raised their 2 children: Linda and Dan. Of significance, Jean and Wilma were married for over 60 years before Jean passed away in 2009. Wilma was a devoted wife and mother and worked alongside her husband doing chores, working in the field, running errands, and providing coffee time to anyone who was present, all while caring for her children. Throughout her life, Wilma also worked in the superintendent’s office at the Marion County Courthouse, at the Vander Ploeg Bakery, and in the kitchen for the Pella Community Schools hot lunch program.
Wilma’s church and church family were very important to her. As an infant she was baptized in the First United Methodist Church of Knoxville. Later she and Jean became members of the First Baptist Church of Pella and she was baptized by immersion as an outward profession of her faith. For many years Wilma was an active member of the church where she was a Sunday school teacher and served on the diaconate. She was blessed with a tender spirit which she shared with those around her. When Jean and Wilma were no longer able to attend church services, they were blessed to have many visitors from the church family who would come to pray, provide communion, and share the ongoings of the church through bulletins and the church service on cassette. The isolation caused by COVID was difficult for her. Wilma was grateful when friends and family began visiting again.
Wilma had many hobbies and interests. She loved to cook for her family and friends and enjoyed baking homemade cinnamon rolls, cookies, pies, and candy. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren always looked forward to an after-school treat which may have included a warm cinnamon Pop Tart and a cold Pepsi, a couple of Wilma’s favorites.
She enjoyed playing Pinochle, Rook, and dominos with family and friends and serving a nice coffeetime. She also enjoyed traveling and camping at Lake Red Rock, the Ozarks, and in Colorado. She enjoyed trips to Branson, Missouri for the music shows. Jean and Wilma always made it a priority to take a family vacation once a year with their children. She loved singing hymns around the piano with her sisters and whomever would join in. She also loved watching and listening to music videos of the Gaithers.
Wilma was a humble person and always found the good in others. She thought the world of her family, and was a loving, caring mom, grandma, and great-grandma. She will be greatly missed.
Those left to cherish her memory are Wilma’s daughter: Linda De Haan and her husband Maury of Pella, along with their children Nick (Michelle) De Haan of Peoria and their children Micah, Rebecca and Olivia; Tricia (Dan) Nikkel of Ankeny and their son Wyatt; and Wilma’s son Dan Ver Heul and his wife Mary of Harvey along with their children; Ali Ver Heul of Harvey and her children Hailey, Collin, Brayden, Kamden and Emily; Justin Ver Heul of Harvey; and Shera (Jason) Harthoorn of Reasnor and their children Lucas and Regan; and sisters-in-law Mary Ver Heul and Arvena Van Wyk.
Wilma was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jean, her twin sister Willa Brown, her sisters Charlene Harrington and Roberta McMillan, her brother Dale and her first born granddaughter, Emily Jean Ver Heul.
A sincere and humble “Thank You” to all the people that have touched Mom’s life. Whether you held a door open for her, gave a smile, said “Hello” when you were on the bike path, visited her or called her on the phone; even when she was so short of breath that she could barely talk. You were all very special to her. She loved her church family and the ones who called on her.
In something Mom wrote, “I have so much love in my heart for family and all people.”
To send flowers to Wilma's family, please visit our floral store.
Hospice of Pella
First Baptist Church