Gary Vander Wilt, 73, of Sully passed peacefully June 23, 2019, at the Comfort House in Pella. A celebration of life was held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 26, at Sully Community Church. Memorials have been designated for Gideons International.
Gary Lee Vander Wilt was born Oct. 14, 1945, to Floyd and Luella (Geurts) Vander Wilt. He was united in marriage to Delores Jansen Dec. 5, 1969, at Sully First Reformed Church. To this union four children were born: Shawna, Robin, Alison, and Trevor.
Gary started school at age four at the Junction School, a one-room school house located east of his home. He was not a fan of schoolwork and would have rather been working on the farm near Sully with his dad. In fifth grade, Gary started attending Lynnville-Sully School and graduated in 1963.
Following graduation, Gary worked on the farm with his dad until he was drafted into the Army in 1966 during the Vietnam War. He was stationed at Gelnhausen, Germany, where he stocked warehouses with tank and artillery parts and drove a supply truck. He was honorably discharged in 1968.
Early in their marriage, they enjoyed roller skating together in Pella at the Dutch Buffet. They also enjoyed trap shooting. As a family, they attended the Iowa State Fair and enjoyed eating pizza at Giovanni’s in Newton. Gary loved fishing, especially in Minnesota and Canada. He loved hunting fox, deer, prairie dogs in South Dakota, coyote, and pheasant. When the family got older, Gary and Dee enjoyed motorcycling with friends. His family was very important to him, and he loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Gary loved farming and was a faithful steward of the land. He bought his first John Deere tractor, a 4020, in the early 1970s. He also worked at Co-Line as a welder for 12 years. Later, he drove school bus for Lynnville-Sully School. He loved greeting the kids each morning and afternoon and would treat them with snacks and smiles.
During his childhood, he attended church at the Open Bible Brethren Meeting House in Sully. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior in 1955, and was baptized in 1957 at Rock Creek Lake. He was an active member of Sully Community Church where he helped Dee teach toddler Sunday school and served on the church board. He was also a devoted Gideon and wanted all to have access to God’s Word.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife of 49 years, Dee Vander Wilt; their children: Shawna (Ed) Goemaat of New Sharon, Robin (Darin) Morvant of Arkansas, Alison Agan of Sully, and Trevor (Janae) Vander Wilt of Sully; 16 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Gary is also survived by his sister Shirley (Alvin) Rozendaal, and his in-laws: Ron and Trudy Van Manen, Jerry and Linda Jansen, Morris and Debbie Jansen, and LaVonne and Ralph Van Donselaar.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents and his son-in-law, Shelby Agan.