Memorial services for John C. Roose, 72, will be held Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at 11 a.m. at Peoria Christian Reformed Church. Committal service will precede the service at Peoria Cemetery with military honors. Visitation will begin after 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at Federated Fellowship Church in Pella where the family will be present from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, to honor John and his desire to spread the gospel, the family prefers memorial contributions be given to New Life Prison Community Ministries in Newton or The Bible League.
John C. Roose was born May 7, 1947, to John C. and Anna (De Jong) Roose. He lived with his parents on a farm near Peoria and attended Peoria Christian Reformed Church and Peoria Christian Grade School. John and his family experienced tremendous loss during his early years. His older brother Jerry died in infancy from spina bifida. At age 8, John’s mom Anna passed away from cancer. He moved to Pella with his dad, and they lived with three aunts, Jeanette, Dena, and Wilma. He attended Pella Christian Grade School and had jobs mowing lawns and being a paper boy for the DM Tribune. At age 12, his dad passed away suddenly from a heart attack and John continued to live with his Aunt Jeanette. At age 14, John graduated from Pella Christian Grade School and a few months, later his Aunt Jeanette passed away. He went to live with his Uncle Lambert and Aunt Margaret Niewland for a few months. In November 1961 (age 14), John moved in with John and Ruth Vander Hart, his guardians, who lived on a farm a mile from where John’s parents had lived. They referred to John as “JC” to keep the Johns straight and this remained his home until JC got married in 1968. JC graduated from Pella Christian High School in 1965 where he participated in band and school dramas. He held jobs during the high school years as a farmhand for some neighbors. John testified to God’s leading and guiding the events of his life in spite of great trial and loss. God was faithful in protecting John as one of His children and continually drawing John close to Him.
After graduation, by his own account, John studied at the “school of hard knocks” working at home on the farm, Peoria Stockyards, at a neighboring dairy farm, and at Vander Hart Transfer in Pella. In 1966, John joined the Army Reserves based in Ottumwa during the Vietnam War era. He attended basic training in Fort Knox, KY, served for six years until 1972, and achieved the rank of Sergeant. In 1968, John married Mary Van Mersbergen, and they started grain and livestock farming on what he lovingly referred to as “Poverty Knob,” the farm where he had lived with his parents. John and Mary were blessed with three sons: Mark, Kevin, and Terry.
In 1983, the Farm Crisis impacted John and Mary’s farming operation. John went to work for Larry Roose Tiling and continued to farm as well. Eldest son Mark took a job at Peoria Repair Truck Shop and Mary and the kids helped with the crops and livestock.
In 1996, John started using his gift of teaching to preach in Pella area churches. In 1997, he achieved his license to exhort in the Classis Central Plains of the Christian Reformed Church. John preached quite regularly. In November 2010, John accepted an interim pastor role at Tracy Christian Reformed Church and served there, in addition to farming, until March 2015.
In April 2013, John started dealing with the effects of prostate cancer. Sept. 16, 2019, because of Jesus’ victory over death, John gained his eternal home while being cared for at the Comfort House in Pella at the age of 72.
John loved being a dad, grandpa, farmer, and teacher. Some of his favorite times were with family, singing praises together to the King of Kings. He was a voracious reader, loved history, and enjoyed studying for his sermon preparation, much of which took place on the seat of a tractor or combine. He loved working and living on the land, reading tractor books, and discussing mechanical things with anyone who would listen. He loved being social and connecting with new and old relationships anytime he could. John served faithfully in the church and school, leading on church council and grade school and high school boards. He touched many lives by teaching various Sunday school and Bible study groups. He was especially impacted by his involvement in the small men’s Bible study in recent months that included men from their young 20s to their 70s.
John and Mary, who survives him, were blessed with 51 years of marriage together, including three sons, daughters-in-law, and 13 grandchildren: Mark (Julie) Roose of Peoria, Trevor of Iowa City, Taylor of Wuhan, China, Trent and wife Lauren (Jungling) of Sioux Center, Troy, Luke, Levi, Jackson, Izzy, and Tyson; Kevin (Becky) Roose of Urbandale, Harrison and Kennedy; and Terry (Julia) Roose of Mitchellville, Claricia, and Ava.
John also leaves his mom Ruth (Tysseling) Vander Hart, brother Randy (Jodi) Vander Hart and three children, Jora, Kirsten, and Brandt.
Those who passed on before John include his parents, John and Anna; infant brother Jerry; parents-in-law Marius and Marjorie (Vander Schaaf) Van Mersbergen; brothers-in-law Derrel and Gary Van Mersbergen, dad John Vander Hart, and sister Edith Vander Hart.