Funeral services for Lawrence Vander Molen, 86, of Pella, were held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, at Second Christian Reformed Church in Pella, followed by interment in Black Oak Cemetery near Pella. Memorial contributions are preferred for CHAMP Camp, a five-day camp for children requiring breathing assistance at which some of Lawrence’s grandchildren have helped volunteer as counselors, or to Pella Comfort House.
Lawrence Vander Molen began his earthly life on Feb. 24, 1933, in Mahaska County near Taintor. He was the seventh of eight children born to Lewis and Katie (Nieuwsma) Vander Molen, and he grew up with his older brother, Bernard, and six sisters: Anna, Greda, Hilda, Rachel, Cathryn, and Pauline. Lawrence attended Peoria Christian School and shared riding his pony, Midget, to school. Lawrence and Mary Ann Bruxvoort met while attending catechism class at the Second Christian Reformed Church in Pella and were united in marriage on June 23, 1954, at First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa. To this union four children were born: Gary Wayne, Lowell Craig, Lucinda Diane, and Vernon Leon. Lawrence had a cream truck route and later moved to a farm near Tracy where he began farming and drove a truck for the coal mine. In 1963, they moved east of Pella where he continued farming. They farmed all their married life of 65 years, and Lawrence never completely retired. He eventually started Pella Feed Service and went there daily while his sons, Gary and Vernon, continued to operate the business. Lawrence, a hard worker, enjoyed life on the farm, and he and Mary Ann enjoyed traveling. Nov. 21, 2019, he was injured in a fall at home. As a result of his injuries, he entered his eternal home on Tuesday, Nov. 26, while at Hospice of Pella Comfort House at the age of 86 years. Lawrence, the humble, kind, and caring person he was, and his sense of humor will always be remembered by his wife, Mary Ann, their four children and spouses: Gary (Sandy) Vander Molen of Pella, Lowell (Julie) Vander Molen of Pella, Cindy De Prenger of Monroe, and Vernon (Carla) Vander Molen of Pella; 11 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
Of his original family, Lawrence leaves behind three sisters and their husbands: Rachel and Lester J. Fynaardt of Oskaloosa, Cathryn (Ed) Van Ee of Pella, Pauline and Donald L. De Cook of Indianola; his sister-in-law, Henrietta (Paul) Vander Hart of Pella; and the following brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Marvin and Betty Bruxvoort of Pella, Gerald and Shirley Bruxvoort of Oskaloosa, Joyce (Bruxvoort) and Darrell Cline of Oskaloosa, Barbara Bruxvoort of Ft. Collins, CO, and Reuvena (Stan) Bruxvoort of Oskaloosa.
Lawrence was preceded in death by a grandson, Russell Vander Molen; his parents, Lewis and Katie Vander Molen; three sisters and their husbands: Anna and Marion Hol, Greda and Paul Vander Hart, Hilda and Edward H. Groenendyk; his brother, Bernard Vander Molen and his wife, Alida (Stam); his brother-in-law, Edward Van Ee; his parents-in-law: Guy and Tena (Bouma) Bruxvoort; and the following sisters-in-law: Sylvia and Dorothy Ann Bruxvoort, twins, Doris (Bruxvoort) and John Hessing, Bernard and Dora Bruxvoort, and Stanley Bruxvoort.
Lawrence was baptized at the Peoria Christian Reformed and made profession of his faith at the Second Christian Reformed Church in Pella where he remained a loyal and faithful member having served as a Cadet counselor, an elder, and a deacon.