Cornelius Ralph “Case” Van Soelen, 89, of Pella and formerly of Sully, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House. Funeral services were held Monday, Sept. 28, at 10 a.m. at Sully Christian Reformed Church. Interment was in the Sully Cemetery with military honors. Memorials have been designated for Sully Christian School.
Case was born Mar. 24, 1931, the third child of 10 born to Marion and Hattie (Van Hal) Van Soelen. He grew up on two farms north of Sully. For many years, his family lived on the same yard as the family of Neal and Durkee Van Soelen, so playmates were plentiful. They later bought a farm down the road, which became the family farm. Case was educated in country school until sixth grade, then attended Sully Christian School and graduated with the eighth grade Class of 1945. He chose to stay home to help on the farm rather than go to high school, but he continued to love to learn and read, especially God’s Word.
Case was drafted into the United States Army in 1952 at age 19, doing basic training at Fort Bliss, TX. He served 15 months in Korea during the war, earning the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged in 1954 and respectfully recalled his service obligation. Case met Leona Mae Branderhorst at her brother’s and his sister’s wedding, and they were married on Oct. 12, 1956. They were blessed with four children: David Allen, Barbara Kay, Jeffrey Lee, and Sandra Jean. His favorite job was farming the land - he said it made him feel close to the Lord. He worked other jobs at the Newton Seed Store in Newton, Precision Pulley in Pella, and eventually drove truck. He loved spending time with family, talking and telling stories.
Case and Leona shared 40 years of marriage before the Lord called her home on Nov. 12, 1996, at the age of 60 years. Then on June 27, 2008, son Jeff died suddenly at the age of 45 years. In any of the trials he faced, he always said he was never alone because God was always with him. Case eventually became a resident at Fair Haven East and The Cottages.
Case was a lifelong member of Sully Christian Reformed Church where he was baptized and publicly professed his faith in Jesus Christ. He served as deacon, elder, and catechism teacher. He also served on the Sully Christian School Board. He had a servant’s heart and was willing to help wherever needed.
His family includes three children and daughter-in-law: David (Rhonda) Van Soelen, of Pella, Barbara (Calvin) Ahrenholz of Prinsburg, MN, Ronda Van Soelen of Sully, Sandra (Michael) Vander Hart of Pella; 15 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren with one on the way.
Case is survived by the following brothers and sisters: Peter Van Soelen presently of Grinnell, Marion (Jan) Van Soelen Hull, Henrietta Terpstra of Sully, Martha Weg of Mitchell, SD, Robert (Marilyn) Van Soelen of Lynnville, Frank (Karen) Van Soelen of Sully, Betty Nikkel of Laurel; and the following sisters-in-law: Pauline Branderhorst of Pella, Esther Wellington of Charlotte, NC, Pearl Van Zee of Newton, Willa Branderhorst of Pella; and many nieces and nephews.
Case was preceded in death by wife Leona and his son Jeff; his parents; his sisters, Jennie Branderhorst and Gertrude Van Soelen; his sister-in-law Gladys Van Soelen; brothers-in-law: Harlan Terpstra, Alfred Weg, and Clarence Nikkel; his parents-in-law, Gerrit and Evalena (Van Ryswyk) Branderhorst; and the following brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: John M. and Marie (Branderhorst) Vos, Albert and Dorothy (Branderhorst) De Koning; William Branderhorst, Harold and Wilma (Branderhorst) Van Zee, William and Mildred (Branderhorst) Vander Hoek, Marvin Branderhorst, William Wellington, Riley Van Zee, and Gerrit R. Branderhorst.
Case read God’s Word daily and prayed for his family by name. Blessed be his memory!