Family graveside service was held Monday, May 1, 2023, at Graceland Cemetery in Pella for Edward A. Hoksbergen, 89, of Pella, who passed away Apr. 29. A celebration of life will be held at a later date at Trinity Reformed Church, Pella. Memorials have been designated for Lake View Camp, Pella.
Edward Albert Hoksbergen was born Dec. 22, 1933, to Nick and Jennie (Vonk) Hoksbergen in Newton.
Ed was raised in Jasper County and graduated from Sully High School with the Class of 1952. In early 1954 with the U.S. draft going on, Ed requested an early draft into the U.S. Army so he could get in his two years of service and be discharged before March 1956 so he could start farming on his own that spring.
At age 20, Ed was engaged to be married and had hopes of getting started with farming. At the time he entered the Army, Ed was living with his parents, Nick and Jennie, and working for a neighboring farmer, Harry Springer.
The Army kept a presence in France at that time in case another war began in Germany. Ed would end up spending 16 months in France — a time that was both “interesting and educational,” he said. One highlight from his time in France was being able to travel around Europe by train. He was able to visit a cousin in Mannheim, Germany, and the two traveled through Belgium and Luxembourg to go visit family in Holland. Ed also took advantage of a three-day pass to go visit Paris. Ed was discharged from the Army with the rank of Specialist 2 (SP2) on Jan. 26, 1956.
During his time in the military, Ed said his parents waited patiently for him to come home, as did his fiancée, Sylvia, who finished high school while he was gone. He kept in touch with them by mail. “With each letter that came, they knew I was fine a week ago,” he said.
Nearly 65 years later, Ed said, “Looking back, I can see God’s hand over me in many ways during that time.” Of his two years in the Army, Ed said, “It was a good learning experience. I learned to obey without questioning, to care for myself, and to respect others’ rights and beliefs even when they were different from mine.”
Just two weeks after returning home from France, Ed married his wife of 67 years, Sylvia, on Feb. 9, 1956, and began farming that spring. They raised four children — Mike, Darlys, Judith, and Sherryl — while living on the farm.
After farming for 24 years, they moved to Sully and lived there from 1980-1999. Ed was a custodian/maintenance man in Lynnville-Sully School for 16 years. Upon retirement, he and Sylvia volunteered their services in various mission stations for 8-12 weeks during the fall and winter for 17 years. In the fall of 2015, they moved into Pella Manor, where they continued to serve until they found the word “retirement” in the Bible.
His children are Mike Hoksbergen, Darlys (Donavon) De Penning, Jude (Bruce) Dzadek, and Sherryl (Mike) Nunnikhoven; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his parents and stillborn twin brother.