Kenneth De Jong, 86


Funeral services for Kenneth De Jong, 86, were Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at Peoria Christian Reformed Church. Interment followed in Peoria Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested for Peoria Christian School, Oskaloosa Christian School, Back to God Hour, or Hospice of Pella.

“He was a farmer and ‘jack of all trades.’ He could modify or fix about anything.”

Kenneth John De Jong was born Nov. 25, 1936, and went to Glory Oct. 24, 2023. Kenneth was a son of Gerrit and Frances (Blom) De Jong and was born on a farm in Mahaska County southwest of Peoria, also referred to as the “Hills.”

He attended Peoria Christian School through the eighth grade and then farmed with his dad. Even as a young man, he had a giving spirit and would help neighbors or whomever needed help.

Jan. 30, 1958, he and Arene Rooda were united in marriage at Peoria Christian Reformed Church and were blessed with three children: Mary Lou, Robert John, and Julie Kay.

They lived in several places before they settled on a farm one mile west of Taintor. They farmed there from 1963 to 1999, when he retired from farming. They continued to live there until 2007, when they moved to Fair Haven West in Pella.

Ken had worked for Bert Swank, at Vermeer Manufacturing, drove for Peoria Stockyards, at Pella Supply, and for Midwest Sanitation. He volunteered for Bibles for Missions and The Well and would help anyone in need. He took pride in mowing the Peoria, Baldwin, and Apple Cemeteries until just a few years ago.

Aug. 17, 2023, Ken and Arene moved to Independence Village because of health issues. He passed away at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House.

Ken was a lifelong member of Peoria Christian Reformed Church where he was baptized, made profession of his faith, and had served as a deacon; and was also on Peoria Christian School Board.

He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He also had great love for the 10 foster babies he and Arene cared for through Bethany Christian Services.

Ken’s No. 1 love was for the Lord. His great faith was noticed by all in everything he did. You could find him studying his Bible regularly. The best part of his day was having devotions with his wife, Arene.

Kenneth is survived by his wife of 65 years, Arene (Rooda) De Jong; and their three children and their families: Mary (Leon) Louwsma of New Sharon, Robert (Lori) De Jong of Leighton, and Julie (Arlyn) Van Maanen of Lynnville; nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Kenneth leaves two brothers and a sister and their spouses: Norman (Helen) De Jong of Pella, Verna (John) Vander Kooi of Akron, OH, Gaylord (Twila) De Jong of New Sharon; a sister-in-law Annette (Rooda) Dop of Pella; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law Sidney and Delores Rooda of Otley; along with many nieces and nephews.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; his parents-in-law Henry and Johanna (De Koning) Rooda; his sister Iris and her husband Gilbert Vander Wal; his brother Eugene De Jong; and his brother-in-law Carroll “Gene” Dop.

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