Norman Vander Leest, 85

Norman Vander Leest, 85, of Sully, passed away Thursday, Mar. 21, 2024, at his home. A celebration of life was held 1-3 p.m., Tues-day, Mar. 26, at Sully Community Center. Memorials in Norman’s name have been designated for Hospice of Pella.

Norman Willem Vander Leest was born Aug. 6, 1938, the oldest of four sons born to James and Artie (Zegers) Vander Leest. He was born south of Monroe in Marion County. He lived on several farms during his early years. He lived in Fifield on the river bottom, west of the Red Rock Dam, where he started school. After a few flooded years, they moved to Newburg where he attended grade school.

In 1947, they moved to the Chester neighborhood south of Sully where he attended school through the eighth grade. After graduating, he stayed home to help farm and take care of his little brother David.

One of his first jobs was working for Uncle Walt hauling cream to Sully and also hauled rock and lime. For a couple of years, he was an electrician apprentice in Pella, but decided that truck driving was his calling. He also hauled hogs for Macy Stockyards and feed for Fleck’s in Killduff.

After marriage to Deloris Banks on June 5, 1959, they lived around the Sully area. They had two daughters, Kimberly Jo born in 1959 and Kelley Lyn in 1961.

Later, they moved to one of Uncle Walt’s farms southwest of Sully where they farmed, milked cows, had fat cattle, and farrow-to-finished hogs. They retired and remained on the farm. He had a love for John Deere tractors and enjoyed collecting caps. He also loved following the grandkids and great-grandkids in their sports and 4-H activities, as well as enjoying a meal and conversation at Maid-Rite in Newton.

About the past 15 years, they have traveled south to a warmer climate for the winters. They made many friends and have great memories of the beautiful scenery and life style in Apache Junction, AZ.

Those left to honor his memory are his wife, Deloris, of 64 years; daughter Kelley (Steve) Zuidema; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; brothers Dwight (Glenda) Vander Leest and David Vander Leest; sisters-in-law Lois Vander Leest, Virginia Strovers, and Linda (Phil) Hennon; many nieces and nephews, and uncles and aunts Bill (Dixie) Zegers and Helen (Fred) Schmidt.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Kimberly Jo, his parents, and parents-in-law Clyde and Wanda Banks, brother Irvin Vander Leest, sister-in-law Sally Vander Leest, brothers-in-law Robert Banks and Jim Strovers, and special nephews and niece Curtis Vander Leest and twins Jennifer and Matthew Vander Leest.

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