Wilbert James Van Gelder


Tucson, Arizona

June 7, 2021

Wilbert James Van Gelder, 92, of Tuscon, Arizona, passed away June 7, 2021. 

Wilbert was born April 16, 1929, near Alton, Iowa to William and Effie (Feenstra) Van Gelder. He grew up in the Newkirk, Iowa, area. 

On Dec. 26, 1951, he married Clara Goslinga. He served two years in the U.S. Army, mostly in active combat duty in South Korea and was honorably discharged as a corporal. After he returned home to the states, the couple lived for a time in Sheldon, Iowa, and then farmed at Carnes, Iowa, and Hospers, Iowa, before purchasing land in Rock Rapids, Iowa. Upon retirement, they moved to Tucson in 2009. 

Survivors include his children and their spouses, Robert and Carol of Tucson, Loren Van Gelder and Kathy Kramer of Grove, Oklahoma, and Pamela and Jon Kragt of La Vista, Nebraska; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one brother, Arnold Van Gelder, and one sister, Theresa Goslinga. 

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; three brothers, Ray, Dick and Edward, and two sisters, Margaret Muilenburg and Carolyn Vande Brake. 

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