Kenneth L. Van Gilst
Kenneth Van Gilst, 80, of Oskaloosa, died Saturday, February 22, 2020, at the MHP Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa. He was born April 29, 1939, in Mahaska County, the son of Bass and Harriet (DeBruin) Van Gilst. He graduated from Pella Christian High School with the Class of 1956. Ken went on to receive his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University in 1960. On June 3, 1959, he was united in marriage to Geraldine "Gerri" Van Wyk at the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa. To this union, four children were born, Karen, Jacqueline, Joel and Bryce.
Following his graduation from college, Ken returned to the family farm near Cedar, Iowa. He moved to town in 1990 but continued to work on the farm daily with his sons until illness forced him to slow down in 2019. He never lost touch with what was happening at the farm and was always eager to offer advice from town.
Ken was a man of deep faith. He lived his faith through his dedicated service to: The Cedar Christian Reformed Church where he had attended since the age of 2 and was a charter member. He was very active in the church. He gave generously of his time and talents and served the church in many capacities. He also lived his faith through the Oskaloosa and Pella Christian School Boards, Love INC., Partners Worldwide, World Renew, and countless trips to Africa to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He was a dedicated farmer that believed in being a good steward of the land and taking good care of his livestock. He was a lifelong learner and was active with the Iowa Pork Producers, Iowa Corn Growers, and Iowa Soybean Growers Associations. He also served as a 4-H Swine Superintendent and looked forward to taking the "pig bus" to school Ag. Days. He believed in learning, pursuing, and sharing the best practices for sustainable agriculture.
He believed in being involved and giving back to his community, he was a Hospice Volunteer for over 25 years, he served on the Oskaloosa Chamber of Commerce board, Iowa Trust Bank (now TruBank) board, William Penn Board, and various other community organizations.
His family is his legacy, he took great interest in all of his children and grandchildren's lives. He led by example and enjoyed sharing his passions with all of them.
His family includes his wife Geraldine "Gerri" Van Gilst of Oskaloosa; his daughters and their husbands, Karen and Henry Doorn of Palos Heights, IL., Jacqueline and Andrew David of Bovey, MN; two sons and their wives, Joel and Lisa Van Gilst and Bryce and Shannon Van Gilst all of Oskaloosa; his grandchildren, Brian (Debra) Doorn, Megan Doorn, Adam Doorn, Aaron (Erika) Doorn, Evan David, Aric David, Katelyn (Adam) Howerzyl, Cory Van Gilst, Ryan Van Gilst, Trent Van Gilst, Chelsea (Nick) Landgrebe and Tyler Parker; great grandchildren, Callie and Camden Doorn; two brothers, Carl Van Gilst of Indiana and Rev. Mark (Lola) Van Gilst of Pennsylvania; three sisters, Elaine (Jerry) Van Wyk of Pella, Diane (Dean) Van Wyngarden of Oskaloosa, and Joleen (Fred) Vanderheide of Ontario, Canada.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters in law, Joyce Van Gilst and Shirley Van Gilst.
Funeral services will be held Friday, February 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. in the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa with Reverends Mark Van Gilst and John A. Ritsema officiating. There will be a family prayer service at 10:45 Friday morning in the fellowship hall of the church. Burial will take place in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa prior to services. Visitation will be held on Thursday, February 27, beginning after 10:00 a.m. in the First Christian Reformed Church in Oskaloosa with the family present from 4-7 p.m. at the church to greet guests and relatives. Memorials may be made to the Ken Van Gilst Memorial fund and will benefit: Partners Worldwide, MHP Hospice, and the Oskaloosa Christian School.
Published on February 25, 2020


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Feb 27, 2020
Beautiful in Blue was purchased for the family of Kenneth L. Van Gilst.  Send flowers