Thea Charlene Van Gorp
Charlene Van Gorp, 90, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, died Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, just one week prior to her 91st birthday at Northern Mahaska Specialty Care in Oskaloosa.

Charlene was born Feb. 14, 1929 in Oskaloosa to Harold and Alice (Johnson) Leech. Her parents owned and operated Edgetowne Dairy and she grew up delivering milk with her dad. She attended OHS and graduated with the class of 1947. She went on to Ottumwa School of Beauty and received her Cosmetology license. She participated in several style shows and won a local beauty pageant. As time went on, she tended bar at both the Hull House and the Country Club for many years. Later on, she opened "Granny's Mud Hut" and gave classes in ceramics and was able to pursue her love of porcelain dolls. She loved to paint and dress the beautiful dolls she made and donated many to her church and other organizations for fund raising events.

Charlene loved flowers and grew many different kinds which she shared with her friends and family. She especially loved roses. She was known for her cinnamon rolls, which she freely shared. She loved a good party, especially if it included dancing, dressing up and wearing "statement" jewelry. She also loved to travel...ANYWHERE!

She was a member of The First Christian Church, The American Legion and The Elks Lodge, as well as several doll clubs.

Her family includes her daughter, Jann (Jerry) Broyles, of Newton, Iowa; son, Jeff Elliott, of Oskaloosa, Iowa; four grandchildren, Heather and Sean Broyles and Katrina and Raeann Elliott; three great granddaughters, Riley, Taylor and Mariah; five great-great grandchildren, Benjamin, Jameson, Natalie, Noah and Lydia; one nephew, Mike Leech and one niece, Pat Leech.

Charlene was preceded in death by her parents, her brother and sister-in-law, Eugene and Donna Leech and their twin daughters, Karol and Karen.

A very special thanks goes out to the entire staff of Northern Mahaska Specialty Care for their loving and compassionate care over the last year.

No services are scheduled as per Charlene's wishes, but, we will gather in the Spring to plant a rose bush and bury her cremains at Forest Cemetery.
Published on February 11, 2020


Send flowers
in memory of Thea
Send flowers

Obituary published in

Arrangements by

Iowa Cremation

Get directions


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on May 11, 2020.

Showing 10 of 2 posts

Judith Nolin
Feb 17, 2020
Jann, your Mom was a beautiful women inside and out. When our families were neighbors, I think I was at your house as much as I was at my own home. Your sweet Mom always made me feel so welcome. ❤️ God bless her and you both.
Feb 12, 2020
Charlene was a Gem , someone you could never forget , I loved going there with Jann she always had a story , and I believe this is where Jann got her great sense of humor .
Charlene you may be gone but you will never be forgotten! RIP ! I love you sweet lady !
Jann and Jeff and your kids I’m so sorry for your loss !!!