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Gerald Vanderwerf

gerald vanderwerf
Gerald Lee Vanderwerf age 82 of Nashua, IA, died Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 10, 2021, at Nashua United Methodist Church with Rev. Sarah Namukose celebrating the service. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nashua, IA. Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church. Hugeback Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory - Olson Chapel in Nashua has been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences for the Vanderwerf family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com 641-435-4134 Gerald Lee Vanderwerf was born on September 15, 1938, to Peter and Grace Vanderwerf in Aplington, and he grew up on farms in the Aplington and Shell Rock areas. Like many in that era, he helped his parents with a variety of farm chores. He started his schooling at a young age; Gerald was just four when he went to country school because the school needed one more student to remain open, but the vast majority of his education took place in Shell Rock, where he was a member of the Class of 1958. After graduation, Gerald enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and he served as a gunner’s mate third class on the USS Branch, which spent time off the coast of Vietnam during the early 1960s. He was extremely proud to have served his country, and one of his favorite titles was “veteran.” When he received his honorable discharge from the Navy, Gerald returned to Iowa and took a job with Schield Bantam as a machinist, and although the name of the company changed several times, he worked there from 1965 to 1996, when he retired, although “retirement” wasn’t a word that was part of Gerald’s vocabulary, for he also worked at GMT and Morris Landscaping for years after his so-called retirement. Gerald married Mary Judish and they had three children — Gary, Mark, and Leslie. The couple later divorced. He met the true love of his life, Dixie Savage, who “poured him a lot of coffee” while she was a waitress at the Red Fox Inn in Waverly. The couple began dating and were married on Oct. 21, 1989, and his family grew to include Dixie’s two daughters — Laurie and Lea Ann. Gerald loved being a father, but he adored his title as grandpa; he had seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and loved spending time with them and watching their sporting events. Dixie and he spent a lot of date nights — mostly Tuesdays and Fridays — watching the Nashua-Plainfield Huskies compete in athletic events. Gerald and Dixie began their married life in Waverly but spent most of it in Nashua, where he was an active member of the United Methodist Church, where he served as a trustee, helped with funeral luncheons, and served on the church’s celebration committee. He and Dixie were also church custodians for a couple of years. Gerald enjoyed trapshooting, hunting, and fishing, and he was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Chicago Cubs, and of course, the Nashua-Plainfield Huskies. Gerald will be remembered as a proud veteran, a husband, father, and grandpa, and all those who knew Gerald will dearly miss him, but his faith tells those that loved and cared about him that he is in a better place today. Gerald is survived by his wife, Dixie of Nashua, IA; two sons, Gary Vanderwerf of Charles City, IA and Mark Vanderwerf of Charles City, IA; one daughter, Leslie (Ben) Davis of California; 11 grandchildren, Kelsey Vanderwerf of Charles City, IA, Garrett Vanderwerf of Charles City, IA, Jordon Vanderwerf of Dallas, TX, Elena Vanderwerf of Des Moines, IA, Max Vanderwerf of Charles City, IA, Caschjen (Nelson) Atagi of Utah, Samantha (Rowdy) Adams of Utah, Tyler (Colleen) Shipper of Minneapolis, MN, Leland (Kylie) Schipper of Ankeny, IA, Eric Westenberger and Emily of Minneapolis, MN, Allie Westenberger of Madison, WI; 10 great-grandchildren with one on the way; one sister-in-law, Alvina Vanderwerf of Cedar Falls, IA; numerous nieces and nephews; and his special dog, Maggie. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Chet (Hattie) Vanderwerf, Marlyn (Gertie) Vanderwerf, and Wayne Vanderwerf; one sister, Evelyn (John) Krull.

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  1. So sorry to hear of Gerald’s passing. Always enjoyed our visits at the wellness center. Our condolences to Dixie and his family. Karla& Gary Mehmen

  2. Lee, Wishing you peace, and courage to face the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. Big Hugs!

  3. Dixie & family- You have our deepest sympathy. We always enjoyed visiting with him at church and sporting events, which he was a huge supporter of, no matter what season it was. He will be missed by our church family and everyone who knew him.

  4. March 2021 – telling stories to his grand daughters, Caschjen and Samantha around the supper table.

  5. Wishing your family comfort at this difficult time. May joyful memories sustain you and bring you peace.

  6. Gary, Sarah and family-thoughts and prayers, may God give you peace and comfort at this time.

  7. We were very sad to learn of Gerald’s passing. Wendell and I always looked forward to our visits at the Vanderwerf cousins reunion. Wendell is not in good health and recently had a toe amputated, so we will not be able to come to the funeral. Our thoughts and prayers will be for comfort and peace for the family. Gerald will be greatly missed by many. Sending our sympathy. Wendell and Marie Eilderts

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