“Arise, my soul, arise……
Before the throne my surety stands,
My name is written on His hands.”
~ Charles Wesley ~
Marvin Bruno VanDeVelde, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at the Courtyard Estates Retirement Community in Kewanee, Illinois at age 96.
He was born April 27, 1924, in Bureau County, the youngest of nine children to Peter and Stephanie (Serie) VanDeVelde. He graduated from Sheffield High School in 1943. He married Eloise Clary on December 20, 1944, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Sheffield, Illinois. True partners in life, they spent 74 years working together before Eloise’s passing in February 2019.
A natural athlete and diligent son, he agreed with his dad that if he wanted to play basketball, chores must come first every day, before the long walk to school. During WWII while his brothers served in the armed forces, as the only remaining son on the farm, he steadfastly helped to support the family. A keeper of God’s earth, Marvin farmed in the Galva and Kewanee area for 40 years in partnership with his brother, Roy, and together they worked with their brother, Ralph. In 1985, Marvin and Eloise moved from the farm to Kewanee where Marvin worked for Kewanee Farm Equipment before retiring in 1991.
He was a Volunteer Blue Coat at Kewanee Hospital for 16 years escorting patients with a kind heart and calming demeanor. Sharing the Christmas spirit, Marvin served with the Windmont Park Christmas Lights Decorating Committee from its beginning until a few years ago. He carried that same spirit homeward taking pride in adorning his own house with lights every year.
Marv enjoyed Rolle Bolle, bowling, and golf with family and friends. A regular in the Galva Day golf tournament and at the Baker Park golf course, Marv took home more than one trophy for his skills on the green, including winning the Kewanee City Senior Golf Championship. Throughout our generations of gatherings and sporting events, his essence will always have a place around the table and in the bleachers--sadly missed and forever remembered.
While Marvin enjoyed these many activities, faith and family were foremost for he and Eloise. He was a member of Saint John Paul II Catholic Parish where he served as usher for many years. He also was a member of The Knights of Columbus. Marvin and Eloise faithfully attended mass and always made known their gratitude to God for their many blessings.
Marvin had been the last remaining sibling in his family. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, four VanDeVelde brothers, William, Jacob, Roy, Ralph, and four sisters, Ida (VanDeVelde) Johnson, Elsie (VanDeVelde) Serie, Marie (VanDeVelde) Pickering, and Lucille (VanDeVelde) VanVooren.
His survivors include five children; one daughter, Susan (Roger) Wallace of Kewanee, Illinois and four sons, Gary (Kristin) VanDeVelde of Jefferson City, Missouri; James (Debra) VanDeVelde of Dahinda, Illinois; Timothy (Becky) VanDeVelde of Dahinda, Illinois and Patrick (Stephanie) VanDeVelde of Winchester, Illinois. He is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren with an additional great grandchild expected in 2021.
Our father tended a field.
A field of the heart;
He planted all the good things,
That gave our lives their start.
He turned us to the sunshine,
Encouraged us to grow.
When the winds and rains came,
His nourishment sustained us.
His constant good example,
Gave markers for our pathway
To last a lifetime long.
We are our father’s field,
We are his legacy.
[With love and thankfulness. KV inspiration and adaptation from Grandfather Kept a Garden, Anonymous]
Pallbearers are Chad VanDeVelde, Sean VanDeVelde, Colin VanDeVelde, Caleb VanDeVelde, Nathan Wallace, and Matt Wallace.
A Private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint John Paul II Catholic Parish in Kewanee followed by burial at Galva Cemetery. Celebrant will be Fr. Doug Hennessy. Memorials may be directed to the Saint John Paul II Catholic Parish. Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee is in charge of arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marvin B. VanDeVelde, please visit our floral store.