Bernie Van Roekel


Bernie J. Van Roekel was born March 15, 1923, to John and Blanche (Witzenburg) Van Roekel, at his parent’s home east of Otley.  He lived in that area until he retired and moved to Pella in 1995.  He passed away February 1, 2018, with his family by his side.

Bernie attended Richland School east of Otley. After 8th grade, he started farming with his father, and continued helping on the farm even after he moved to Pella.

He was baptized in Bethel Country Church then attended Otley Reformed Church with his parents and later became a member of Third Reformed Church in Pella, where he made profession of faith.  He served as a deacon and was a Hospice volunteer.

Bernie met Tana Van Gilst at church and they married on June 12, 1946, at her parent’s home six miles south of Pella.  To this union they were blessed with four children:  Kenneth, Marlene, Harley and Donna.  Bernie and Tana traveled with family and friends to many areas in our country and overseas.  They loved spending time with all their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Bernie will be remembered as being strong, hardworking, caring and helpful.

Bernie will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Bernie’s family:

Kenneth and Linda Van Roekel, Branson West, Missouri

Shawn Van Roekel


Marlene and Ron Steenhoek, Pella, Iowa

Vicki and Brent Steenhoek

Sierra, Erika, Connor

Jeffrey and Kristin Steenhoek

Ethan, Cael


Harley and Kathe Van Roekel, Pella, Iowa

Jason and Rian Van Roekel

Hailey, Derek, Braden

Tomi and Keith Nelson

Lucas, Collin, Paityn


Donna and Fred Bahls, Clive, Iowa

Christopher and Sheena Bahls

Kaiden Bahls

Lia Bahls

Those preceding Bernie in death are his wife Tana, his parents Blanche and John Van Roekel, grandson Shawn Van Roekel, and his sisters:  Henrietta Van Zante, Ada Beyer, Jenella Verros, and Johanna Mathes.

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