Otto Van Roekel
Zoon van Geurt Van Roekel en Mathilda Rouwenhorst, geboren 3-11-1891 en gedoopt 7-2-1892 USA IA Sioux Center, overleden 8-11-1976 USA IA Orange City en begraven West Lawn Cemetery
Trouwt 13-1-1915 Johanna Wilhelmina Brinks, dochter van Jan H Brinks en Wilhelmina Pennings, geboren 1893 USA IA Sioux County, overleden 14-10-1918 USA IA Orange City en begraven West Lawn Cemetery
Trouwt 6-2-1920 USA IA Orange City Grietje (Grace) Pals, dochter van Cornelius Pals en Effie van Reulder, geboren 27-5-1901 USA IA Orange City, overleden 12-2-1989 USA IA Orange City en begraven West Lawn Cemetery
Kinderen van Otto en Grace:
After his wife's death, Otto hired Emery Pals as a farm hand and his wife, Margaret, to keep house. Soon he met Emery’s sister Grace. Otto and Grace were married February 6, 1920. At the time of their marriage, Grace was 18 years old, and Otto was 28. Their first child, Otto Kermit, was born in 1922, and their next 2 children followed in roughly 18-month intervals: Cornelia Gladys (Gladys) in 1924 and George Edward in 1925. The last three surviving children were born with approximately 6 years between them: Quentin Rodney (Rod) in 1930, Glenn Wilbur in 1937 and Marla Beth in 1943. Their infant son Wilbur James died during the winter of 1936. Otto Sr. named their first born after himself. Grace named their second baby after her father, Cornelius Pals, but their daughter has always been called by her middle name of Gladys. George was named after the kings of England. For their fourth child, Otto liked the name Quentin and Grace liked Rodney, but she won out as he has always been called Rod.
Otto overextended financially, and their farm was lost during the 1930s depression. The family moved north of Orange City to 4 or 5 acres of land, while Otto worked for the WPA in Sioux county building bridges. Next they moved into town just west of the old Christian school. Grace inherited money from the sale of her deceased parents' farm, and the family was able to purchase and settle on 10 acres west of the Orange City cemetery. In addition to Otto's job with the county, the Van Roekels earned money by selling produce to folks in town from their large garden and from 8 - 10 cows and hens. They were able to save some money, and after selling the 10 acres in 1947, Otto and Grace finally had enough capital to buy farm equipment; this enabled them to rent 240 acres of farmland 3 miles south and 1¾ miles west of Orange City. Approximately 22 years later, their adult son Rod, who had gone into trucking, was able to put a down payment on 160 acres of their tenant farm. Grace and Otto continued to live on the farm until Rod married in 1970. Then they purchased a house in Orange City and spent the remainder of their years enjoying town life.
Otto drove out to the farm every weekday to help Rod until a steer being loaded up to market decided to run over 80+ year old Otto. After spending a couple of days in the hospital, Otto slowed down a bit. Meanwhile, Grace always planted a huge garden every spring, and after Otto’s death, she started taking her much sought after produce to the O. C. Farmers' Market. She was so famous for her snijboontjes (Dutch cut green beans) and other well scrubbed produce that the 'Sioux City Journal' featured her in their newspaper. Sunday afternoons and evenings were often spent entertaining relatives: sons Rod and Glenn and their families lived nearby as did Grace’s brother Cornie and his wife Clara and Otto’s nephews and their wives. The standard fare was dried beef or creamed chicken on open-faced and buttered rusk buns, fruit salad, tea/coffee/lemonade and cookies. If you were lucky, Grace would pull a bag of garden-picked raspberries or strawberries out of her freezer to top vanilla ice cream! Grace was revered for her home cookin' and loved to feed family and friends. Her grandchildren still rave about her turkey stuffing and creamed corn. Otto died of stomach cancer ten years before Grace. After driving herself to church, Grace died 'with her boots on' from either a heart attack or stroke while hanging up her coat before a Sunday morning service.
Christina Van Roekel
From the Alton Democrat newspaper, November 10, 1976
"Otto Van Roekel, 85, Orange City, died Nov. 8 at the Orange City Municipal Hospital after a lengthy illness.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in the First Reformed Church in Orange City. The Rev. Raymond Van Heukelom, the Rev. Perry Raak and the Rev. Frank Snuttjer will officiate. Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery under direction of Van Etten Funeral Home of Orange City.
Mr. Van Roekel was born Nov. 3, 1891, in Sioux Center. He married Johanna Brinks Jan. 13, 1915. She died in 1918. He married Grace Pals Feb. 6, 1920. Mr. Van Roekel farmed in the Orange City area moving into town in 1970.
Survivors include the widow; four sons, Otto Jr. of Aledo, Ill., George and Rodney, both of Orange City, and Glen of LeMars; two daughters, Mrs. John (Gladys) Mitchell of Edina, Minn., and Mrs. Joseph (Maria) Mooibroek of Cottage Grove, Minn.; a sister, Mrs. Christina Kuyper of Holstein; a brother, Henry of Pella, and 11 grandchildren."
Otto and Grace were married on February 6, 1920 in Orange City at the Reformed Dutch Church.
From the Alton Democrat newspaper October 19, 1918
"Mrs. Van Roekel died Tuesday at her home one half mile north of Orange City of Spanish Influenza."
Johanna and Otto were married January 13, 1915 at the Reformed Dutch Church in Orange City, Iowa. Johanna was pregnant with their first child when she perished from the pandemic "Spanish Flu" or "Flu of 1918".
Johanna was born in Sioux County, Iowa the daughter of Jan H. (John) and Wilhelmina Pennings-Brinks both born in the Netherlands.
From the Siouxland Express newspaper, on February 15, 1989.
"Grace Van Roekel, 87, of Orange City died suddenly Sunday, February 12,1989, in the First Reformed Church in Orange City. Services will be at 10:30 A.M. Wednesday in the First Reformed Church in Orange City with the Rev. Henry Poppen and the Rev. Frank Snuttjer officiating. Burial will be in West Lawn Cemetery. Visitation will be after 2 p.m. Tuesday with the family present from 7-8:30 Tuesday. Arrangements are by the Van Etten-Oolman-VanGelder Funeral Home of Orange City.
Mrs. Van Roekel, the former Grace Pals, was born May 27, 1901, in Orange City. She married Otto G. Van Roekel Feb. 6,1920, in Orange City. The couple farmed in the Orange City area until 1970 when they retired and moved into town. He died November 8, 1976, in Orange City.
Mrs Van Roekel was a member of the First Reformed Church and Priscilla-Dorcas Circle of the church.
Survivors include a son, George of Cherokee; three sons and daughters-in-law, Otto and Rosalie of Aledo, Ill.; Rodney and Eleanor of Orange City and Dr. Glenn and Audrey of Le Mars; a daughter, Gladys Mitchell of Edina, Minn.; a daughter and son-in-law, Maria and Joseph Mooibroek of Piano, Texas; 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by an infant son, seven brothers and two sisters."