Parenteel Derck Backer (van Roekel) - Inleiding Naamlijst Bronnen

James Henry (Jim) Van Roekel

Zoon van Hendrik (Hank Henry A) Van Roekel en Elizabeth M Wielinga, geboren 28-4-1920 en gedoopt 18-7-1920 USA IA Middleburg, overleden 9-8-2002 USA CA Chino en begraven USA CA Whittier Rose Hills Memorial Park

Trouwt 26-7-1942 USA NE Gardnerville Violet (Vi) Huenther, geboren 10-4-1922 USA ND Beulah, overleden 17-12-2011 USA CA Tustin en begraven USA CA Whittier Rose Hills Memorial Park


  1. Terry Van Roekel, geboren 15-12-1950 USA CA Whittier
  2. Kim Van Roekel, geboren 24-6-1956 USA CA Hollywood


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Gravestone of James
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Obituary of James

Violet (all her friends called her "Vi") Van Roekel was born on April 10, 1922 in Beulah, North Dakota. Her parents had immigrated from Germany to Russia and then to the United States. Vi was the 5th of six daughters.

She grew up on a farm and she often spoke of the chickens and horses and the huge garden as well as the cold North Dakota winters. They were poor but Vi didn't realize they were poor as she was growing up because they always had an abundance of home grown food.

After graduating from high school in 1940, Vi moved to California to attend college and lived with her older sisters who had already moved to the Los Angeles area.

After learning how expensive college would be for a student from out-of-state she found a job and began working full-time.

It was during this time that she had a blind date with a young sailor from Iowa, Jim Van Roekel. They fell in love and decided to get married before Jim's ship deployed overseas (World War II had begun).

They were married on July 26, 1942 and a few days later, Jim was off to war. During the war, Jim's ship was torpedoed and he received a medical discharge.

Finally Vi and Jim were able to settle down to married life. Jim enrolled in college and after graduation began a series of jobs as business manager of auto dealerships.

After eight and one half years of marriage their first daughter, Terry was born. Several years later, their second daughter, Kim was born. After both girls were old enough to start school, Vi went back to work to help the family income. She thoroughly enjoyed her job as a cashier at the Urich Lincoln dealership in Whittier.

Vi had trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior when she was about 12 years old. But during the years after Terry and Kim were born she began to grow stronger in her walk with the Lord when she and Jim began attending a Bible teaching church.

A big highlight of her life was traveling to Israel to see the sights mentioned in the Bible with a group from Bethel Baptist Church in 1971.

Vi's family expanded when Terry married Dennis Sherman in 1972 and Kim married John Nealis in 1977. This was followed by the births of three grandsons, Steve, Mark and Michael.

In 1977 Jim and Vi moved to Chino Hills and shortly after, Jim retired. They enjoyed their mobile home, their new church (Pomona 1st Baptist), their family and time with old friends as well as new friends they met in Chino.

On August 9, 2002, Jim went home to be with the Lord and Vi entered a new phase of her life. They had been married sixty years and two weeks. They had been so close and it was hard to adjust to life without him. Vi moved to Tustin and made many new friends at Irvine Community Church. She longed to someday go be with the Lord and to be reunited with Jim. That desire came true on December 17, 2011.

Vi's family and friends will always remember her wonderful sweet smile and her gentle spirit. She was a woman of prayer who prayed for so many, many, many people. She is missed but we know that she is with the Lord and we look forward a reunion someday.

© Gijs van Roekel, Maarn 2005 - Ga naar begin