Keith W. Nibbelink, 75, of Pella, died Monday, Nov. 26, at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House.
Funeral services were held Saturday Dec. 1, at Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella. Burial was in the Oakwood Cemetery in Pella, with full military rites. The Van Dyk- Duven Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Keith was born on May 12, 1932, at home near Peoria, Iowa. He was the youngest child born to Albert and Jeanette Vos Nibbelink. When Keith was four years old the family moved to Pella, Iowa, where his father worked as a meat cutter for the Ulrich Meat Market. Keith attended and graduated from the Pella Christian Grade School and Pella Christian High School with the Class of 1950.
During high school Keith worked for the Pella Chronicle and had to carry up all the newspapers after they were printed in the basement. He also helped his father and learned how to make "Pella Bologna" in the meat market. As a young man, Keith learned good working habits and also worked at Boat & Boatsma Furniture for several years. In spite of his after school responsibilities, Keith excelled in many activities and was a good athlete at Pella Christian High School.
After high school Keith enrolled in American Institute of Business College in Des Moines, Iowa. He majored in accounting and business management and graduated in 1952. Following his graduation from A.I.B. Keith started working at Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Des Moines.
In December of 1952 Keith was drafted into the United States Army. Subsequently Keith was on a ship for two weeks enroute to Japan and rode in a box car train for two days to Seoul, South Korea and fought in the front lines for three months. Sgt. Nibbelink was then transferred to the 8th Army Headquarters in Seoul where he worked in secret information for the Adjacent General Corps. Keith was proud to have served his country and in November 1954 was transferred to the Army Reserve. He was honorably discharged from the military service in November of 1960.
On August 17, 1956, Keith was united in marriage with Norma Jean Van Veldhuizen, a daughter of Evert and Bertha Klyn Van Veldhuizen, and to this union four children were born: Jeffrey Scott, Stuart Kent, Darla Annette and Amy Beth.
When Keith returned from the Korean War, he began working at Vermeer Manufacturing as a draftsman in the office. This ultimately began a 42 year career for Keith. Keith retired from Vermeer Manufacturing Company in 1996. Following his retirement, Keith and Norma enjoyed traveling together and for many years would go to Colorado to hike in the mountains in September when the Aspen trees turned yellow. The last two winters were spent in Florida, and Keith loved to sit on the beach and watch the powerful waves and the unending sky of the Atlantic Ocean.
Keith made profession of his faith at the First Christian Reformed Church in Pella where he was active in the Young People's Society. He later became a charter member of the Calvary Christian Reformed Church in Pella. Keith was a faithful member there for over 50 years during which time he had served as a deacon and then an elder. He also taught Sunday School and Catechism classes. Keith served as president of the Pella Christian Grade School Board and also served on the Planning & Zoning Board for the City of Pella. He was a member of the Pella Historical Society and the Van Veen- Van Hemert American Legion Post No. 89 of Pella.
Those left to honor his memory are his faithful wife of 51 years, Norma, their four children and their spouses and eleven grandchildren: Jeff and Karen (Scheffer) Nibbelink of Rock Valley, Iowa, Kevin and Breanne Nibbelink, Brian and Kim Nibbelink, Kaysha Nibbelink; Stuart and Sharon ( Faber) Nibbelink of Olathe, Kansas, Andrea Nibbelink, Abigail Nibbelink; Darla and Paul Struck of Cherokee, Iowa, Alex Struck, Alisanne Struck; Amy and Dan Vande Pol of Lake Worth, Florida, Megan Vande Pol, Nathan Vande Pol, Emma Vande Pol, Katelyn Vande Pol.
Of his original family, Keith leaves his sister, Ruth Jean Van Heukelom of Holland, Michigan; an aunt, Ida (Nibbelink) Kloosterman of Pella; three sisters-in-law and their husbands; and several nieces and nephews. Keith was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Jeanette Nibbelink; and his brother-in-law, Rev. Norman Van Heukelom.