Mervin Dean Van Deest, 82, of Grundy Center, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at Creekside Living in Grundy Center. Memorial visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 26, 2021 at the Abels Funeral and Cremation Service, Engelkes Chapel in Grundy Center. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 27, 2021 at the American Lutheran Church in Grundy Center. Inurnment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center. Masks are recommended but not required for unvaccinated individuals. Memorials may be directed to the family.
Mervin was born on November 29, 1938 on the family farm in Grundy County, Iowa. He was the loving son of Adolph W. and Sophie (Zimmerman) Van Deest. Mervin was raised in Grundy County, attended country school, and graduated from the Grundy Center High School in the class of 1957. He was united in marriage to Doris Ann Teasdale on June 27, 1958 and they welcomed four children into their family. They made their home on their farm in Grundy County and later moved to Grundy Center in 2010.
Mervin began his career working at Ritchie’s in Conrad and in 1960 he started farming. He bought the farm next to his parent’s farm and worked 3rd shift at John Deere. He retired from farming in the spring of 1988 and then went to work for Farm Mutual Hail for 22 years, retiring in 2011.
Mervin was a member of the American Lutheran Church; where he served the church as a past church council member and president. He was also a member, past president, and director of the REC Board. He worked as a township trustee and a director of the Farmer’s Co-Op in Grundy Center. Mervin was a member of the Grundy County Conservation Board and served as a trapping education teacher. He was a proud life-time member of the NRA, ITA and the NTA. He loved being outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and trapping. Mervin was also an avid collector. He had a coin, stamp, belt buckle and gun collections to name only a few. He will be missed and long remembered by all who knew him.
He is survived by his daughters Susan (Marv) Geiken of Dike, Jean (Roger) Sternhagen of Grundy Center, Kathy Begley of Reinbeck; son William "Bill" (Julie) Van Deest of Decatur; grandchildren Kelli (Tyler) McWilliams, Taylor Williams, Christine Geiken, Chelsea (Austin) Begley, Carissa (Nathan) Schmadeke, Justin (Christina) Troutner , Daniel Van Deest; great-grandchildren Kianna McWilliams, Brynn McWilliams, Declan McWilliams, Clara Bailey, Grace Begley, Sophie Begley, Warren Schmadeke, Wilson Troutner and Harper Van Deest; sister Carolyn Lenguadoro; brother-in-law Tom (Marge) Teasdale; sisters-in-law Tootie Teasdale and Esther Van Deest; many nieces, nephews and a large host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife Doris Van Deest; brother Wendell Van Deest; grandchildren Brandon and Tiffany Sternhagen; brother-in-law Larry Teasdale; and sister-in-law Mary Hilmo.