Cover photo for Norman Van Deest's Obituary
Norman Van Deest Profile Photo
1936 Norman 2020

Norman Van Deest

October 31, 1936 — January 29, 2020

Grundy Center

Norman John Van Deest, 83, of Grundy Center, died on January 29, 2020, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home, surrounded by his loving family in Waterloo. A memorial gathering will be held on Sunday, February 9, from 4-6 PM at Engelkes-Chapel in Grundy Center. A memorial service will be held on Monday, February 10, at 1 PM, at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grundy Center with Reverend Al Polito officiating. Inurnment will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center.  Memorials may be directed to the family to be used for a memorial in memory of Norman at a later date. Abels Funeral and Cremation Service, Engelkes-Chapel is caring for Norman and his family.

Norman John Van Deest was born on October 31, 1936, outside of Holland, Iowa, to his parents John B. and Gladys (Meester) Van Deest. Norman attended school in Holland, later transferring to Grundy Center High School, and left to start driving truck for his father, John. Norman was united in marriage to Joyce Elaine Eilers on March 11, 1957, at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grundy Center. Norman briefly owned his own trucking company, Van Deest Trucking Inc. and operated his semi with excellence from 1957 to 1963; he would later transition to work for Joe Wical for a few years as a mason tender. In 1966, Norman started working for Holland Co-Op, wearing many hats and doing work in various roles during his employment. Norman would work for the Co-Op until 1972, when he started working for the Grundy County Transportation Department, first running a maintainer, and later a dump truck. He enjoyed his time working for the county immensely, rarely calling in once to use a sick day. While working for the county, Norman also farmed the family farm. If he wasn’t trucking, he was farming, and if he wasn’t farming, he was trucking. He would go on to put in 29 years of dedicated service in for Grundy County until his retirement in 2001. Norman never really retired though, he still farmed for over a total of 40 years and trucked for Eilers Inc. until he reached the ripe-old age of 80. He spent his last few years taking care of his beloved wife, Joyce, whom he loved dearly and spent 62 wonderful years with.

Norman truly loved and lived to put in an honest day’s work. His love for his family was just as strong though, he enjoyed being a father and grandfather, spending time with his children and grandchildren. Norman attended many events, including sports, vocal, and band. Norman fished and hunted in his earlier years and could waterski, to the surprise of some of his family. He was a Hawkeyes and Kansas City Chiefs fan and enjoyed catching sports games when his busy schedule allowed. Norman played for the Holland Men’s Fast Pitch team as a catcher, enjoying the game immensely. Wednesday’s were Norman’s day to mow the lawn; there may not have been anyone more particular about their lawn than Norman. Norman had an avid love for his horses, Peanuts and Sparky, sharing that love with his daughter Nancy. He enjoyed wintering in Texas with Joyce for a number of years. Norman was a life-long member of Bethany Presbyterian Church in Grundy Center.

Norman is survived by his loving wife Joyce of Grundy Center; children Roland Van Deest of Hartshorne, OK, Laura (Curtis) Hopper of Keystone, IA, Nancy (Mark) Jungling of Grundy Center, and Paul (Gina) Van Deest of Peck, KS; grandchildren Nathan (Jorden), Matthew, Haley Jungling, Marissa Hopper, Chloe (Ben) Kaplan, Nick (Amber), Reed, and Paige Van Deest; great-grandchildren Eli Blinks, Emma Jungling, Jensen Jungling, and Maple Kaplan; brother Don (Amy) Van Deest of Weslaco, TX; sisters Neva Blankenship of Grundy Center and Ardys (Dave) Cade of Des Moines. He was preceded in death by his parents.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norman Van Deest, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, February 9, 2020

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Engelkes - Chapel, Grundy Center


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Memorial Service

Monday, February 10, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Bethany Presbyterian Church (Grundy Center)


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Interment following funeral service

Abels Funeral and Cremation Service


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