Gerald L. Kuiper, 72, passed away following a courageous and lengthy battle with cancer on Friday, August 16, 2013, at Bright Kavanagh House in Des Moines, Iowa.
Gerald Lee was born April 2, 1941, in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Ralph and Nellie (Van Den Berg) Kuiper. He was raised on a farm north of Pella, Iowa and attended country school through the 4th grade.
Gerald graduated from Pella High School in 1959 where he played football, basketball and track and earned 12 varsity letters. He was the captain and quarterback for his high school team.
Gerald met Nancy Lee Terpstra at an athletic event at Pella Christian High School and they became high school sweethearts. Following his graduation he enrolled at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and played freshman basketball.
Later he transferred to Central College in Pella where he received his degree in 1964 majoring in Physical Education and Sociology. He was the recipient of the Richard J. Mentink Award for leadership, sportsmanship and inspiration. Gerald and Nancy were united in marriage on June 7, 1962, at the First Reformed Church in Pella. He coached football, basketball and track at the Pella and Knoxville High Schools.
He later became a partner in Vic Young Sporting Goods in Des Moines; was an Adidas rep and a longtime salesman for Hopkins Sporting Goods. He spent 20 years in Development at Central College and Progress Industries in Newton, Iowa, and assisted in the development of Honey Creek Resort.
He served on several boards, was a Kiwanis member, and Deacon of his church. Gerald and Nancy served as Youth Group Sponsors both in the Pella and Knoxville churches.
Another one of Gerald’s enjoyments of life was officiating, both as a football referee over 26 years and as a track starter. His career spanned over 46 years and was ranked a Master Starter. He officiated many NCAA college and university track meets as well as the Nike Masters meet in Eugene, Oregon. Gerald was a starter for both the Boys and Girls State Meets; a Drake Relays official for over 30 years, served as assistant chief umpire and was an inductee into the Iowa Track Officials Association Hall of Fame, and in 2006 was inducted in the Drake Relays Wall of Honor.