Pella Chronicle

February 14, 2014

George Wassenaar

The Chronicle

Pella — George Albert Wassenaar was born on May 15, 1928, in Denver, Colorado, the son of Albert David and Bertha Marie (Ulrich) Wassenaar. George spent his childhood days and teen age years in the Denver, Colorado and Los Angeles, California areas. He attended South High School in Denver and graduated in 1946. On March 14, 1949, he made profession of his faith accepting Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at his home church, the First Reformed Church in Denver. This faith was evident and practiced his entire life.

George was inducted into the Armed Forces of the United States on October 13, 1950. During his two years with the United States Army, George served twenty months in various towns in Germany and performed duty as a military policeman with the 2nd Armored Division during the Korean Conflict. While stationed in Germany, George played fast pitch softball with the Army. The European Service Newspaper, “Stars & Stripes” wrote that George had a “murderous fastball”, while averaging 13 strikeouts per game.

Following his discharge on September 24, 1952, he returned home and started playing ball at City Park in Denver’s AAA League. Honored to be the starting pitcher, George played for the Rocky Mountain Allstars, a team including players from the three state area of Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. Prior to his military induction, George and Dolores (Dee) Swank had met on a blind date in Denver and exchanged letters daily during his active duty. Following his discharge from the military service he married his pen pal on March 4, 1953 at Second Reformed Church in Pella. George and Dee settled in Pella, and George continued playing softball with the Pella Merchants softball team for several years.

After playing softball for 35 years, perhaps George’s finest softball performance was at the age of 54. Craig played fast pitch softball in college and his team was playing in Killduff one evening and was in need of a pitcher. George came out of retirement and for the first time, father and son played softball together. Neither can remember the outcome of the game but they are both sure they were victorious. Craig, who caught his dad’s pitching that night, said that his fastball wasn’t murderous anymore, but it was still devastating.

Previously a salesman for Ulrich Motor Company in Pella, George gave nearly 30 years of his working lifetime to Vermeer Manufacturing Company. He was a dealer manager, an assistant sales manager and finally retired as National Sales Manager of the Vermeer Manufacturing Industrial Division. George served the church, his country and his community well. He was a member in good and regular standing in the Reformed Church in America for many years. He served as a Deacon for 9 years (2 years as chairman), an Elder for 9 years (3 years as vice-president of the Consistory), a Sunday School teacher and the Superintendent at Trinity Reformed Church in Pella. He was a member of Van Veen-Van Hemert American Legion Post No. 89 of Pella and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He served as past president and director of the Pella Chamber of Commerce, past member of the Pella Community Hospital Board of Directors, past officer and director of the Iowa Good Roads Association, past member of the Pella Golf & Country Club board of directors, and was a Pella Community Service Award recipient.

George and Dee had one son, Craig Albert, who was born on March 26, 1962. During the 1970’s, George took great pleasure in Craig’s Punt, Pass & Kick achievements. Craig married his good friend, Kathryn (Kathy) Stoudt in 1991. They gave Grandpa and Grandma three wonderful grandchildren: Jacob (Jake), Samantha (Sami) and Tyson (Ty). They have been their grandparents’ pride and joy. Having watched every game of football that Craig had played at Pella High School and Central College in Pella, George and Dee subsequently enjoyed watching their grandchildren compete in various sports.

George entered into eternal life with Christ on Monday, February 3, 2014, at the age of 85 years. Those left to cherish George’s memory are his wife of 60 years, Dee; his son, Craig, and his wife, Kathy; and three grandchildren, Jake, Sami and Ty Wassenaar all of Pella, Iowa. Of his original family, he leaves his brother, Carl Robert Wassenaar and his wife, Robin of Cottonwood, CA; along with nieces and nephews. George was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Bertha Wassenaar; and his parents-in-law, Herman T. and Elizabeth (Liz De Heer) Swank.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at the Trinity Reformed Church in Pella.  Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

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