Claudia Jean Lovell was the daughter of Clyde Thomas and Mildred Ann (Harper) Lovell. "Claudia" was a name after her dad, Clyde, and as a child she was known as Jeannie. Her parents lived in Dallas County, Iowa, where her dad was a farmhand. Jean was born in the backseat of the doctor's car on the way to the hospital on August 8, 1949, in Des Moines, Iowa. Jean went to Knoxville High School and then worked as a kitchen aide at the Veterans' Hospital in Knoxville, Iowa. While her parents were living at Knoxville, she met Roger William Van Der Molen, the oldest of three sons of Louis M. and Mabel Marie (Branderhorst) Van Der Molen. Jean and Roger were united in marriage on Christmas Day, December 25, 1969, at the Berean Baptist Church in Pella, Iowa. Jean continued working as a nurse's aide at the Veterans' Hospital in Knoxville until she became a devoted mother to their six children: Jason Louis who was born on February 15, 1972, in Oskaloosa, Sonja Jean on March 29, 1973, in Oskaloosa, Jennifer Dallas on August 31, 1977, in Pella, William Roger on May 25, 1980, in Pella, Regina Claire on March 22, 1983, in Pella, and Jesse Thomas on June 18, 1984, in Pella. During Roger and Jean's nearly 43-year marriage, they always lived in Marion and Mahaska Counties, and for several years they resided on an acreage between Oskaloosa and Pella. After raising their children, Jean faithfully worked alongside her husband Roger in their Natural Therapeutics stores and then found time to be a “mother” to students at Central College in Pella while she worked in facilities management. Because of Jean's nurturing nature, she became the primary caregiver to Roger’s grandmother Mildred Margaret (Harvey) Branderhorst, “Grandma B," for 18 years, and later to Roger's mother Mabel Marie (Branderhorst) Van Der Molen. Four and a half years ago, Jean underwent a kidney transplant and through this time of trial, continued to be a faithful witness of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She was always a caregiver and her infectious laugh will always be remembered. On Monday morning, October 1, 2012, she passed into the arms of her Savior while at the Hospice of Pella Comfort House at the age of 63 years from pancreatic cancer. Jean and Roger were privileged to experience nearly 43 years of married life together and “Meema” loved her kids and 10 grandchildren. They and their families are Jason Van Der Molen and Michelle DeGeest of Honolulu, HI, John, Jenna De Geest, Sonja and Juan Munoz of Pella, Alicia Jo, Michael Louis Munoz, Jennifer “Jenny” and Brian Jackson of Ankeny, Hannah Jean, Emma Grace, and Noah Alan Jackson, William “Willie” and Lisa Van Der Molen of Altoona, Evan Louis, Sadie Bea, Ellie (Elisabeth) Harper, and Sawyer Milo Van Der Molen, Regina “Gina” and Peter Hemmings of Clear Lake, Jesse and Jessica Van Der Molen of Pella, Caedmon William Van Der Molen.
Jean leaves her two sisters and a brother: Ann Adelia (Mike) Johannes of Carlisle; Don T. Lovell of Oskaloosa; and Jana Sue and her husband Winfield (Bud) Poe III of Oskaloosa. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde and Mildred Lovell; her oldest brother, Marion Carroll Lovell and his wife, Pat; her brother-in-law, Mike Johannes; her parents-in-law, “Lup” and Mabel Van Der Molen; and two brothers-in-law: Richard (Rick) Van Der Molen and Robert (Bob) Van Der Molen. Jean was in joyful fellowship at the Bethel Baptist Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Bethel Baptist Church in Oskaloosa. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.