Raymond Van Zee, 80, of Oskaloosa, died Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at Mahaska Health Partnership in Oskaloosa. He was born Saturday, August 20, 1932 in Otley, Iowa, the son of Antonie M. and Hattie Menninga Van Zee. At age 9 Raymond’s family moved from Otley to a farm west of Oskaloosa where he lived and farmed his entire life. In 1952 Raymond enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. On June 25, 1956, he was united in marriage to Ruth Jackson at Chicago, Illinois and they later divorced. To this union four children were born: Cal, Ken, Kim, and Cliff. In the spring of 1957, Ray and Ruth moved back to Oskaloosa to continue farming the family farm. In 1958, Ray lost his right arm in a farming accident but his love for the land wouldn’t allow anything to deter him from his chosen profession. Ray’s children and grandchildren were the center of his life. He also loved being outdoors, gardening, tinkering and fixing things, playing cards, grilling, cooking, and attending social events with his very special friend: Martha McGlothlen. Ray is well known for being very meticulous and always having a well-kept farm and yard. Ray had a love for all animals and could often be found feeding the strays that gathered around his house. He was a former member of the American Legion and a member of the Leighton Christian Reformed Church.
His family includes his children: Cal (& Lorraine) Van Zee of Laramie, Wyoming, Ken Van Zee of Oskaloosa, Kim Davis of Leighton, and Cliff (& Patty) Van Zee of Oskaloosa; 8 grandchildren; 8 great grandchildren; a very special friend: Martha McGlothlen of Oskaloosa; and three sisters: Leona (& Leonard) Jabaai of Colfax, Celia (& Mart) DeVries of Pella, and Patsy Vermeer of Oskaloosa.
Ray is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Art and Marvin Van Zee.
Funeral services were held Monday, December 31, 2012, in the Leighton Christian Reformed Church in Leighton with Pastor Alvern Boetsma officiating. Burial took place in the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa. Graveside military rites were given by members of the Oskaloosa American Legion and V.F.W. Visitation was held Sunday in the Bates Funeral Chapel.
Memorials may be made to the Good News Chapel or Mahaska Hospice.