Daryl Dean Van Steenis was born on March 27, 1946, to Ervin and Florence (Hackert) Van Steenis in Oskaloosa, Iowa. When Daryl was 2 years of age, his father Ervin passed away and the family moved into Pella, Iowa. During the time he lived in town, Daryl enjoyed living close to his grandparents and “building” things, bringing home anything he could with his coaster wagon. When he was six years of age his mother married Clarence Van Gorp and Daryl was thrilled to return to living on a farm. Florence’s three children, Vivian, Twyla, and Daryl and Clarence’s daughter, Arlene, became a close-knit, blended family, with Daryl always considering Clarence his dad.
Daryl spent his childhood on the farm with his family in the Sandridge neighborhood north of Pella, attending country school through the 8th grade. During high school, Daryl was active in F.F.A., participated in music, and played football; graduating from Pella High School with the Class of 1964. He then served his military obligation with the Army Reserves.
On October 15, 1966, he and Sandra Kay Roorda were united in marriage at the Trinity Reformed Church in Pella by her Uncle, Rev. John Engbers. Settling into married life on a farm in the Lower Grove neighborhood, they were blessed with three children, Brian Dean, Jana Dee, and Teresa Kay. In 1976 they purchased a farm in the Sandridge neighborhood north of Pella, near where Daryl grew up, and farmed there for the next 20 years along with his dad.
Farming was truly in his blood and was a passion that never dimmed. After leaving the farm in 1994, Daryl became a long-distance, over the road semi driver. During his travels driving truck, he talked most about the opportunities to share his testimony with others whom he had felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit. Sharing his faith and experiences with the Holy Spirit remained a part of his testimony for the remainder of his life. He also loved the 3 weeks per year when Sandy joined him in the semi. They traveled together all over the country, selecting tourist attractions and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation all around America. In many ways, this became the retirement they were able to have together; the main difference being they were paid while they did it.
After his illness began to significantly decline in the fall of 2010, Daryl endured the change in health with a peace and assurance that remained until his death, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday morning, September 26, 2012, at the age of 66 years.
Daryl is survived by his wife, Sandy, three children, and their families: Brian Van Steenis and children: Jacob Dean and Jaden Grace of Urbandale, Iowa; Jana and Bobby Dean Schuring and their four children: Justin Dean, Shawn Andrew, Tara Grace, and Jessica Ann currently of Murray, Kentucky; Teresa and Joel Tad Miller and their two children: Zachary Joel and Brianna Kay of Johnston, Iowa. Daryl leaves his two sisters and their husbands: Vivian and Marvin Hiemstra of Knoxville, Iowa, Twyla and John Oppenhuizen of Yorktown, Virginia; his brother-in-law, Ray Vander Wiel and his wife, Shirley, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; his mother-in-law, Minnie (DenBesten) Roorda of Pella; along with the following sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Eunice (Roorda) and Tom Bollen of Fort Plain, New York, Ed and Gloria Roorda of North Chili, New York, Bruce and Denise Roorda of Marshalltown, Iowa. Daryl was preceded in death by his father, Ervin Van Steenis, his parents, Clarence and Florence Van Gorp; his sister, Arlene Vander Wiel; and his father-in-law, Edgar Roorda.
Daryl was a member of the First Reformed Church in Pella all his life, where he served as a Deacon, an Elder, and taught Heidelberg Catechism to High School students for many years. He was deliberate in his desire to mentor students to have a heart for Jesus. Besides his family, his two passions were Southern Gospel music and the Holy Spirit. As part of his testimonial, Daryl said his life was not his own. Through his illness, he gained yet another dimension in his spirituality, feeling even more aware of God’s presence. He freely witnessed to many how he was comfortable with his life, after all he was, “ Going Home.”
Funeral services were held on Sunday, September 30, 2012 at the First Reformed Church in Pella. Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.