Ernest Klaaren

Ernest Klaaren

Ernest Klaaren
February 24, 1929 – November 7, 2020
Oskaloosa, Iowa | Age 91
Served With Honor ~ United States Military Veteran

Ernest Klaaren, 91, of Oskaloosa, passed away Saturday morning, November 7, 2020, at the Oskaloosa Care Center.
Ernest John Klaaren, son of Wilfred James and Anna Jacoba Wilhelmina (Cornelissen) Klaaren, was born February 24, 1929, at his parents’ home near Leighton, Iowa.

The family soon moved to a farm near Eddyville, where Ernie attended numerous country schools, including Coal Field School. He graduated from Eddyville High School in 1947 and then went to work at Morrell’s Meat Packing Plant in Ottumwa.

Ernie married the love-of-his-life, Betty Jean Van Zetten, on September 22, 1950, at Central Reformed Church in Oskaloosa.

He and Betty made their home in Oskaloosa until he was inducted into the U.S. Army, February 26, 1951. He was initially trained in Indiana and then was sent to serve in Germany. Following his discharge, Ernie returned to Mahaska County, and he and Betty settled on a farm near Fremont. Ernie enjoyed raising Angus cattle and hogs besides field crops. When he and Betty moved to Oskaloosa in 1991, Ernie farmed for nearly 40 years.

Ernie liked to volunteer, taking people to doctors’ visits and other appointments, and while in Fremont, he kept the township cemeteries mowed. He and Betty were active in the Mahaska County Conservation Commission for over 30 years. They spent countless hours cleaning up dumpsites and improving the countryside. Ernie and Betty made many dear friends while farming near Fremont; monthly card club with friends was a tradition they maintained for over 50 years. Ernie served as a 4-H leader when his children were young; he enjoyed attended their ballgames and continued to enjoy attending high school sporting events even after his children had graduated.

Ernie was a member of the Central Reformed Church; he served as an elder over the years and belonged to the Men’s Brotherhood. In his retirement years, he took many work trips with the church and served with Habitat for Humanity. He took great pride in keeping the church’s hedges and bushes neatly trimmed, as well as helping many others with their yard work too. During the numerous years that Ernie farmed, he enjoyed his dogs’ companionship and often treated them with an ice cream cone when he was in Fremont on business. Ernie’s faith was the foundation of his life; he lived the Golden Rule each day. His family recalls he could sometimes be heard singing hymns while he worked.

Ernie’s family includes a son and daughter-in-law, Larry & Mary Klaaren of New Lenox, IL; two daughters and sons-in-law: Susan & Bruce Thornal of Greeley, CO and Beth & Steve Terpstra of Oskaloosa; four grandchildren and their spouses: Heather & Scott Gilroy of Cedar Falls, IA, Wes & Holly Terpstra of Oskaloosa; Zachary Klaaren of Chicago, IL and Zoe Klaaren (fiancé -Austin Murray) of Washington, IL; two step-granddaughters: Jenn & Shane Bauman and Krista Lancaster, all of Castle Rock, CO; five great-grandchildren and six step-great-grandchildren; a sister, Marilyn Jones of Greenville, TX; four brothers-in-law and two sisters-in-law: Byron Engelhoven of Oskaloosa, Gilbert Visser of Oskaloosa, Lawrence & Claudia Van Zetten of Custer, SD, and Jim & Diane Van Zetten of Grand Rapids, MI.

Ernie was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 64 years, Betty; an infant son, Ernest Gene; an infant great-grandson, Noah Gilroy; three sisters and a brother-in-law: Martha and Harold Nieuwsma, Evelyn Engelhoven, and Mildred Visser; and a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Helen and Clarence Van Heukelom.

A private graveside service with Pastor Marvin Knoot of Central Reformed Church officiating will be held for Ernest at Forest Cemetery.
Those wishing to view the service will be posted to Langkamp Funeral Chapel’s YouTube channel on Wednesday afternoon.
A visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, at Langkamp Funeral Chapel.
According to the rules put in place by the Iowa Department of Public Health, proper social distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment are advised for attending this public event.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer Association or the Central Reformed Church Building fund.

Posted by on Nov 8 2020. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


Search Archive

Search by Date
Search by Category
Search with Google
Log in | Copyright by Oskaloosa News