Melvin Vander Hoek

Melvin Vander Hoek

Melvin Vander Hoek
May 19, 1930 – April 11, 2023
Bettendorf, Iowa | Age 92

Melvin Arlie Vander Hoek, 92, of Bettendorf, Iowa passed away on April 11, 2023 in Chesterfield, Missouri. Melvin was born in Leighton, Iowa on May 19, 1930, the son of Ben and Frances Vander Hoek. Melvin was the eldest of seven children.

Mel grew up in the Oskaloosa area and attended school there, graduating from high school in the spring of 1948. Mel worked in the building trades until he was drafted into the Army in October of 1951.

Lorraine Vander Linden was a high-school classmate of Mel’s and a frequent roller-skating partner at both Oskaloosa and Ottumwa rinks. They both loved the sport and as a result of those skating dates, a life-long romance began.

While in the service Mel and Lorraine married on December 24, 1951.

After Mel’s release from the Army in the Fall of 1953, the couple moved to Iowa City where he entered the University of Iowa in the college of engineering. He graduated in 1959 with a degree in electrical engineering and subsequently accepted an engineering position with Caterpillar Tractor Company in Peoria Illinois.

The couple started their family in Peoria as well. They had two children, Tim, born in August of 1959, and Darcy, born in March of 1963.

In 1967 Mel received a well-deserved promotion and was transferred to a new plant in Mount Joy, Iowa. Mel was fortunate to work with his first Cat boss at the new plant, Jack Baker, who he greatly admired. Jack and Mel worked together with a great team for many years. The team was a close-knit bunch and their friendships continued all of Mel’s life.

Mel was involved in many activities outside of his job at Cat. He generously gave his time to his church, Asbury Methodist, the boy scouts, the Red Cross, and the Nature Conservancy. Mel committed many years of service to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), including multiple camp outs, Pinewood derbies, Klondike derbies in sub-freezing temperatures, and weekly troop meetings. He eventually decided that he could provide management guidance to the BSA and became a district chairman for the Illowa council. After contributing so many years to scouting, Mel was awarded with their highest honor for adult district volunteers; the Silver Beaver in 1982.

Mel and Lorraine lived in Bettendorf, Iowa but made many trips to Missouri and Arizona over the years to take advantage of the appropriate weather befitting retired people.

Mel is survived by his wife of 71 years, Lorraine; a son, Timothy Joel (& Cathleen) Vander Hoek, and daughter, Darcy Dawn (& David) Barnes.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ben and Frances Vander Hoek; and two of his six siblings, Theodore and Eleanor.

Visitation with family will be Wednesday April 19, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Bates Funeral Chapel, Oskaloosa, Iowa. Funeral services will be Thursday April 20, 2023 at 10:30 am in the Bates Funeral Chapel.
Burial will be at the Forest Cemetery in Oskaloosa, Iowa following the service. Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.
A reception will be held at Debbie’s Celebration Barn after the graveside services.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like memorials sent to:
Asbury United Methodist Church
1809 Mississippi Blv.
Bettendorf, Iowa 52722

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Melvin Vander Hoek please visit the Bates Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

Posted by on Apr 12 2023. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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