Wilma L van Gilst

Is your surname van Gilst?

Research the van Gilst family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Wilma L van Gilst

Birthplace: Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa, USA
Death: October 14, 2015 (85)
Pella, Marion County, Iowa, USA
Place of Burial: Oak Wood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, USA
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Hubert Van Gilst and Dora Van Gilst
Wife of Cleo Marvin Brush; Leon Hubert Kaldenberg; Alfred Vander Werff and Gilbert N. Steenhoek
Mother of Private and Private

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
view all

Immediate Family

About Wilma L van Gilst

Wilma L. Kaldenberg was born April 6, 1930, in the Mahaska County Hospital, Oskaloosa, the third daughter of Hubert and Dora (Van Ommen) Van Gilst in Mahaska County. She attended Pleasant View and Pleasant Grove Elementary Schools in Mahaska County and graduated from Pella High School in 1947.

Wilma married Gilbert Steenhoek in October 1950, in her family's home, and they lived on a farm near Galesburg. In December 1950, Gilbert entered the military and was sent to Ft. Benning, Georgia. During this time, his parents moved to the farm to carry on with the farming operation. Wilma spent time with her parents and grandparents, and six months later joined Gilbert in Ft. Benning. Lila was born during this time in Georgia, and Kyle was born after the family returned to the farm in Iowa. Gilbert died tragically in 1955, when a building he was helping to raze collapsed on him. Wilma, Lila, and Kyle moved to Pella, living in two different homes. During her time in Pella, Wilma did secretary work in both 3rd Reformed Church and Central College. She married Alfred Vander Werff in December 1961, and with the children moved and enjoyed life on his family farm on the Marion/Jasper County line along the Skunk River. The combined family included Alfred's sons Jim and Larry. About this time, Wilma graduated from Central College and started teaching in Pella and then Lynnville-Sully. In early 1974, Alfred passed away from cancer. On April 6 of that year Wilma had her first date with Cleo Brush. In October they were married at the Little Brown Church. Cleo's daughter, Sheryl Van Weelden was added to the family. Sadly, on her 45th birthday in 1975, he passed away, also from cancer after barely completing the new home in Lynnville that they were building

When Lynnville- Sully needed a resource room for students with learning disablities, Wilma attended Drake University summers and some evenings to earn her Masters degree in special education in 1977. Shortly before this, Wilma married Leon Kaldenberg in 1976. They were married 27 years until his death in 2003. During this time, Wilma enjoyed having "Books Etcetera," a home-based Christian Book and Gift business in the lower level of her home. Leon and Wilma set up their business at the State Fair for several years, more as a mission than a business.

Wilma accepted Christ as her Savior at an early age and, as a teenager, made a public confession of her faith in Third Reformed Church in Pella. In 1975 she transferred her membership to the Friends Church in Lynnville, embracing the Friends belief in the simplicity of life. At both churches she was very involved in church ministries, including women's groups and teaching Sunday School. She also directed the senior citizen's group and made food for the church quilting group. After her retirement in 1995, she spent time writing, including three weekly columns in local newpapers.

After Leon's death, Wilma completed a four semester Bible correspondence course and an individualized mentoring program, and was recorded as a minister in the Friends Church, not because of her wish to be a church pastor, but because it was a goal she felt God wanted her to reach.

In May 2012, Wilma moved to Fair Haven East in Pella, as she became aware of some memory issues. In June 2013, she moved to the Cottages where she received excellent care for further physical and mental issues, where she passed away October 14, 2015.

As a song that Wilma loved states, "These Jars of Clay are but a Prison." Wilma's body was released and set free in a place she has been longing to go for some time.

Wilma was happiest when she was sharing the faith that had carried her throughout her life, with others, in any way she could.What an example this is for all of us who are left to follow.

Those left to cherish her memory are her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and step children and their families. Wilma is also survived by her sisters: Tana Mae (Mrs. Bernie) Van Roekel, Dorothy Vander Linden, and Bernice Dodge, sisters-in-law: Pauline De Cook and Helen Steenhoek, and a host of relatives and friends.

Lila Turnbull Pella, Iowa Hanson (Jessica) Turnbull Byers, Coloado Victoria, Chandler, Clayton, Remington Brantly Travis (Sarah) Turnbull Pella, Iowa Treyton, Stella, Sayer Seamus Turnbull Windemere, Florida

Kyle (Cindy McCurry) Steenhoek Pella, Iowa Kevin Steenhoek St Paul, Minnesota Amber Kingery Sierra Vista, Arizona Michael (Melissa) Steenhoek Springfield, Missouri Emily, Sarah Samantha McCurry San Fransisco, California Hayes McCurry Iowa City, Iowa

view all

Wilma L van Gilst's Timeline

April 6, 1930
Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa, USA
October 14, 2015
Age 85
Pella, Marion County, Iowa, USA
Oak Wood Cemetery, Pella, Marion County, Iowa, USA