John A. Vander Schel, 79, of Newton died on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at St. Francis in Grinnell, surrounded by Arlene, family and friends. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, May 31, 2019, at the Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton. The family will greet friends from 10-11 a.m., Friday, at the church. Memorials to John’s family may be left at church or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory (checks made payable to Kent Vander Schel or Jennifer Beyer).
John, the son of Cyrus and LaBertha (Sneller) Vander Schel, was born on March 26, 1940 in Marion County, Iowa. He graduated from Newton High School in 1959. John served his country in the U.S. Army from 1963-1965 as a radar mechanic and a rifle marksman. In addition to working in the art department at the Vernon Company, John owned and operated Van’s Taxidermy. He was a member of the UAW Local 997, American Legion Post 111, Moose Lodge, and the Iowa Taxidermists Association. More recently, John became a volunteer at Berg and Aurora Heights where he enjoyed listening to children read.
John is survived by his children, Kent (Sheila) Vander Schel of Kellogg and Jennifer (Terry) Beyer of Newton; grandchildren, A.J. Vander Schel, Afton (Jon) Karns, Sam Day, Mitch Day, Colton Beyer, Jacey Beyer, Gage Longacre, and Kamden Longacre; his great-grandchildren, Jonny and Jett Karns; siblings, Cynthia (Jerry) Poots of Newton, Burt (Suzie) Vander Schel of Newton, Marilyn (Chuck) Johnson of Fort Dodge, Ron (Mary Kaye) Vander Schel of Newton, and Bruce (Beth) Vander Schel of Iowa City; many nieces and nephews; and his very special companion, Arlene Van Voorhis. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Justin Vander Schel; and a sister, Dorothy Bailey.