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Obituary Listings

Willis VanRoekel

July 22, 1947 February 9, 2017
Willis VanRoekel
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Obituary for Willis VanRoekel

Willis LeRoy VanRoekel “Posse” was born July 22, 1947 to John and Aldine (Vermeer) VanRoekel in Sioux Center, Iowa. He grew up on the farm in Orange City, Iowa. Willis was baptized and made his profession of faith at First Reformed Church in Orange City. He graduated high school in 1965 from Maurice-Orange City High School and then continued his education at Iowa State University Ames having graduated in 1969 with a degree in animal science. He was then drafted into the United States Army and served in the 101st Airborne during Vietnam. In 1969, he received distinction as 101st Airborne Soldier of the Year. He was honorably discharged in 1971 and returned back to Pipestone, Minnesota. Willis was united in marriage to Janice Westley on March 24, 1972 at Peace United Methodist Church in Pipestone. Their union was blessed with two children, Michael and Melissa and 44 years marriage together. The couple lived in Blomkest, Minnesota shortly before moving to Sterling, Illinois in 1974 when Willis was transferred to Funk’s G Hybrid Seed Corn Company where he was the area district sales representative. Willis then worked as an independent insurance agent within the Schuneman-VanRoekel Insurance Company he had started. In 1988, the family moved to Pipestone, Minnesota where he owned and operated the Pipestone Vault and Monument Company. In 1993, they bought the Ready-Mix plant and began the underground construction work company operating under the name of Pipestone Concrete. In 1999, they sold the plant to Buffalo Ridge Concrete and Willis went to work as construction superintendent for Ames Construction out of Denver, Colorado. In 2010, Willis retired and then managed the Pipestone American Legion, retiring in 2015. Due to health complications from Amyloidosis (an Agent Orange related illness) Willis died at his home in Pipestone on February 9, 2017 at the age of 69 years.

Willis was a member of Peace United Methodist Church in Pipestone, a lifetime member and past commander of the American Legion and VFW, and a member of the Hiawatha Club. He enjoyed golf, coffee, dice, hunting, fishing, and in recent years – scooter riding. He especially enjoyed family and attending his grandchildren’s activities. He was named “Posse” by his beloved grandchildren. Posse will be remembered as a strong, hardworking man with an entrepreneurial spirit. He was a kind man and enjoyed everyone he met.

Willis is lovingly remembered by his wife, Janice of Pipestone; two children, Michael (and Carissa) VanRoekel of Edgerton, Minnesota, and Melissa (and Dan) Scotting of Pipestone, Minnesota; grandchildren, Tate VanRoekel, Trent VanRoekel, DJ Scotting, Katie Scotting, and Declan VanRoekel; siblings, Harlan (and Janice) VanRoekel of Orange City, Iowa, Orville (and Jeanne) VanRoekel of Hospers, Iowa, Marlene DeGeest of Spokane, Washington, Jerris (and Tamara) VanRoekel of Denver, Colorado; a sister-in-law, Sharon VanRoekel of Denver, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Aldine; siblings, Elwin VanRoekel, Leroy and Leila VanRoekel; and a brother-in-law, Bob DeGeest. Blessed and eternal be his memory.

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

14

Feb

4:00 PM 2/14/2017 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 2/14/2017 8:00:00 PM
Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel

710 SE 4th St.
PO Box 351
Pipestone, MN 56164

Hartquist Funeral Home - Pipestone Chapel
710 SE 4th St. Pipestone 56164 MN
United States

Service

Wednesday

15

Feb

10:30 AM 2/15/2017 10:30:00 AM
Peace United Methodist Church - Pipestone

500 7th St SE
Pipestone, MN 56164

Peace United Methodist Church - Pipestone
500 7th St SE Pipestone 56164 MN
United States
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