First Responders 04

Donald Ray Van Baale

October 31, 1934 ~ March 7, 2019 (age 84) 84 Years Old


Donald R. Van Baale was born October 31, 1934, on a farm near Monroe, Iowa to Martha Marie Koder Van Baale and Jacob R. Van Baale.  Don was a lifelong resident of Monroe.  Don attended Monroe schools. Don and Marilyn were married June 9, 1954, at the First Presbyterian Church in Newton, Iowa.  Don and Marilyn raised their family in Monroe. Don loved to cook and cooked all the meals for the family.  He was well known for making all the pies for all the holidays, sometimes 10 or 12 pies in a day.  When the kids were small they helped him in a cake decorating business where he made wedding, graduation, and birthday cakes.  Don's day job was managing the PAG/Cargill Company's Corn Plant in Monroe.  Don eventually retired with more than fifty years of service with the PAG/Cargill Company.  Don volunteered much of his life to the organizations that were important to the community.  He volunteered for more than 30 years on the Monroe Fire Department.  He was one of the first 5 EMTs to assist the people of Monroe on the Monroe ambulance.  Don served many years on the Monroe School Board, where he was a great supporter of teachers and quality education.  Don also served multiple terms as the Mayor of Monroe.  In their spare time, Don and Marilyn loved to camp.   Don and Marilyn volunteered as greeters at the Red Rock Dam Visitors Center, every Saturday and Sunday during the summer, and a few other days when needed.   Don and Marilyn were recognized by the Army Corp of Engineers for their 50,000 hours of volunteer service at the Visitors Center.  In return for the many hours of their volunteering, they were provided a free camp site at Red Rock.  Don was an avid fisherman and until the very end he loved to drive the countryside scouting deer and looking for bald eagles and other wildlife. 

Don died in the early morning hours of Thursday March 7, 2019, at Mercy One Newton.  Those who preceded him in death are his parents, his brother Marvin “Louie” Van Houweling and his sister Eva Curtis. 

He will be forever missed by his wife of over 64 years Marilyn; his daughter Darcy (Lynn) Van Baale of Crystal, MN; his son Bradley “Sparky” (Joanna) Van Baale;  his grandchildren Randy Masterson (Jamie), Curtis Masterson (Shantel) and Travis Van Baale; his great grandchildren Kayla, Sara, Brandon, Jaysee, Chase, Payton, and Haylie and a very special Aunt, Margaret Bailey.

A time to Celebrate Don’s Life with his family and friends will be held Saturday, March 23, 2019, at the Monroe City Hall, from 2pm until 4pm.   A private family burial will be held at a later date.  For those desiring, in lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by memorials to Monroe Fire and Rescue.

Johnson Funeral Service is honored to care for Don and assist his family with arrangements.

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