Donald J. Meester

Donald J. Meester, 89, of Holland, Iowa, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 4, 2024 of natural causes. His family was by his side.

Don was born the son, and only child, of Harry and Jessie Meester on January 2, 1935 in rural Holland, Iowa. He graduated from Parkersburg High School, Parkersburg, Iowa.

Don met the love of his life, Mary Lou Arends, while she was working for VanEman and Mulder attorneys in Parkersburg. On September 21, 1962 the couple were united in marriage at First Congregational Church in Parkersburg. The couple made their home in rural Holland, Iowa. There they raised three children, Donna, Jon and Evan in what they considered a fairytale life, in the home where Don had been born. When Mary Lou fell ill in 2020 they moved to Omaha, Nebraska; but never lost their ties to Dutch Valley Farms, which would always be “home.”

Don was a strong Christian and a member of Pleasant Valley Reformed Church in rural Holland. He enjoyed listening to Christian music, the local Layman Quartet being one of his favorites. In 2018 Dutch Valley Farms was recognized as an 150 year old Iowa Heritage Farm; it had also been home to Dutch Valley Angus in his early farming career. Family was always a top priority of Don’s, which fed his interest into researching his family’s ancestry. The result was a very comprehensive book and follow-up. He also penned notes and stories in a collection he titled “Aunt Nettie’s diaries”. Don loved all sports. Because of his daughter’s affiliation with The University of Alabama, he spent many winters in Tuscaloosa and became a huge Alabama football fan, traveling as a guest of the president to many playoff and championship games. The Parkersburg Lion’s Club provided Don the opportunity to be active in his community. He served as the president of this organization and was recognized as “Lion of the Year”. Don was a very talented woodworker and made the majority of wood furnishings in their house, many made from trees on the farm. He later specialized in smaller items and was known for his beautiful pen making. He loved sharing his craft and recently sold many of his creations at the Independent Living facility where he lived. He was proud to contribute all proceeds, almost $2,000, to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He became known as “The man who does woodworking” or “The man who wears car shirts” at his place of residence. He was proud to wear his collection of shirts printed with vintage cars or Farmall tractors.

He enjoyed the many car trips the family took and in later years with Mary Lou, having visited almost every state in the union, as well as Caribbean cruises with family. Papa Don treasured his visits with his grandchildren, Blake and Bailey, with whom he enjoyed eating ice cream.

He was preceded in death by his parents and Mary Lou.

Don is survived by his daughter, Donna Meester of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; son, Jon Meester of Holland, Iowa; son Evan Meester (Jessica) and two grandchildren, Blake and Bailey Meester, all of Omaha, Nebraska.

Visitation will be February 18, 2024 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Abels Funeral and Cremation Service in Grundy Center, Iowa. The funeral service will be February 19, 2024 at 10:30am at Pleasant Valley Reformed Church in rural Holland, Iowa. Following a brief reception after the service, Don will be laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery in Grundy Center, Iowa, exactly two years after Mary Lou. Memorials may be directed to Lake View Camp in Pella, Iowa or directly to the family.

Click here to visit the Abels Funeral and Cremation Service website.


The Grundy Register

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