Maynard Van Roekel Obituary

Maynard Blair Van Roekel
Maynard Blair Van Roekel

May 2, 1933 - September 1, 2023
Born in Oskaloosa, Iowa
Resided in Iowa Falls, Iowa
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Maynard Van Roekel was born on May 2, 1933 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Art Van Roekel and Nellie Breuklander. Although he only lived in Pella for a few years before the family moved to Des Moines, he was always proud of his Dutch heritage and closely connected to his many aunts, uncles and cousins. Maynard died Friday, September 1, 2023 at the Rehabilitation Center of Hampton with his family at his side.

Maynard graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1951 and went to work for Northwestern Bell as a lineman. He then attended Radio TV tech school in Chicago before joining Boeing Aircraft in 1952 where he worked on repairing bombing and navigation systems.

Maynard joined the Air Force in 1955 and was stationed in Denver, Colorado where he taught electronics. He met his wife Betty in the youth group of a Presbyterian Church where they married in 1957. Maynard was discharged in 1959, and they moved to Boone, Iowa so that Maynard could attend Iowa State University.

Maynard graduated in 1965 with a degree in Operational Engineering and went to work for IBM as a Systems Engineer, traveling all over the state of Iowa tailoring software to meet his clients’ needs until he retired in 1988. Maynard and Betty raised 3 kids in West Des Moines where they were active members of Covenant Presbyterian Church. Maynard lent his powerful bass voice to the church choir for several decades. They moved to Johnston after retirement. They continued to live there for several years, spending winters in Prescott, AZ where they were very active in a local hiking group. After 49 years of marriage, Betty passed away in 2006, and Maynard moved to retirement communities in Ankeny and then Iowa Falls where he spent the last 10 years.

Maynard was an avid model railroader with a lifelong fascination for steam engines. He created an index for the Narrow Gauge Short Line Gazette to facilitate sharing his love of all things train related with other model railroaders. He was also a skilled woodworker, building beautiful walnut desks, tables, dressers and other furniture, and he shared his expertise with others as president for the Woodworkers Association of Des Moines. Maynard loved camping in national parks, taking the family on long trips across nearly every state in the US as well as Canada and Mexico.

Maynard is survived by his 3 children: Kathy (Philip) Broer of Iowa Falls, Iowa, Karen Van Roekel of Alexandria, Virginia, and Kirk (Young) Van Roekel of Elgin, Texas; 5 grandchildren: Sarah (Ryder) Broer, Henry Broer, Sarah Clark, Ace Van Roekel, and David Van Roekel, his brother Art Van Roekel, and sister Marcia Van Roekel, several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Betty whom he mourned until his death.

A memorial visitation with family present will be from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, Sunday, October 8, 2023 at Iles Westover Chapel, 6337 Hickman Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50322. The family will meet the following day, Monday, October 9, 2023 at 10:30am for interment of his urn at Oak Wood Cemetery, Pella, Iowa.

Maynard's visitation will be live streamed on the Iles website. Go to just before 3:00pm Sunday, October 8, and scroll to the bottom of his obituary for the link to join the visitation.






Iles Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Sunday, October 8, 2023
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Oakwood Cemetery
4447 E Oakwood Drive
Pleasant Hill, Iowa 50327
Monday, October 9, 2023
10:30 AM
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