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Gerald "Jerry" VandeBerg


1919 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
Gerald "Jerry" VandeBerg Obituary
Gerald "Jerry" VandeBerg

West Des Moines

Gerald "Jerry" C. VandeBerg, 93, passed away peacefully in his sleep on March 6, 2013. At his request, his body has been donated to Des Moines University Medical School.

Jerry was born in Sioux Center, IA on May 1, 1919, graduated from Sioux Center High School in 1936, and attended Northwestern College in Orange City and Central College in Pella. It was there; during the annual Pella Tulip Festival that he met the love of his life, Freda Zwank. They were married September 22, 1940 first living in Pella, then later Waterloo and Cedar Falls before moving to Des Moines in 1963.

A veteran of WWII, Jerry served in the Army Corps of Engineers. He served faithfully in the Presbyterian Church as a long-term, ordained elder, member of the Board of Trustees, Sunday School teacher, choir member (and often soloist), in addition to the many quiet acts of faithfulness to God, always setting the example for others.

During Jerry's 37-year airline career he held various management positions with Mid-Continent Air Lines and Braniff International Airways. As Mid-Continent's chief station manager in Waterloo, he was responsible for modernizing the airport and introducing scheduled passenger service; the inaugural flight was on February 1, 1948.

In 1963 he transferred to the Des Moines International Airport, and retired June 1, 1981. Following retirement, he was the Des Moines representative for SMB Stagelines for 6 years and served on the Des Moines Airport Policy Advisory Board and the DSM International Airport Board for 13 years, where he was a charter member and vice-chairman.

Everywhere he lived, Jerry was actively involved in community affairs. He was a member of various chambers of commerce, served on the Cedar Falls School Board and was President of the Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce and served on its board. Upon his retirement from Braniff he was honored with several awards, including the Key to the City, presented by the Mayor of Des Moines.

He was an avid reader and world traveler, loved singing and enjoyed golf and his many close friends, but above all these he most cherished his faith and his family; his wife of more than 72 years, Freda, their 3 children, 10 grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is survived by his loving wife Freda, sons Alan VandeBerg of Urbandale, Jim VandeBerg (Lin) of Runnells, daughter Pamela (Bruce) Chester of Clovis, CA and sister Sandra (Virgil) Truman of Waterloo. Jerry knew he was fortunate to have Bob and Tineke Grammer of Texas as his best friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 6 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison, Des Moines, where he was a member of nearly forty years.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial contributions be directed to Westminster Church. Online condolences may be shared at IlesCares.com.

Published in Des Moines Register from Mar. 9 to Mar. 11, 2013
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