Della Mae (Tucker) Van Gaalen was called home to be with her Lord on November 26, 2022 at the age of 94 years.
Della was born on October 14, 1928 in East Saugatuck, Michigan. She graduated from Reformed Bible Institute (Kuyper College) where she met Adrian during his short time at RBI. They were married in 1954 and Della moved with Adrian to his home in the Burdett area where they built a successful farm and raised a family of six. Della was also active in the Burdett community and church life. After many years on the farm in Burdett, Adrian and Della moved to Lethbridge. Adrian passed away in 1980 and Della continued living in Lethbridge. She especially enjoyed her senior years at her Grandview Village condo.
Throughout her life, Della used her education and her belief in the peace of Jesus Christ to spread the gospel of love. For a woman of her time, she was a trailblazer in unexpected ways as the first woman to serve on the Immanuel Christian school board and as a deacon at Maranatha church. Many were blessed and encouraged through her servant leadership. She was active in countless volunteer roles, such as leading Bible studies and church women’s societies, delivering Meals on Wheels, and serving on the King’s University Foundation. She initiated the Lethbridge area Friendship Club, a ministry for adults with developmental disabilities. Della was a philanthropist locally and internationally, caring for many important causes dear to her heart. All of this kept her busy over the years, and she found joy in leading, connecting with others, participating with her community and friends, and making a difference. She remained active until about age 90 when mobility and health problems got in her way.
All that said, it was truly her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren who were dear to her heart and brought a spark of joy to her eyes. She also cared deeply about her extended family of relatives near and far. She cherished her friends, many of whom have passed on, and a few treasured ones who remain and were special to her until the very end.
She loved to travel and among some of her favourite places were Kelowna, Iowa and Michigan to visit family. She enjoyed a few cruises, a bit of camping, and trips to Waterton where once she gave a goat a spunky slap on the butt when it was in her path on a hiking trail.
Della’s faith and hope in the Lord and courage in hard times served as an example to our family and to others who knew her.
Left to cherish her memory are her children Nolan (Dorenda) Van Gaalen, Dave (Marilyn) Van Gaalen, Bert Vreeken, Beverly (Tony) Cudrak, Art (Janet) Van Gaalen, Kathy (Dan) MacFarlane; her grandchildren and great grandchildren: Joelle (Alex Ehrich) Van Gaalen (Arie), Reuben Van Gaalen and partner Marina Djurdjevic, Ross Van Gaalen; Angela (Greg) Leighton (Liam, Olivia, Abigail), Chris Van Gaalen and partner Krystal Peters, Ryan Van Gaalen and fiance Courtney Pommen; Dayna Vreeken, Jesse (Leigh MacKenzie) Vreeken (Quinn), Natalie (Rylan) Thiessen (Arryn, Maverick), Jeremy Vreeken and partner Katrina Brouwer, Daniel Vreeken; Payden Van Gaalen, Dylan (Jennifer) Van Gaalen. She is also survived by sister Hazel (Bob) Ludema of Hudsonville, MI and many nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.
She is predeceased by her husband Adrian, daughter Donna Vreeken, grandson Galen Vreeken; parents Dena and Herman Tucker, siblings and their spouses: Julius (Gert) Tucker, Fannie (Harvey) Lampen, Irwin (Alice) Tucker, Justin (Geneva) Tucker, Howard (Ruth) Tucker, In-laws: Nellie (John) Vos, Geurdina (Herman) Vander Woude, Bertha (Bill) Williamson, Matt (Mary) Van Gaalen, Jo (Ed) Vos.
“He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in Heaven.” (from the Heidelberg Catechism, Q & A #1)
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm, on Friday, December 2, 2022 at MARANATHA CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH, 260 McGill Blvd W, Lethbridge, Alberta with Pastor Jim Zondervan, officiating.
A private family Interment will be held prior.
To watch Della’s service via livestream, please go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCua0ndvGcQvkahtBWQCTjAw
Flowers are gratefully declined. In lieu of flowers gifts may be made to Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge, 1103 3 Ave N, Lethbridge, AB T1H 0H7.
Interfaith Food Bank
1103 3 Ave N, Lethbridge AB T1H 0H7