David Francis De Vilder, 77, died peacefully in his rural Brooklyn home on Christmas Day, 2021. He was surrounded by his beloved childhood sweetheart and wife, Margery, their children, Danny, Rachel, Anna, Elizabeth, and extended family.
No funeral service is planned at this time, a Celebration of Life Remembrance service will be planned for a later date.
David was born on January 24, 1944, to Freddie and Margaret (Lavent) De Vilder, in Moline, Illinois. David met Margery in the sixth grade at Brooklyn Elementary after his one room schoolhouse closed. He graduated from BGM high school in 1962. David was offered a full ride football scholarship to the University of Iowa, attending briefly before leaving to go back to Brooklyn to marry Margery. He farmed with his father-in-law, the late Herbert (and Frances) Kleiss. Dave’s awakening spiritual faith led him to enroll in Central Christian College of the Bible in 1965, moving with Margery and Danny to Moberly, Missouri. Dave finished his Bachelor of Arts in Ministry in 1969 after completing his senior year at Lincoln Christian College, Lincoln, IL. He immediately began a full-time preaching ministry in Hurst, Illinois. There, he and Margery adopted 8-day old Rachel, and 7 months after the adoption moved their family to Germany as missionaries. They served first in West Berlin (1972-1976) before moving to Munich (1977-1979). While in Berlin, their daughter, Anna Maria was born. Dave started his Master of Arts (Theology/Philosophy) at Lincoln Christian Seminary in 1976 while his family stayed in Brooklyn, Iowa, during their one year of furlough. Dave and Margery moved their family back to the farm in 1980. David farmed both his and Margery’s parents’ land. He started a dairy operation before transitioning to livestock and grain. More importantly, Dave and Marge welcomed baby Elizabeth in 1983 providing quite a surprise to all! Dave retired from farming in 1998 to enter the manufacturing workforce, retiring from Magna Mfg. in 2007. He and Margery then focused on their gardening, Grinnell Farmers Market and truck farming operations until his death.
Dave is survived by his wife Margery (Kleiss), son Daniel (Angie) DeVilder, daughters Rachel (Wes) Taylor, Anna De Vilder, and Elizabeth (Bryan) Morgan; grandchildren Maya, Natasha, Dylan, Hayden, Caleb (Andrea), Alani, Zoë, Cheyenne, Taegan, Anneliese, Christian, Faith, Dakota; great grandchildren Sully, Jaeda, Lincoln, Vivienne; his sisters, Mary O’Connor, Carolyn (Lyle) Roudabush, Chris (Steven) George; his brothers Sam De Vilder and Jeff (Sara) De Vilder. He was preceded in death by his parents, his infant brother, Ronald, sister, Cindy (John) Lurkens, and brother, Jerry.
Dave was a deep thinker, a hard worker, a direct communicator, a man whose boundaries were clear to all. He was always open to learning and loved applying his mind to new challenges whether it was learning German or starting a vineyard. Dave expressed his love to family and community through personal visits and showing compassion in times of need. He also served his faith family at Madison Church of Christ in many ways, including teaching Bible study and blessing from the abundance from his garden. Most of all, Dave loved the Lord. His relationship with Jesus took root during a difficult childhood and shaped his path. His faith was consistent and intensely personal. In his last week on earth, several friends and family came forward, expressing their deep gratitude for Dave’s part in encouraging them to follow Jesus, both now and for eternity. We miss Dave already, but rejoice that he is now in the very presence of his Savior.