Ron Branderhorst: Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Friend.
Ronald L. Branderhorst, age 70 of Monroe, died Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines just ½ hour before his 71st birthday. Celebration of life services will be held on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 3:00 PM at the Otley Reformed Church in Otley. The family will be present following the service from 4:00 - 7:00 PM to greet friends at the church. Memorials may be given to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Angel Tree Ministries or the American Cancer Society. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com.
To know Ron was to know a man of strong faith with a wonderful sense of humor and great quick wit. Born May 5, 1940 to Gysbert C. Branderhorst and Gertrude Wilma Van Zee Branderhorst he spent all of his life in the Monroe and Prairie City areas. On December 15, 1961, he married Sharon (Shary) Bandstra. They would have been married 50 years in December. Their long and happy marriage was filled with much laughter and many, many visits with family and friends. Ron loved having people stop by and share a cup of coffee with him.
Ron and Shary were the parents of 3 children: Bryan Lee Branderhorst (Deb Elrod); Sharyl Lynn Fosenburg; and Kristy Ann Wichhart (Dan). He was also the proud grandfather of 8 grandchildren: Staci Lynn and Joshua David Fosenburg; Chelsey Mae, Breanna Rae, Josie Lee and Gavin Lee Branderhorst; Ryan Ray and Kara Grace Wichhart and a special family friend, Zack Schrock. His greatest joy was seeing them drive on the yard and coming in to chat for awhile . . . the longer the better.
Ron graduated from Monroe High School in 1958 and attended one year at Central College. He began farming after graduation and that continued to be his life long career. He was a member of the Otley Reformed Church.
During his bout with cancer, Ron showed such courage and shared with his family and others what his faith in Christ meant to him. He taught us all how to face life's obstacles with faith, determination, courage, and humor. His greatest past time was listening to the Gaithers and others sing gospel music.
The next time you think of Ron, remember his ornery smile, his storytelling, and the humor he added to every event.
Shary and family, we are so sorry to hear of Ron's passing. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting him when you all came to TN for the reunion. May God spread His peace over all of you. Sincerely, Sharon and Jim Massengill
Ron was a great neighbor to us. I'm Ordell Birkenholtz's daughter. I have some pleasant memories of us getting together when we were young.
Though most of my dealings with Ron were technically business, I was always struck by how personable he was. He took life seriously, but not TOO seriously. I never recall a time when he was not upbeat, positive and sincere. It was a honor to know Ron.
My condolences to the family. Ron was a neighbor to my family, Ordell and Jean Birkenholtz. We spent many hours playing together on our farms. I remember that once I babysat at their house. I remember Shary as a beautiful, outgoing and friendly woman and am sorry to hear of Ron's passing but so glad he proclaimed Jesus as his Savior.
It was a joy to be around Ron & his family.Ron always had a smile it made you wander what was comming next. Life was fun for him. He made fun with life family & friends. Ron will be missed by all
Ron's death hit me hard. You see, he was my "forever" friend. We perhaps bonded because of the valued friendship our parents had for one another. Also Ron and I were the only ones in our class who were not Baptist or Methodist. We went to that church no one knew about, with a Reformed in it's name. Ron was always full of fun and loved to embarrass me. The nice thing about it was that I never felt he was putting me down. I really saw Ron grow spiritually as he battled this horrid enemy. He and I had truly grown in the Lord since those "Monroe High School" days. Now we talked about spiritual things. He shared how he was given time so he could witness. Yes, our conversations were completely different. We also shared the love we had for our families and how much it hurt when our daughters hurt. He was so proud of his grandchildren. He loved to tell about the youngest boy. It seems he was a lot like grandpa. I must tell you Shary, that someone told me this week that "you have very first class grandchildren." Shary, thank you for always sharing about Ron's health. You were a great partner to him, and your witness touched a lot of people. I'm sorry we cannot be at the services but we are leaving for Holland on Monday. We are going for our 50th Anniversary. Our love and sympathy will be with you on this day. Yes Ron, If you can hear us, I was one of the people who sent those "heart underwear" on Valentines Day 1959!!!! Love to your family, Muriel and John Vroom
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