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Norman John Van Enter

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February 16, 1936  — february 6, 2024 

Norman John Van Enter, son of Albert and Louise (Dykstra) Van Enter, was born on February 16, 1936 near Parker, South Dakota. 

He graduated from Spencer High School in 1953 and served two years in the army. He married DeAnne Rae Welle on December 8, 1956. They then moved to Paramount, California. In 1958, they welcomed their daughter, Tamara.

California was warm and exciting, but with a growing family, they grew home sick for family in Iowa so moved to Sioux Falls, SD and then Sioux City, IA where he continued to work for the Bell Telephone company. In 1962, their second daughter, Carla, was born. Norman and DeAnne were founding members of the Morningside Reformed Church where Norman served as deacon and elder. 

In 1972, he had the opportunity to move into management with Directory Assistance with Northwestern Bell. This change moved the family to Urbandale, Iowa. In 1986, he was offered early retirement when AT&T and Bell Telephone were split up. While they were in Urbandale, they were members of Meredith Drive Reformed Church.

After retirement, Norman and DeAnne enjoyed traveling and participated in several mission trips with Christian Reformed World Relief. They also helped at the mission camp run by Frank and Marie Drown on Dog Lake in Canada. He and DeAnne worked side by side to remodel their homes and build garages. He became a self-taught jack-of-all trades.

In 1991, they moved back to northwest Iowa to be closer to family and became members of the First Reformed Church of Clay County where Norm again served as an elder. After this church closed, they became members of Hope Reformed Church in Spencer, IA, where they were still members.

Starting in 1986, they began vacationing and eventually wintering in Arizona. 

It was in Apache Junction, Arizona where he passed away after a brief illness on February 6, 2024, at the age of 87. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10 AM on Saturday, May 25th at Hope Reformed Church in Spencer, Iowa following visitation starting at 9 AM. Internment will follow at the First Reformed Church of Clay County Cemetery. 

All who knew him will miss his dry sense of humor, kind and gentle attention to detail, his skill at coaxing crying babies to sleep, his ability to build and fix anything, playing games and cards with him, being pulled behind the boat where he taught anyone who wanted to learn how to water-ski.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters, Ardelle Van Enter and Phyllis (Van Enter) Nielsen, brothers-in-laws Donald Nielsen, Bud, Jerry, Bill, John and Mike Welle and sisters-in-law, Jeannine Winter and Bonnie Welle and grandson, Chris Testino. He is survived by his wife, DeAnne, daughters, Tamara (Robert) EnTin of Clarion, Iowa, and Carla (Ed) van Holsteijn of Spencer, Iowa. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Nick and Andy Testino, Liz (Aaron) Annis, Alex, David (Mindy), Richard (Lynette) and Michael EnTin, Devin (Elise) and Maia (Alison DeMartino) van Holsteijn. He is further survived by six great-grandchildren, Adriana and Enzo Annis, Tristan, Gabriel, Eloise and Chloe van Holsteijn, and many more relatives and friends. 

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