Cover photo for John Vander Molen's Obituary
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1929 John 2017

John Vander Molen

August 9, 1929 — October 19, 2017

John R. “Wimp” Vander Molen, 88, of Remsen, Iowa, passed away Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017 at Plymouth Manor Care Center in Le Mars, Iowa.

Funeral Service will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen, IA with hospice chaplain Marie Lykken officiating. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Remsen, IA. Graveside military honors will be conducted by American Legion Post 220 and V.F.W. Post 3328 of Remsen. Visitation with family present will be from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Condolences can be sent online to

John was born August 9, 1929, to Louis and Agnes (De Vries) Vander Molen, and raised on farms in the Craig, Maurice and Struble areas. His Uncle Dan nicknamed him “Wimp” because, like Wimpy from “Popeye,” he loved burgers.

He served in the Korean War 1952-1953, 8th Army, 2nd Infantry Division “Second to None,” 131st Trans. Trk. Co. He instilled a strong sense of duty, service, and pride of country in his children and grandchildren.

He met Mary E. Schilmoeller at Archie's Waeside, and they were married a year later on January 31, 1955. They lived on farms in the Struble & Maurice areas before moving to a farm near Remsen in 1970. Together they raised seven children.

John drove truck for Phil Groetken and Sioux City Motor Express, and would recount his trucking days to anyone who'd listen. He hauled everything from ammunition in Korea to rodeo stock with Ozzie Arens.

John farmed most of his life, and ran “Wimp's Shelling Service” for a number of years. “You pick 'em, we peel 'em.” He enjoyed driving around in his Ford pick-up admiring crops and livestock in the area. He loved his sweet corn. Any raccoon or varmint that stepped foot on his land received swift justice.

John was an honest man, a good story-teller, and a great listener.

He is survived by 5 children: Ken and his wife Starla of Rapid City, SD, Douglas of Sioux Falls, SD, Mark and his wife Mary of Remsen, IA, Todd of Sioux City, IA, and Jodi and her husband Yogesh Chawla of Madison, WI; a sister, Leona Schat of Rapid City, SD, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Mary; two sons, Terry and Bradley; two brothers, Lloyd and Allen (who died in infancy); and a sister, Gertie.

Casket bearers will be grandsons Benji Vander Molen and Cory Vander Molen, nephew Mike Vander Molen, and friends Kory Kroeger, Steve Niehus, and Arlie Pick.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Vander Molen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, October 22, 2017

5:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Fisch Funeral Home & Monuments

310 Fulton St, Remsen, IA 51050

Visitation with family present will be from 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 at Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen.

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