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John W.  Van Laar
Date: Friday, August 29, 2014
Time: 5:00 until 8:00 PM
Location: Willard Christian Reformed Church

Date: Saturday, August 30, 2014
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Willard Christian Reformed Church

John W. Van Laar, 90, of Celeryville, died Tuesday evening, August 26, in his home after an extended illness. John was born May 7, 1924 in Rock Valley, Iowa, the son of the late Gerard and Tena (Kooima) Van Laar. He had lived in Celeryville most of his life and was a 1942 graduate of New Haven High School. After graduation John served in the US Navy during World War II. He was the Wiers Farms maintenance shop manager for over 60 years before retiring in 2007. John was responsible for designing, building and maintaining many of the machines and equipment used to plant, harvest and process the muck crop produce for the farm. He was a turkey and deer hunter, making many trips to Pennsylvania with his friends, but he loved playing golf. He was a member of the Willard Golf Club, where his foursome usually included his friends, Cal Cok, Bob Buurma and Jim Buurma. He also loved the Ohio State Buckeyes football and basketball teams.

John was a member of the Willard Christian Reformed Church, where he served 18 years on the Consistory as an Elder and Deacon, and was the Sunday School Superintendent and a teacher for over 25 years.

John is survived by his wife, Marjorie A. Wiers Van Laar, whom he married June 25, 1946; 2 sons: David (Carol) Van Laar of Wynona, IL and John N. (Sonia) Van Laar of Irvine, CA; 2 daughters: Carole Noble of Celeryville and Linnea Kuipers of Spring Lake, MI; 7 grandchildren: Carrie (Scott) Thomason of Sugar Hill, GA, Chad Robinson of Orient, Brandon (Carly) Van Laar of Watkinsville, GA, Wesley (Jenni) Robinson of Leland, NC, Isabelle, Joseph and Audry Van Laar; 9 great-grandchildren: Raven, Syi, Maya and Marley Robinson, Jordan, Carter and Camden Thomason, and Aiden and Avery Van Laar; and 4 sisters-in-law: Eloise Van Laar of Grand Rapids, MI, Joyce (Jerry) Boerman of Green Valley, AZ, Tress Wiers and Faith Wiers, both of Celeryville. John was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother Maatje Cok Van Laar, his sister, Frances Shaarda and his brother, Jacob “Jack’ Van Laar.

Services will be held Saturday, August 30 at 11:00am in Willard Christian Reformed Church, Celeryville, with Pastor Terence Visser officiating. Private burial with military honors will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, New Haven. Friends may call Friday from 5-8pm in the church parlor. In lieu of flowers the family request memorial contributions be given to the Celeryville Christian School, 4200 Broadway Road, Willard, Ohio 44890 or Willard Christian Reformed Church, 4163 Broadway Road, Willard, Ohio 44890.

Jean M.  Timmons
Date: Monday, August 25, 2014
Time: 2-4 and 6-8 PM
Location: Lindsey Funeral Home

Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: 1st Presbyterian Church, Loudonville

Jean M. Timmons, 85, passed away peacefully with her loving family by her side on August 22, 2014 at the Brethren Care Village in Ashland, Ohio. Jean first saw the light of day on October 21, 1928 in Chardon, Ohio. Born as the only child to parents Floyd and Marie (Hurlebaus) Miller, Jean’s first day of school was second grade. After graduating from Chardon High School, she spent two years at Hiram College before transferring to Ohio State where she graduated in 1949. Shortly thereafter, on July 16, 1949, she married Sterling Timmons and began a long life of a wife, mother, and partner in the family farm. Her contributions included accountant, calf feeder, maple syrup producer and sales person, county fair show day support, egg delivery, and occasional tractor driver while managing a household that included three meals a day for the farm crew, some of whom lived in the house, all while raising a family along the way.

Jean was a tireless supporter of agriculture, dairy products, and the Holstein cow. She was an accomplished writer and put her skills to use writing a weekly column that appeared in the Meadow Mart for many years, as well as her regular column, The Mistress Muses that appeared in the Ohio Holstein News. Her articles included stories of the farm and family and the triumphs and tragedies that went along with everyday life on the farm, always with a dose of humor and a poignant message in an Erma Bombeck style. If the opportunity presented itself, she could write a scathing letter to the editor or a letter of praise, if appropriate. She had very little tolerance when agriculture was not properly presented in the media and was often contacted by Cleveland reporters for her input.

Jean served for many years as a 4-H advisor with clubs that included the Dairy Dolls, the Stitch Witches and the Sew-Sew Sewers. She taught adult education home economics classes to low income mothers as well as teaching Sunday school at the Auburn Community Church, not to mention editor of the church newsletter. She and Sterling could be found every Sunday singing praises to the Lord in the church choir. They were active in Farm Bureau and enjoyed time spent with their council friends. She is a past president of the Ohio Holstein Women’s Association where she served on numerous committees. Jean has fond memories of the time she spent in the Ohio Holstein Association and the friends they made all over Ohio and the country. In 2000, Jean and Sterling were inducted together into the Geauga County Maple Syrup Hall of Fame.

Through the years, Jean was able to use her musical and writing talents to provide entertainment at various events and banquets, usually the Geauga-Northern Portage Holstein Club. Many enjoyed the pageant she wrote and directed celebrating the sesquicentennial of Auburn Township in 1967.

In 1988, she was selected by the United State Department of Agriculture to join a delegation of farm women to tour Eastern Bloc countries and meet with women in agriculture in Yugoslavia and Hungary. In 1989, after years of dealing with encroaching urbanization and facing the prospect of a new highway being constructed through the farm and at an age when most are thinking of slowing down life and preparing for retirement, Jean and Sterling, along with the then farm partners, son Terry and son-in-law Bob Fenton, pulled up stakes and left their beloved Geauga County and relocated the family and farm to Loudonville in the rolling hills of Ashland County, Ohio.

After moving to Loudonville, Jean and Sterling became involved with a new Farm Bureau council and Jean served as Information Coordinator for Ashland County. Jean became active in the Mohican Historical Society and Loudonville Progress Club. They also joined the Loudonville Presbyterian Church where Jean became (no surprise here) editor of the church newsletter. In 1997 she was recognized as an “Outstanding Woman in Ohio Agriculture.”

Jean was always an avid reader and read books by the dozens. Until just recently, she was still completing the Wall Street Journal’s crossword puzzles and was a formidable adversary to anyone brave enough to play her in a game of Scrabble. She loved her Buckeyes and seldom missed a Cleveland Indians game.

In 2013, Jean finally decided that it was time and withdrew as a partner in the farm. Her son Terry carries on the farm today where he still operates under the name of Sterlinglen Farms, runs 700 acres and milks 90 head of (what else?) registered Holstein cows.

Jean will be sadly missed by her children: Dann (Cathy) Timmons of Garrettsville, Terry (Susan) Timmons of Loudonville, and Polly (Bob) Fenton of Loudonville as well as grandchildren: Casey Timmons, Jason (Jess) Timmons, Adam (Maggie) Timmons, Bailey Jean (Clinton Watters) Timmons, Ryley (Jennifer) Fenton, Tyler (Serena) Fenton, Megan (Josh Hendershot) Timmons and Ian Timmons, and 12 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Sterling who died in 2007, and her son Tommy who died in a farm accident in 1952.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday morning, Aug. 26 at 10:30 AM in First Presbyterian Church, Loudonville with Pastor Kathleen Walkerow officiating. Jean will be laid to rest alongside Sterling and Tommy in the Evergreen Hill Cemetery in Chagrin Falls, Ohio at a private ceremony. Friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Monday, August 25th in the LINDSEY FUNERAL HOME, Loudonville. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jean’s memory to the Heifer Foundation, One World Avenue, PO Box 727, Little Rock, AR 72203.
---- “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” Erma Bombeck ---

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