Jean Van Syoc, 97, of Mt. Pleasant, died Sunday, June 19, 2022 at her home. Her precious Lord carried her to her eternal home.
Visitation will be Friday, July 1 from 12 Noon to 7 PM at the First Baptist Church, 100 E. Webster St., Mt. Pleasant. The family will be present to receive friends from 4-7 PM Friday. On July 2, the Celebration of Life (she preferred calling it Graduation Day) will begin with a luncheon at 12 Noon followed by the service at 1:30 PM at First Baptist Church. The Reverend Steve English will officiate. Burial will follow in the Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant.
Jean was born to Kathryn Leffler on January 13, 1925 in Burlington, IA. Robert Van Weiss embraced Jean as his own daughter. Jean graduated from Burlington High School, with a great interest in sports. She won a ping-pong tournament in SE Iowa, and even at age 90, it was nearly impossible to return her back-spin serve. She loved all baseball games. The Hawkeyes had her loyalty. She was a voracious reader and was always ready for any kind of card game!
Jean met Marvin Van Syoc, and the couple locked eyes at first sight. They were married at the original First Baptist Church on February 28, 1945. Jean counted the days until Marvin’s return from the army. Their lives beautifully changed when the son, Wayne was born. Daughter Karen arrived soon after, completing their family.
Jean and Marvin farmed near Winfield, IA for a few years, until they jointly decided to build the auctioneering business with his cousin Harold Van Syoc. Jean and Lucille, Harold’s wife, were integral in the business as clerks. At the same time, they joined the Farm Bureau Insurance Company, which became their full-time interest. Because of their hard work, they were able to travel extensively.
Jean and Marvin designed and built a home on US Highway 218 South. They desired to share their blessings with many dinners, picnics, fishing and lots of community activities. Mission Accomplished!
`Jean was the first business manager of the Community Mental Health Center in Henry County and was instrumental with Marvin in the center’s origination on January 13, 1972 (holding the first organizational meeting in their home). She served as the secretary of the support staff of the Community Mental Health Centers’ Association, and as a member of the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Task Force. She was instrumental in training her new Executive Director and served as an advisor to the Center’s Board of Directors and its committees. For her service, Jean was the recipient of the Iowa Mental Health Association’s Support Staff Award.
Jean was a 77-year member of the First Baptist Church, serving in practically every aspect. Jean and Marvin especially enjoyed working with the youth for many years, many of whom kept in close touch with them. In later years, she, and her BFF Margaret DeJaynes obtained their real estate licenses together (they should have written a book!)
Jean was often found on her knees praying for everyone on her “list.” Chances are, your name was included. She would want to encourage everyone to accept Christ as your Savior and feel His love and grace (please do that so we can all reunite someday). Kids Wayne and Karen love the fact that their parents walked the Christian life instead of merely speaking of it.
Jean fell into the arms of those who preceded her in death – her mother Kathryn Van Weiss and stepfather Robert Van Weiss, her precious husband with whom she shared 65 years, their son Wayne and many uncles, cousins and precious friends.
Survivors includer her daughter Karen Doubleday and son-in-law Dewight “Tete” Long of Mt. Pleasant; grandson Jeff Van Syoc (Sara) of Minneapolis, MN; great grandson Owlyn of Colorado and step granddaughter Soma; granddaughter Kim (Chris) Van Syoc-Lapainis and their daughter, Poppy. Survivors also include many Leffler and an Syoc nieces, nephews and numerous faithful friends, Tete’s daughter Jan and Erin and their husbands who gave Jean’s world charming great Brenden, Ethan, Brynnie and Liam.
Those consider an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the First Baptist Church, Every Step Hospice, the Paws Animal Shelter or the Kitten Haven at Vintage Raven. The Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 N. Main St., Mt. Pleasant, is assisting Jean and her family with the arrangements. On-Line condolences may be directed to www.kimzeyfuneralhome.com
Posted online on June 24, 2022
Published in The Hawk Eye