Obituary: Clarence Van Dyke
October 12, 1931 – December 15, 2020
On Tuesday morning, December 15, 2020, with his family at his side, Clarence Van Dyke, 89, passed into everlasting glory to be with his faithful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Clarence was the 10th of twelve children born to Lawrence and Cora (Klein) Van Dyke on October 12, 1931. Growing up near Manhattan, MT, Clarence had many fun and mischievous escapades with his brothers, Ray (a twin) and Jim. He attended Little Holland and Hyline schools, after which he worked on the family farm.
Clarence served in the Army from 1951-1953 and in the Army Reserves until 1956. During active service, he was stationed in Germany. Prior to leaving for the army, he had his eye on a pretty neighbor girl; consequently, when he returned home, he married Marian Kamps on May 19, 1953. They were married for 63 years. Marian passed away in 2016. He missed her deeply.
Farming and ranching were two of Clarence’s great loves. He made many improvements on the land his father had purchased in the early 1900’s. Through the years, he acquired more ground in order to set up his sons to follow his example in the business. Clarence started out his career in the dairy business. In 1955, he bought 30 head of Black Angus cows from Fred Happel. He went on to develop Van Dyke Angus Ranch, which became one of the nation’s premier Angus herds.
Clarence received numerous industry awards related to cattle and farming. These include many dairy awards, the 1985 Performance Man of the Year, 1989 Outstanding Farmer/Rancher, 1997 Wayne Stevenson Award of Excellence, 1999 Certified Angus Commitment of Excellence, and 2003 Gallatin County Outstanding Conservationist. In 2017, he was inducted into the Angus Heritage Foundation.
In addition to his many accomplishments in his own business ventures, Clarence was on the board of directors for several institutions, such as Northwest Farm Credit Services, Genex, Ag America, Agribank, and Gallatin Farmers. He was happy to share his expertise in farming and ranching with others and helped many get started in the Angus business.
Clarence will be remembered for his kindness and love for others. The tender, loving care he showed to his wife, Marian, as her health was in decline, is an example to any husband, and left a lasting impression on his children. His grandchildren and great grandchildren brought him much joy (and the feeling was always mutual!). Furthermore, Clarence loved to visit with friends over coffee, a meal, or (especially) ice cream. He was a generous friend, always giving away produce from his large garden, greenhouse, and fruit trees.
The Lord Jesus Christ and His word were Clarence’s guiding compass in life. Especially toward the end of dad’s life, he often shared his faith freely with those who would listen. Of all that his vast experience in life has to share, there is one thing that he would want you to know above all else: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).
Clarence was the last remaining child of Lawrence and Cora Van Dyke. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian, his parents, and his eleven siblings: Neal (Douwina), Arnold, Louie, Sadie (Jack), Bernie (George), Margie (Bert), Jim, Ray, Robert, Willard, and infant sister, Margaret. He is survived by his children: John (Elleen) Van Dyke, Keith (Evelyn) Van Dyke, Debra (Sid) Schutter, and Lee (Shirlee) Van Dyke; and grandchildren: Christy (Kevin) Repasky, Marie (Derek) Dyk, Dustin (Jill) Van Dyke, Jennifer (Mark) Underhill, Laura (Cairn) Clark, Katie (Alex) Smith, Megan (Jesse) Kemp, Timothy (Monica) Schutter, Brittnee (Kelby) Jakubiec, Jaynee (Tim) Crabtree, Lindsee Van Dyke and 17 great grandchildren. He is also survived by in-laws Betty of Jim Van Dyke, Betty of Bob Van Dyke, Sylvia and Anne Van Dyke, and Alvin and Ruth Klompein.
As a family, we would like to thank the caregivers from Churchill Retirement Home and the Gallatin County Nursing Home. You were a blessing to him and we are grateful to each one of you for your loving care.
We are very thankful for our dad who was a firm, steady, fun, loving, tender and generous father.
Visitation hours will be from 3-5 pm on Sunday, Dec. 20 at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. A graveside service will be held at 2 pm Monday, Dec 21 in Churchill Cemetery followed by a Memorial Service at 3:30 pm at Grace Bible Church in Bozeman. The service will be available to watch on the Dokken-Nelson website on Clarence’s obituary page after the service.
Memorials can be made to Grace Bible Church and Churchill Retirement Home or to the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. http://www.dokkennelson.com
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