Arthur F. Boelens, 89, of Annawan, IL passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013 at Hammond-Henry Hospital, Long Term Care. A Funeral Mass will be held 10:00 am, Thursday, March 21, 2013 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Annawan. Rev. Mark Miller will celebrate. Burial will follow in St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Atkinson. A visitation for Arthur will be held 4-7 pm, Wednesday at the Vandemore Funeral Homes, Ltd, Atkinson. Memorials may be left to Annawan/ ALBA Rescue Squad or Abilities Plus in Kewanee.
Art was born March 19, 1923 in rural Bureau County, the son of Edward and Marie (VanVooren) Boelens. He married Irene P. Yarger on September 12, 1945 at Visitation Catholic Church, Kewanee, IL.
Art lived and worked on the same family farm in rural Annawan from the age of 5 until he retired in 1983. He enjoyed many of those years playing rolle bolle around the local area, winning the Western League Champion trophy in 1964. After retiring from farming, they moved into Annawan and he became an avid bicycler, participating in many tours in the Midwestern states, including RAGBRAI. In his sixties he rode over 40,000 miles just on one bicycle. He also spent many years enjoying woodworking and there are over one hundred wooden tulips blooming around the area. In later years he loved watching the birds from his favorite window. Art always enjoyed a family gathering and seeing friends. Spending fun times with his grandchildren was always a highlight in his day. He had a generous heart and always a warm smile for everyone he met. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Irene; his 4 children: Linda DeClercq of Greenbank, WA, John (Jacqueline) Boelens of rural Annawan, IL, Deborah (Ronn) Tubbs of Bradford, IL, and Don Boelens of Bettendorf, IA; seven grandchildren: Tina (Tony) Lopez, Heather (Adam) Rucker, Justin Boelens, Dr. Kelli Boelens, Jackson Boelens, Anna Boelens and John Franklin Boelens; one great granddaughter: Morgan O’Hara; and a brother: Cyriel Boelens of Ohio.
Art was preceded in death by a daughter, Caroline Marie Boelens (in infancy); a grandson, Aaron L.E. Tubbs; a great granddaughter, Jordan E. O’Hara (in infancy); a brother, Oscar Boelens; a sister, Zelma VanVooren; and son-in-law, Sonny DeClercq.