Donna R. (Van Der Zyl) Baarda, 86, went to be with her Lord and Savior Feb. 26, 2018, at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3 at Community Heights Alliance Church in Newton, with Rev. Jeff Keady officiating. The family will greet friends from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church. Burial will be at Newton Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials to the Great Commission Fund at the Community Heights Alliance Church may be left at the church or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Donna, the daughter of Walter and Tressie (Van Wyk) Van Der Zyl, was born July 17, 1931, on a farm between Pella and Sully. She attended country school in Galesburg through the eighth grade. Donna was united in marriage with Robert Baarda June 13, 1953, in Pasa Robles, Calif., while Bob was in the U.S. Army. After their marriage, she obtained her high school diploma through correspondence courses.
Donna did photo coloring for Tyler Studio in Newton, worked as a telephone operator for 10 years, and worked part-time during the holiday season at the Maytag Dairy Farm. She enjoyed crocheting and knitting. Donna had been crocheting teddy bears over the last five years and had donated more than 5,000 of them to mission trips and various charities. She attached to each bear the verse John 3:16 in English on one side and the native tongue of the country (if known) on the other.
Donna is survived by her husband, Bob of Newton; two daughters, Darla Baarda of Newton and Diane (Kelvin) Vander Weerdt of Sully; two granddaughters,Darci (Josh) Keller of Toledo and Grace Vander Weerdt and her fiancé, Matthew Smalley of Sully; great-grandson, Lane Kitzmann of Sully; two sisters, Marcille (Willard) Bosveld of Broomfield, Colo., and Karen Pfantz of Newton; and her many nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Howard Van Der Zyl.