Category Archives: Funeral

Ann Harris Memorial Service

The memorial service for Ann Harris is Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10:30am at Cedar Hills Community Church.

A visitation will be held prior to the service 9:30-10:15am. Please keep the Harris family in your prayers as they continue to grieve the passing of Ann Harris.  Ann was the sister of Mark Espe and Mary Landhuis.


Ann Marie (Espe) Harris, 63, of Cedar Rapids, IA died from complications of COVID-19 pneumonia on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids. Ann’s daughter, Sarah, and sister, Mary, were able to be with Ann as she passed peacefully and comfortably. Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Ann was born November 14, 1957, the oldest daughter of Arnold and Irene (Kruse) Espe. She graduated from Cedar Rapids Kennedy High School (‘76) and went on to complete her bachelors of arts degree in Sociology at the University of Northern Iowa (‘80). Later, Ann continued her studies and completed a bachelor’s of arts degree in Social Work at Mt. Mercy University (‘06). During her 35 year career in social services, Ann worked with disabled adults as a direct care provider and case manager.

Ann had a deep passion for and knowledge of living history interpretation, historical costumes, and preserving Iowa’s history. Ann was especially proud of her 22 years of volunteer work at Ushers Ferry Historic Village which included developing programs like the Prairie Girl Primer and the Oak Hill Cemetery Tour.

Ann’s parents instilled in her a strong sense of civic duty and pride in service to others. She served as a candy striper as a young adult, her uniform is now proudly on display at St. Luke’s hospital, and found many ways to engage in the community throughout her life as a volunteer, blood donor, and as a member of her local chapter of P.E.O.

Ann’s personal faith in God was an important part of her life from her childhood spent at First Baptist (Marion, Iowa) to her time in the faith community at Cedar Hills Community Church. Ann left to her grandchildren a last note that encouraged them to “Look for where God leads your heart and He will never let you down. Make a difference for Good”.

Survivors include her two children; Sarah (Josh) Wilson and Kyle (Taira) Harris; three grandchildren; Calvin Wilson, Kester Wilson, and Tamsyn Harris; a brother, Mark (Cindy) Espe; a sister, Mary (Kent) Landhuis, a niece Casey (Nathan) Cooper and nephew Ryan Espe; and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents; Arnold and Irene (Kruse) Espe.

Services for Ann will be held on Saturday, January 23rd, at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids at 10:30.  There will also be a live feed on the Facebook page of Cedar Hills Community Church.  Prior to the service there will be a visitation from 9:30 -10:15. A private burial will occur at a later date.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff of Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital MICU and their tireless efforts every day to care for Ann. You gave us an invaluable gift of comfort and peace.

Memorials may be directed to Brucemore the Association for Living History, Farm, and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM), and the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center.

Ray Vander Wiel Funeral

photoFUNERAL LIVE ON FACEBOOK – Friday, Dec. 11 at 10:30am

Please pray for the family of Ray Vander Wiel as they continue grieve his passing.

Funeral services for Raymond Vander Wiel , 82, of Cedar Rapids will be held on Friday, December 11, 2020, at 10:30 a.m. at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids with a live feed on the Facebook page of Cedar Hills Community Church. A private burial will occur at a later date. Memorials may be directed to Noah’s Ark Preschool in Cedar Rapids.

Raymond was born on February 26, 1938, to Gerrit and Anna (Stam) Vander Wiel at home on the family’s farm in Prairie City, Iowa. He started school in a small country school near Vandalia, Iowa. The family moved to Pella, Iowa, and Ray attended Pella Christian Elementary School and Pella Christian High School, graduating in 1956. Ray attended Calvin College for his BA in education and earned his Master’s degree from Michigan State University.

He was married to Arlene Van Gorp of Pella on August 6, 1958. The couple were devoted parents and grandparents and enjoyed camping, puzzles & games, spending time with good friends, and being with family. Together, they spent countless hours creating a fun and creative learning environment at Noah’s Ark Preschool. Arlene died on March 25, 2002.

Ray worked for Cedar Rapids Schools as a teacher and administrator, then as an administrator with AEA 10 until he retired in 2003.

Ray enjoyed creating and building all sorts of gadgets, inventions, and practical things in his shop. He enjoyed activities as a family, including camping, trips, and church. He took pleasure in supporting and attending his kids and grandkids events. Most of all, Ray loved sleeping.

Ray’s faith was always an important part of his life. He was a member of Cedar Hills Community church for over 50 years, serving in numerous leadership roles. He remained active as a leader, teacher, and encourager.

Ray was married to Shirley Rasmussen on April 3, 2003, in Cedar Rapids. In retirement, they enjoyed traveling and camping in their RV, visiting friends, family, and several national parks across the country. More recently, they loved the company of their two shih tzu pups, as well as their home at the Stoney Point Meadows community.

Ray was preceded in death by his wife Arlene, his father Gerrit, and mother Anna, his brothers Gerald, Frank and Henry, and his sister Ruthie.

He is survived by his wife Shirley Vander Wiel; his sisters Anna Mae Vander Wiel and Marjorie Keur; his children: Brenda, Scott (Linda), Kurt (Kara), and Russ Vander Wiel, and Dean, Diane (Tom), and David (Holly) Rasmussen; his grandchildren: Deanna (Nick) and Alexandra Lines; Janelle (Casey) Kinman, Jonathan (Amanda), Micah, and Gerrit Vander Wiel; Logan (Lauren), Caleb (Claire) and Ethan (Delaney) Vander Wiel; and Taylor, Garrett, and Elena Rasmussen; and his great-grandchildren: Evelyn and Asher Kinman and Juniper Vander Wiel.

Ken LeClere Funeral

Ken LeClere

We are saddened by the passing of our friend and Cedar Hills family member Ken LeClere.  Services will be at 11am Saturday morning on August 8.  A visitation will be held just prior to the funeral at 10:30.  There will be no luncheon following the funeral.


Kenneth A. LeClere, 66, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, died Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, at his home. A church service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, at Cedar Hills Community Church with a visitation 30 minutes before. All guests are respectfully requested to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Because of COVID-19, there will be no luncheon reception following the Celebration of Life.

If you are unable to attend the service, it will be livestreamed on the Cedar Hills Community Church Facebook page.

Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Cedar Rapids is assisting the family with arrangements. Kenneth was born Jan. 20, 1954, in Cedar Rapids, the son of Mary “Dolores” and Casper “Cap” LeClere. He was united in marriage to Nancy Golembiewski on April 28, 1979. Kenneth worked for Kenworth of Cedar Rapids for almost 30 years, where his coworkers would say, “If Ken can’t fix it, it’s not fixable.” He was a member of Cedar Hills Community Church. Kenneth enjoyed being part of a team that worked at church and around the community. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding his bike on the trails. Survivors include his wife, Nancy LeClere of Cedar Rapids; children, Brian LeClere (Katy Merritt) of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and Laura LeClere of Cedar Rapids; and grandchildren, Walter and Greyson, whom he loved tremendously. He was preceded in death by his parents, Cap and Dolores.

Please share a memory of Kenneth at


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.

Gage Underwood Funeral

Gage Underwood

The funeral service for Gage Underwood is Tuesday, June 30 at 11am here at Cedar Hills.  Visitation is Monday night 4-8pm at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home (4200 1st Ave N.E.), and Tuesday, 9:30-11am at the church just prior to the funeral.  Please continue to pray for this family as they grieve the loss of their son, brother, and friend.

Obituary (from

Gage Bryant Underwood, 18 of Palo, Iowa passed away on Friday, March 27, 2020 at his home.  Visitation will be held on Monday, June 29th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.  A limited number of people will be allowed in the funeral home at one time. Please plan to wait your turn outside and be respectful of social distancing guidelines.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 30th   at Cedar Hills Community Church: 6455 E Avenue NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405.  The family will greet friends from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. at the church. A mask is encouraged due to social distancing guidelines. Burial will follow at Linwood Cemetery in Cedar Rapids.

Gage was born October 15, 2001 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa the beloved son of Jason Underwood and Heather Underwood.  Gage was a senior at Kennedy High School.  He was active on the football and basketball teams.  Gage worked at Safelite Auto Glass in Cedar Rapids. He enjoyed playing videos games, computers (he always wore his earbuds) and spending time with his favorite pet companion his dog, Louie.  But Gage’s true passion was all the great times spent with his friends and family.  He was compassionate, friendly, giving, a jokester, hard worker and had a heart of gold.  He will forever be remembered as a wonderful son, brother, grandson, nephew, and friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.

Those left to honor Gage include his father, Jason Underwood (fiancé Kelly) of Palo, IA; mother, Heather Underwood of Cedar Rapids, IA; two sisters, Kayla and Alexis Underwood; step-siblings, Lexi, Logan and Luke Levendusky of Palo, IA; grandparents, Galen (Marlene) Underwood of Cedar Rapids, IA; grandfather, Joe Seng of Cedar Rapids, IA; special companion his dog, Louie; numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members, friends, classmates, and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Carol Seng and two aunts, Marlaine Underwood and Nicole Seng.

Gage was taken from us much too soon, but his spirit, quest for adventure, and love for life will be with us always.

Memorials may be directed to the family.

Gwyneth Aarhus Funeral

We are sad to announce the passing of Gwyn Aarhus, a faithful member of Cedar Hills Community Church. Please keep his wife Harriet and the Aarhus and Dunham families in your prayers.

Visitation is Sunday at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home 2-5pm.  The funeral will be Monday, Dec. 23 at 11am at the church followed by a luncheon.

Obituary from

Gwyneth K. Aarhus, 82 of Cedar Rapids died Thursday December 19, 2019 at St. Luke’s Hospital.  Funeral services will be held on Monday at 11:00 AM at the Cedar Hills Community Church. Rev Kent Landhuis will officiate. Entombment in Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery. There will be a visitation on Sunday at the Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home from 2 to 5 PM.

Survivors include his wife Harriet, a daughter Kylene (Chad) Dunham of Hiawatha; two sons Todd of Ankeny and Ryan of Robins; two brothers DuWayne (Laura) of Walker and Collin (Barbara) of Center Point. He is also survived by a granddaughter Ashleigh Dunham of Hiawatha and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Gwyneth was born on April 21, 1937 in Iowa City the son of Bernard and Gladys (Narveson) Aarhus. He married Harriet A. Doty on August 13, 1961 in Cedar Rapids.

Gwyneth was an electrician at Link Belt Speeder, later at FMC and most recently at Cedar Rapids Inc. retiring in 2001 after many years of service.

He was a faithful member of the Cedar Hills Community Church, a lifetime member of the NRA, and proudly served in the Marines. He enjoyed hunting, target practice with his kids, and doing yard work. Gwyneth and Harriet traveled and visited all 50 states. He also enjoyed motorcycles, drag racing, car shows, and especially the time spent with his many friends and beloved family. He will forever be remembered as a wonderful and caring husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend whose memory will be cherished by all who knew and loved him.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be given to the Cedar Hills Community Church. If giving online, choose “Memorial Gift” from the ‘fund’ menu.

Norma Schmitt Funeral Details

Norma Schmitt passed away on Saturday, Nov 2. Please keep her family in your prayers. Her funeral arrangements will be as follows:

Wednesday, November 6 at Cedar Hills Community Church
9am-10am – Family Visitation
10am-11am – Public Visitation
11am-12pm Funeral Service
Luncheon to follow.

(The a recording of the service is now available online for 90 days, until January 4, 2020).

Obituary (from the Gazette).

NORMA JEAN SCHMITT, 86, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, at the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House in Hiawatha. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids with the Rev. Alan Crandall officiating. Interment will be held at Dubuque Memorial Gardens in Dubuque.

Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until service time Wednesday at the church. Memorials may be directed to Camp Courageous.

Norma was born Dec. 15, 1932, in Dubuque, the daughter of Arthur John and Winnifred (Baumgartner) Farley. She graduated from Dubuque Senior High School with the Class of 1950. Norma lived and raised her family in Oelwein from 1956 until 2009. She worked as an administrative assistant with the Oelwein School District and Husky Hub for 26 years. She was a caring, devoted and selfless mother, who devoted her life to her family. She loved spending time with her family and friends, she enjoyed watching her grandchildren grow up and participate in their activities.

Norma moved to Cedar Rapids in 2009, where she was actively involved in Bible study at Cedar Hills and enjoyed volunteering at the Cedar Hills Food Pantry. She is survived by her children, Diana (Dan) Richardson of Cedar Rapids, Darryl (Brenda) Schmitt of Rosemount, Minn., and Ron (Mignonne) Schmitt of Urbandale; eight grandchildren, Jason (Piper) Gloede of Cedar Rapids, Chad (Lindsay) Gloede of Cedar Rapids, Corey, Anthony and Megan Schmitt, all of Rosemount, Minn., Jacob, Joseph and Jackson Schmitt, all of Urbandale; eight great-grandchildren; her sister, Janice Becker of Scottsdale, Ariz.; and her brother, James (Mary) Farley of Arvada, Colo..

In addition to her parents, Norma was preceded in death by her son, Thomas; and her brothers, John and Dick Farley. Online condolences may be left at

The Symphony of Me


Written by Selma Phillips-Williams

The Symphony of me!
Me, with my wide range of depth and height.
Low tones from the bass to the high of 
the flute and violin.
Some times I sink into the mire of the
tuba and other times I dance like the
strings. Oh yes, I am a symphony and you,
oh Lord, are my conductor.
So simple and yet so complex am I.
Created of many rhythms and tones.
I listen. I groan. And he comes.
Again I move to the stirring within.

Selma Phillips-Williams, Oct 11, 1943—Sept 11, 2019

Dee Williamson Funeral

Please join us in prayer for the family and friends of Dee Williamson as they mourn her passing.  Dee was a faithful member of Cedar Hills Community Church and a life-long volunteer in many ministries at the church, including over 50 years of playing the organ!

Dee’s funeral is Friday, October 18 at 10:30am at the church.


The organ sounded and the angels sang. Hallelujah! Amen.

Dee Williamson, 89, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. She was born April 15, 1930. Dee grew up on a farm near Tama, Iowa and worked as a Registered Nurse. Dee lived a long and full life of service – to her faith, to her family, to her church, and to her community. She was a lifelong musician, playing the piano and organ with love at her church since childhood and retired just about a year ago. She volunteered at the Community Health Free Clinic, Meals on Wheels, Mercy Hospice, the Red Cross, and many other organizations throughout the years.

Dee is survived by her son Earl of Atlanta, Georgia; daughters Cindy Sabot (James) of Moorhead, Minnesota and Susan Scholl (Gary) of Omaha, Nebraska; sister-in-law Ruth Tomlinson of Marshalltown, Iowa; step-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and special friends.

Dee was preceded in death by her husband Dale; her son Dennis; step-daughter Patricia Richardson; her parents, step-mother and eight siblings.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday, October 18, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. at Cedar Hills Community Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A luncheon will follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Camp Courageous of Monticello, Iowa; Heartland Youth for Christ of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; or the Community Health Free Clinic of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Selma Williams Funeral

We are sad at the passing of our sister in Christ, Selma Williams.  Visitation is Monday evening at Cedar Memorial, with the funeral at 10:30am Tuesday morning, Sept. 17 at Cedar Hills Community Church.  Please continue to pray for Selma’s family and friends as they grieve her loss, but also celebrate her new place with our Lord and Savior!


Selma Phillips-Williams, 75, of Cedar Rapids, joined the angels on September 11, 2019. Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 16 at the Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 17 at the Cedar Hills Community Church.

She is survived by her seven children Renee (Michael) Miceli, Shawn (Jill) Phillips, Joel (Jenni) Phillips, Patrick (Karen) Phillips, Mark (Margaret Wong) Phillips, Robyn (Chuck) Luensman, and Amy (Chris) Schmidt; 23 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Williams.

Selma was born on October 11, 1943 in Duluth, Minnesota and moved to Cedar Rapids in 1961. Selma loved to quilt, crochet, read books, write poetry and play cards. Above all she loved spending time with her family. She was a spiritual woman and could find God in everything she saw. She has a deep relationship with Jesus, trusting Him for strength through many trials. Knowing that even with all of our imperfections as humans we are still loved by Him. She has passed down a legacy of faith to her family. She was resilient, strong and caring. She always had a smile and conversation for strangers and had the ability to make everyone she touched feel special. Selma loved her family dearly and her family will miss her immensely. Selma was looking forward for her reunion with her husband Joe and the many family and friends that have gone before her.

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to Unity Point Hospice.

And, we leave you with a prayer from Selma:
Lord, this is one of those times when
I just need to climb up on your lap.
Father/Mother God,
I just need you to hold me for a while.
I just need for your arms to circle about me
And to rock me. Just for a while…
And then I’ll be able to slip down and face the day again.
I’ll be able to go forth into what I cannot see ahead.
Because I have touched your love,
I will be strengthened with courage, and trust.
Because you have touched me
As gently as a breath breathing life once again.