Erma Vander Linden


Erma Lucille Vander Linden, 100, of Cedar Falls and formerly of Oskaloosa passed away peacefully Saturday, March 23, 2024, in Cedar Falls. A loving mom, grandma, and great grandma, she was born in New Sharon, Iowa on November 6, 1923, to Clifton and Gertrude Smith. She grew up in Oskaloosa with her younger brother Marvin. Erma graduated from Oskaloosa High School in 1941 and on August 18, 1943, she married Herman Vander Linden. Together they were happily married for 73 years and had two children Rebecca and Harlyn. They began farming north of Oskaloosa, ultimately purchasing a farm near Lacey in 1962.

Erma worked at Jaarsma Bakery in Oskaloosa where she eventually became a manager. You could always find Dutch letters in her freezer, and she always had cookies to offer guests. After retiring she spent her time focusing on family, baking, sewing, traveling with her husband and she loved spending winters in Phoenix, Arizona. Erma & Herman traveled throughout the United States together but also enjoyed many trips to Europe with friends. Erma was also a member of the Central Reformed Church.

Erma is survived by her son: Harlyn (Jane) Vander Linden of Sarasota, Florida; son-in-law Steve Dillahunty of Thornton, Colorado; four grandchildren: Bradlee (Crystal) Vander Linden, Jill (Bob) Westfall, Carson (Audrey) Dillahunty, & Jason Harward; six great grandchildren: Natalee & Paige Vander Linden, Gianna & RJ Westfall, Kamden Dillahunty, Madison Harward; sister-in-law Lorraine Vander Hoek of St. Charles, Missouri, and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Herman Vander Linden, her daughter Rebecca Dillahunty, her great granddaughter Savannah Harward & her brother Marvin Smith, and his wife Helen, brothers and sister-in-law: Norman (Edith) Vander Linden and Melvin Vander Hoek.

A Celebration of Erma’s life will be held Thursday, March 28, 2024, at 10:30 AM in the Bates Funeral Chapel in Oskaloosa with Reverend Jon Nelson officiating. Visitation will be prior to the service from 9:00-10:30 AM in the Bates Funeral Chapel where family will be present to greet friends and family. Burial will be at the Forest Cemetery following the service. Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Central Church General Fund.

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