Jerry De Bont, son of Pieter Ruurd Bontekoe (1862-1896) and Taekje Tigechelaar Bontekoe (1864-1915) was born November 13, 1892, in Oudwoude /Kollumerland, Friesland, the Netherlands. His father died in 1896 in Westergeest, Friesland. When Jerry was seven years old, he immigrated to Pella, Iowa, with his widowed mother Tillie De Bont (Taekje Bontekoe), sister Dora De Bont (1889-1918), and three brothers, Robert De Bont (1885-1959), Tunis De Bont (1891-1972), and Peter De Bont (1897-1994). Jenny’s maternal grandparents, Theunis Jelles and Dieuwke Berenda Faber Tiechlaar (Tigechelaars), had immigrated to Pella from the Netherlands some years earlier and lived in the Pella area.
Jerry’s family grew in numbers when his widowed mother remarried in 1902 to Willem Van Wyk (1849-1917), father of 12 living children. The family grew even larger when Willem and Tillie had five more children born to them. The family lived on a farm near Pella. We know little of Jerry’s growing-up years, but presume he “worked out” as was the custom for boys at that time. Jerry’s mother, Tillie De Bont Van Wyk, died of tuberculosis in 1915. His step-father Willem Van Wyk died of cancer in 1917. Jerry served in WWI. He died October 31, 1922, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery north of Pella.
“Jerry De Bont, a young man who was a resident of Pella until a few years ago, died at the U S Veterans Hospital at Colfax at 5 00 p m Tuesday October 3] 1922 aged 28 years 10 months and 18 days His death was caused by pulmonary tuberculosis induced by gas received while serving overseas in the army.
After returning from the war Mr. De Bont engaged in business with his brother at Knoxville, where they had a garage Last July his condition became so bad that he was obliged to give up his work and go to the hospital provided by the government for cases like his. Of his immediate family, he is survived by two brothers, and some half-brothers and half-sisters. His mother, Mrs. Wm. Van Wyk, died in Pella a few years ago.
“The body was brought from Colfax to Pella, where funeral services will be held at the First Christian Reformed church at two 0 ’clock, Friday afternoon, conducted by Rev. H. Walkotten. Interment will be at the First Reformed cemetery. ” — Pella Chronicle – Nov 2, 1922
Pella’s Weekblad -— November 3, 1922
In het Hospittaal te Colfax, IA, overleed Jerry De Bont in den ouderdom van ruim 29 jaren. Het lijk kwam Woensdag Te Pella aan en werd Vrijdag, om 2 uur op het keerhof der Eerste Ger. gemeente begraven, nadat de begrafenis dienst had plaaats gehad in de Eerste Chr. Ger. Kerk onder leiding van Ds. Walkotten.
(In the hospital at Colfax, Iowa, Jerry De Bont died at the age of around 29 years. The body came to Pella on Wednesday and was buried at 2:00 at the First Reformed Church’s cemetery, following the funeral service that took place at the First Christian Reformed Church here under the direction of Rev. H. Walkotten.)
Pella Booster Press — Nov 8, 1922
DEATHS THE PAST WEEK — JERRY DE BONT
Jerry De Bont, one time resident of Pella, died at the U. S. Veterans Hospital at Colfax at 5:00 p.m.,
Tuesday, October 31, 1922, at the age of 28 years, 10 months and 18 days. The deceased was called to the service of his country during the world war from this district and was taken to France where he made a good soldier, it was in that country that he developed the cause of his death. After returning home he engaged himself in the garage business with his brother at Knoxville, but later the dreadful disease pulmonary tuberculosis, caused by gas, took hold of him and he was sent to this hospital for treatment, , but finally succumbed to the dreadful disease. He is sun/ived by three brothers, some half-brothers and a half-sister. His mother Mrs. Wm. Van Wyk died a few years ago. The body was shipped from Colfax to Pella, where the funeral services were held from the First Christian Reformed Church last Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock p.m., Rev. H. Walkotten officiating. Interment at the First Reformed Cemetery.
Pella Booster Press — Nov 8, 1922
We wish to thank the many friends who lent their kind assistance in helping with the service and also the ﬂoral offerings given in remembrance of our dear brother.
Jerry De Bont. – Pete De Bont, Tunis De Bont, Robert De Bont
Pella’s Weekblad — Nov 10, 1922
Mr. en Mrs. A. N. Vander Meulen en drie dochters van Des Moines warren verlenden week te Pella naar Jerry De Bont.
(Mr. and Mrs. A. N. Vander Meulen and three daughters from Des Moines were in Pella last week for Jerry De Bont.)