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Obituaries » Alan "Al" Van Kley

Alan "Al" Van Kley

February 5, 1941 - January 7, 2018

Thursday, January 11
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home
4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 964-0592

Friday, January 12
11:00 AM

Ankeny First United Methodist Church
206 SW Walnut Street
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 964-4249

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Al Van Kley, the son of Arie and Jeanne Van Kley, was born February 5, 1941 in Ocheyedan, Iowa. He graduated from Ocheyedan High School in 1959 and Iowa State University in 1963 in Farm Operations. He maintained a special relationship with many classmates the rest of his life.

He worked in the agriculture industry for nearly 40 years, primarily in sales with Farmland Industries and successor companies, retiring in 2001. Al was a successful businessman, but more importantly, a dedicated colleague and friend to his coworkers and customers.

On September 17, 1983, he married Cathy Maier at The Little Brown Church in Nashua. Together, they founded Van Kley Farm Toys, a small in-home business that grew into one of the largest 1/64 farm toy businesses in the world upon selling and retiring in 2014. Al and Cathy made many friends throughout the farm toy hobby and together will be honored with induction into the National Farm Toy Hall of Fame in 2018.

Al enjoyed several hobbies and interests in addition to the farm toy industry, including the Iowa State Cyclones (for whom he was a season ticket holder for over 40 years), the Chicago Cubs (proudly flying a ‘W’ flag on the porch after each, often infrequent, victory, with his fandom rewarded by celebrating the 2016 World Series Championship), spending time with family and friends, tending to his lush, green lawn, and driving his bright red Chevy SSR.

He passed away on January 7, 2018 surrounded by his loving family, at the Kavanagh Hospice House in Des Moines, at the age of 76, after an 11-year battle with cancer. The family would like to extend a thank you to Dr. Dan Buroker and staff for extending Al’s life and the staff at Hospice of Central Iowa and Kavanagh House for their compassionate care. He was preceded in death by his parents Arie and Jeanne, his father-in-law and mother-in-law Richard and Wanda Maier, sister-in-law Kathy Van Kley, and brother-in-law Steve Lunning.

Survivors include his children James Van Kley (and girlfriend Leigh Braunschweig) of Urbandale, Jeff (Linda) Van Kley of Flossmoor, IL, and Mitch (Emily) Van Kley of Ankeny, grandchildren Kaitlyn Van Kley of Urbandale, Tyler Van Kley of Flossmoor, IL, and Caroline Van Kley of Ankeny, sister Linda (Gayden) Wohlman of Hawarden, brother Clint Van Kley of Farnhamville, and brother Neal (Cindy) Van Kley of Spencer, OK, sister-in-law Cindy Lunning of Ames, sister-in-law Chris (Kevin) Brooks of Slater, and brother-in-law Tom (Rhonda) of Nevada.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at Memorial Services of Iowa Funeral Home (4208 N Ankeny Blvd.) from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held on Friday, January 12, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Ankeny First United Methodist Church (206 SW Walnut). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family to be used at its discretion.

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