Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


November 30, 2012

Henry Monster

Pella — Henry Monster was born on June 15, 1919, on the family farm south of Pella. He was the fourth of five children, who were born to Leendert J. and Julia (Hackert) Monster. Henry attended the Pleasant Grove Country School.  

Henry married Elva Leona Van Engelenhoven in 1941 and they had three daughters: Twylah Beth, Lola June and Eva Lynn. Elva and Henry operated the Jack Sprat Food Store in Pella during World War II.

In 1943, Henry was drafted into the United States Army and experienced combat in Italy with the 134th  Infantry Division. He was honorably discharged in 1946. Following his discharge, they sold the store and Henry began working for Larson and Swanstrom in farm equipment sales. He was later affiliated with the Hoxie Fruit Company in Des Moines in sales.

Henry’s successful sales career accelerated, when he began working for Vermeer Manufacturing Company in Pella in 1957. He started in the sales department selling hammer-mill drives, irrigation sprinklers, harrow carts and trenchers.

Soon after that came the stump cutters and hay conditioners. The company continued to flourish and in 1972 he became involved with the agriculture equipment sales department as the baler was beginning to make its impact on the market. Henry traveled some 50,000 miles per year as an Agricultural Division Territory Manager.

On Feb. 12, 1983, a friendship Henry had made with Catharina Jannetta (Kleinjan) Benes culminated in their marriage. “Hen” and/or “Curly” retired from Vermeer Manufacturing Company in 1984, however continued to work part-time for three more years. Henry and Catharina Benes Monster enjoyed travels within the United States and Europe, as well as a cruise along the coast of Mexico.

They each held a special place in their hearts for their respective families. They are: Twylah and Douglas Wilson of Knoxville, Lynn Bishop of Memphis, Tenn., and David Toom and his wife, Linda of Killbuck, Ohio; J. Allen and Lola Benes of Knoxville, Donald J. and Joyce Benes of Clear Lake, Iowa, and Mary K. (Dingeman) Van Berkum of Pella.

Catharina passed away on Dec. 20, 2010, and on Friday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2012, Henry passed away at the Westridge Nursing & Rehab Center in Knoxville at the age of 93 years. Henry leaves two daughters, Twylah and Lynn, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, as well as one sister-in-law, Katie (Van Engelenhoven) Vroom of Pella.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lola (Dave) Toom, on Jan. 10, 2011; his wives, Elva and Catharina; his mother, Julia, and his father, Leendert; his brother, Jacob (Telida) Monster; and his three sisters: Cornelia (Martin) Vink, Jeannetta (Marion) Vander Linden and Leona (William) Vander Molen.

Henry was a member of the Third Reformed Church in Pella and was a continuous member for over 50 years with the Van Veen-Van Hemert American Legion Post No. 89 of Pella.



Funeral services were held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at the Third Reformed Church in Pella.  Arrangements were handled by Van Dyk – Duven Funeral Home.   


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