We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Chandler Funeral Association
Alan Dale Van Dam, 51, of Chandler, MN died on Sunday, December 12, 2021 at the Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. Visitation will be held at the Chandler Christian Reformed Church on Thursday, December 16, 2021 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM, and will continue on Friday, December 17 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM with the funeral service at 10:30 AM at the Chandler Christian Reformed Church with Al Kruisselbrink leading the service. Burial will be at the Chandler Memorial Cemetery following the service with Pastor Harold Westra.
Alan “Al” Dale Van Dam was born in Pipestone, MN on January 29, 1970 to Harold and Marcella (Rylaarsdam) Van Dam. The family lived in Leota when he was born. Al was baptized at the Chandler Christian Reformed Church. When Al was ten years old, the family moved to an acreage near Leota. He made profession of faith in the Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. He attended the Leota Christian Elementary School, Southwest Christian High School and Dordt College, where he received a degree in Ag Business and Animal Science.
Agriculture always played an important part in Al’s life. As a child, he helped his father plant trees, and water them "one bucket at a time" with his brothers on the acreage and at the Ebenezer Church where his parents were janitors. He enjoyed going to the Rylaarsdam farms to help his uncles. He loved going to toy farm shows, and enjoyed playing with his brothers with their play farm. On Sundays, the Rylaarsdam family would get together at Grandpa and Grandma Rylaarsdam’s home in Chandler. All the boy cousins would bring their farm toys to town and play “farming” together.
The value of helping others was instilled in him as a youth. Al and his brother mowed lawn for 15 people in the Leota community, which is something he continued as an adult. While at college, Al participated in two PLIA (Putting Love Into Action) trips.
After college Al farmed and milked cows. A blind date set up by Al’s brother, Mark, led the way for him to meet his future wife, Shela Blom. They were married on December 28, 1996 at the American Reformed Church in Luverne. They lived on an acreage near Leota until they moved into Chandler in 2011. Al worked for De Kam Seed and Fertilizer, Cargill and then Prins Feed & Grain which was later purchased by Chandler Feed. Al and Shela purchased the Chandler Discount Market. Al helped with the store while continuing working for Chandler Feed. They also are janitors of their church.
Community service and helping others has always been important to Al. He has been a Chandler Christian School board member, deacon, youth leader, and currently he was serving as an elder for the Chandler Christian Reformed church, and as a Chandler city council member.
In what little spare time he had, Al enjoyed camping, fishing, collecting farm toys, watching old TV shows like “Hogan’s Heroes” and “Mash” and listening to Christian music.
Even though Al worked for Ag businesses, farming has always been his true love.
On December 12, 2021, Al died at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD from complications from COVID.
Al is survived by his wife, Shela; his children, Jeremy and Abby; his mother, Marcella (John) Groen; siblings, Mark (Paula) Van Dam, Amy (Corwin) Runia and Curt (Kim) Van Dam. Parents-in-law, Earl and Marsha Blom; Sister-in-law Deb (Dave) Stanelle; Step-siblings, Jason (Kyle) Groen; Julie (Jim) Sherman; Nephews and Nieces: Katie, Jacob and Joshua Van Dam, Evan and Daniel Runia, Carter and Levi Van Dam, Nathan and Yanzi Stanelle, Kayla and Josh Loomis, and Sarah Stanelle, step-nieces and nephews, family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Henry and Eva Van Dam; Marinus and Alice Rylaarsdam; father, Harold Van Dam; infant daughter, Emily; infant sister, Lisa; and infant nephew, Derrek; step-siblings, John Jr. Groen and Jolene Groen.