Thomas ‘Duke’ Charles Verhelst, Jr., 55, of Bennett, passed away on Friday, June 26, near New Liberty, Iowa as a result of a sudden physical ailment resulting in his car leaving the roadway and colliding with a tree. Duke will be remembered on Friday, July 3, 2020 with all services being public and held at the Peace Church of Christ United in Bennett, Iowa. A visitation will be from 11:00am – 1:00pm, followed by his funeral service starting after 1:00 pm, and cremation rights after all services. Online condolences may be shared at www.fryfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a “Thomas Verhelst Jr. Memorial Fund” and ask that all cards and memorials be mailed c/o Jackie Verhelst to: PO Box 131, 323 Maple St, Bennett, Iowa 52721.
Duke, son of Thomas C. Verhelst Sr., and Jeanette Marie (Meade) Verhelst, was born on Sunday, July 12, 1964 in Davenport, Iowa. He graduated from North Scott High School in 1982. Duke married Jackie Lee (Schenkel) Dennis on September 24, 1988 at Duck Creek Park, Davenport, Iowa.
Duke and Jackie moved and spent fifteen years in Eudora, Kansas. While there, Duke worked for NovaTech LLC in Lenexa, KS. Duke was also a member of the Garnett Fire Department in Garnett, KS and was an EMT and the Fire Chief for the Eudora Township Fire Department in Eudora, KS. After their move back to Iowa in 2018, Duke worked for New Liberty Pattern Company as a laborer and driver.
Duke was a highly respected man that allowed his faith, contentment and sense of duty guide his way in this world. Being a giving man with a great sense of humor, he cherished time spent with his family and the relationships he maintained with prior co-workers, family and friends. Even in death, Duke will be helping over two hundred people, as Duke was an organ and tissue donor.
Duke is survived by his wife, Jackie Verhelst, of Bennett, IA; mother-in-law, Peggy Schenkel “Mom”, of Bennett, IA, two daughters, Peggy (Lonnie) VanDyne of Tulsa, OK and Kim (Ron) Schott of Tipton, IA; and son, Don Dennis Jr of Tipton, IA; his father, Thomas C. Verhelst, Sr., of Bettendorf, IA; sister, Jaylene (Chuck) Taylor of Roanoke, TX and two brothers, John Verhelst of Buffalo, IA and Brian (Lonna) Verhelst, of Davenport, IA; 6 grandchildren, Chris, Miranda (Micheal), Tiffany, Brittany (Chase), Kaitlyn and Cammie; and 4 great-grandchildren, Ivy, Elli, Leo and Karson. Duke was preceded in death by his mother, Jeanette and grandparents, Lester and Thelma Meade formerly of Davenport, IA.
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