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Jelle H. DeWilligen

February 15, 1928 ~ March 10, 2019 (age 91)

Jelle H. DeWilligen 91, passed away Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Baptist Health Floyd Hospital.

He was born February 15, 1928, in The Haag, Netherlands, to the late Pieter Willem and Maria(Van Hengst) DeWilligen. His father was a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel in the Dutch Military and stationed in Indonesia. He was raised there with his brother and sisters until 1950.

During his time in Indonesia, he and his family personally experienced the fighting of World War II in their hometown and endured interment at a Japanese concentration camp until 1945. After the liberation of Indonesia by allied forces, they were set free only to be re-interred in a dutch refugee camp during the 1947 Indonesian Independence conflict. His family endured many hardships during these interments.  After the liberation of Indonesia in 1950, his family returned to Heerlen Netherlands where he met his wife, Helena Van der Linde and raised a family. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Heerlen Technical Institute and was employed at the Oranje Nassau II Coal Mine where he was the lead production manager. After the coal mine was closed in 1967, he decided to immigrate with his wife and five young children to the United States in1968. He was employed at Tube Turns for 17 years as a mechanical design engineer. The two significant projects under his direction during his time there was manufacturing the piping for the Alaska pipeline and the Pratt-Whitney Aircraft Engine turbo-fan shaft hardening project.     After Tube Turns he finished out his very accomplished career at Airco Carbide, EMaxx Engineering and Vulcan Hart.

He enjoyed going to church, having vigorous debate on various subjects, singing, cooking and tinkering around the house. He was known for re-engineering and restoring everyday household items better than they were originally designed.

He was a member of Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in Floyds Knobs, IN for 26 years. He was a very devoted member of the Koinonia Class. He was honored as a “Giant of Faith” recipient by Hope Southern Indiana.  

He is preceded in death by his wife Helena (Van der Linde) DeWilligen, brother Flores, sisters Elvira, Lucy, Corrie, Thea of the Netherlands.

He is survived by his brother Frans DeWilligen of Netherlands and his sister-in-law: Else DeWilligen,

(5) Children: His daughters; Hanneke McDarby, Tilly and her husband Mike Barr, Anke and her husband Mike Smith. His sons; Bill and his wife Sandra DeWilligen and Art and his wife Karen DeWilligen.

(12) Grandchildren: Joanna McDarby, Paula McDarby, Sean Harrigan(Girlfriend: Courtney), Alex Barr(Emily), Holly Hedges(Doug), Laura Angell(Bobby), Deanna Hawley(Sam), Rachel Hughes(Jason), David DeWilligen, Nathan Miller(Jessica), Tyler DeWilligen(Victoria) and Brandis DeWilligen.

(12) Great Grandchildren: Jeffery and Zakk McDarby, Levi Bazilio, Piper DeWilligen, Clark and Ingrid Hawley, Nehemiah and Kyler Hughes, Andrea Titus, Chelsea Garcia, Ramona Barr and Benjamin Raymon.

A celebration of Jelle’s life will be held at 11 AM Saturday March 16, 2019 at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church(2100 Highway 150: Floyds Knobs, IN. 47119). Memorial Contributions may be given to the church.  Arrangements have been entrusted to the Naville & Seabrook Funeral Homes.

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