Henry “H.E.” Van Maanen


Henry (H.E) Gerald Van Maanen, 86 years of age, passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2020. His children were able to visit him and say goodbye at the Estelline, SD Nursing and Care Center.

H.E. was born on May 30, 1933 to Guy and Frances Van Maanen, Volga, SD. When Henry was young, he had to quit high school and help on the family farm because his brothers went off to war. His loss of hearing at a very young age prevented H.E. from joining the military. He achieved his G.E.D. later in life while working at 3M.

H.E. met the love of his life, Marlene Rae Eggebraaten, at the roller-skating rink at Lake Campbell. They were a joy to watch dance around the rink on their skates. While dating H.E. put Christmas lights on his car to impress Marlene- it worked, and they were married November 28, 1953 at the Lutheran Church in Rutland, SD. Henry talked about joining Marlene in heaven the last hours of his life here on Earth- he couldn’t wait to see her again.

H.E. spent his first 44 years on the family farm just south of Volga, SD. H.E. and family raised livestock, milked cows and grew crops- so there weren’t many days off. His children grew up with the same strong work ethic. H.E and Marlene sold the farm in 1977 and moved to ‘town’ – but close enough to keep an eye on the family farm.

After farming H.E. did some construction work, sold machinery and then worked at 3M in Brookings, SD for many years. After retiring he held a couple of important positions – he would always say “I’m Retired, Fishing Is My Job!” He also helped at the Kleinjan farm just north of Volga which he enjoyed very much and was still farming through the Fall of 2019.

H.E.’s memory will live on in many ways- especially through his wonderful craftsmanship. Family and friends are blessed to have his wide array of wood creations. His adirondack chairs are scattered throughout the Midwest along with many shelves, tables, display cases, and so much more. If he could see a picture of it – he could build it (and in no time).

H.E. loved his family and his last wishes were to share that love… “Tell everyone I love them, and I’ll see you all on the other side. I am going to join “Momma” (Marlene)!”

H.E. is survived by his children Deb (Michael) Cranny of Brainerd, MN, Scott Van Maanen (fiancé Zoe Peterson) of Colman, SD and Paul Van Maanen of Shakopee, MN and his grandchildren, Keli (Peter) Books, Katelin (Zach) Hohertz, Travis (Sarah) Van Maanen, Trent (Katy) Van Maanen, Tiffany (Seth) Skinner, Alex Van Maanen, Ty Van Maanen and eleven great grandchildren.

H.E. had lots of friends and family and shared many fond memories with them; especially important to H.E. was his friend Allen Nelson, friend and neighbor Adriana Kleinjan, the First Lutheran Volga church family, the local coffee group, the Sioux Valley Booster Club and of course his beloved retirement job at Kleinjan farms.

Henry is also survived by his caring in-laws Karen Muth, Doug Eggebraaten, Ted and Lou Eggebraaten, Gene and Gig Eggebraaten, Marv and Loretta Entringer, and Verna Mae Van Maanen.

A private graveside service will be held April 7, 2020. A Celebration of H.E.’s life will be held later this year!

Thoughts, condolences and memories can be sent to: The Family of Henry Van Maanen, 209 South 8th Street, Volga, SD 57071 or

Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

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