The baby of 4 children to John E. and Minnie (Smits) Star, Arla was born on September 1st 1933 in Corsica, SD. She attended Corsica High School and the College in Springfield, SD where she received the training to teach. She taught in a one-room country school near Corsica, SD which she fondly remembered.
She married the love of her life John (Jack) Veldheer on November 5th 1952. Their early years of marriage brought them to Toledo, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; Pickstown, SD; Platte, SD and eventually finding their way to Mitchell in 1957. It is here together that they raised their four children: Kathy, Brenda, John, and Doug and founded their legacy RV business Jack’s Campers.
Eternally a supportive wife, she was an essential aspect to the beginning of the business. Graciously going to the extents of rooming and boarding the many youth they hired in the summer and baking cookies for all who came in for coffee.
Her fun loving and competitive spirit made card games, golf, bowling and fishing lifelong hobbies. She was an avid sports fan, keeping up with the Minnesota Twins year round and she was the most amazing cheerleader for her grandchildren’s many activities throughout their youth.
Arla was a mother in every aspect of her being, her ‘homemaking’ made her canning efforts legendary, with friends and family fondly remembering her efforts to use anything in abundance, even wild berries while camping. She adored her flower gardens and spending time in her sunroom with her husband celebrating their daily devotionals, hosting friends and family whenever they could.
She graciously gave praise to God for the many blessings that he allowed for their abundant international travels, winters in Florida, and the ability to hit the road in their camper to visit family and friends around the country year round.
Arla was a founding member of the First Reformed Church of Mitchell, SD and a member of the South Dakota Family Policy Board. She served on the Mitchell Christian School Board, for which the Veldheers were influential in the school’s establishment.
Arla is survived by her four loving children: Kathy (Dan) Matthews, Mitchell, SD, Brenda Veldheer, Mitchell, SD, John (Rita) Veldheer, Kansas City, MO, Doug (Kari) Veldheer, Mitchell, SD; her twelve grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; her sister, Octavia DenBeste, Payson, AZ; her brother, Vernon (Luverne) Star, Corsica, SD; sisters-in-law: Joyce (Alan) Polly, Platte, SD, Jane (Larry) Mierle, Spring Lake, MI,Jerralynne Tjeerdsma, Sioux Falls, SD, Kathy Veldheer, Grand Rapids, MI; brothers-in-law: Jim (Sandy) Veldheer, Lake City, MI, Buz (Dawn) Veldheer, Greenville, SC, Joel (Wendy) Veldheer, Grand Rapids, MI; and her many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack of 62 years, her parents, one sister, Ann Bobeldyk, four brother-in-law and one great-granddaughter.
Memorials can be sent to Center of Hope 225 E 11th St #101 Sioux Falls, SD 57104
or Wycliffe Bible Translators 11221 John Wycliffe Blvd, Orlando, FL 32832