April 12, 1946 – August 22, 2022
Eldon Alphonse Van Straten was born April 12, 1946 at his home in Fenn, Alberta. Eldon was the ninth child of fifteen born to Nanning and Irene Van Straten. Eldon attended Big Valley School until grade 7, but school was never a priority to him – working on the farm was. Eldon worked on the farm with his dad and brothers while also helping on the nearby Lohr farm in his younger years. One of his highlights was showing horses at the Calgary Stampede in the 60’s. He also attended the World’s Fair in Toronto in 1967, by riding in a box car with the show horses there and back. One of Eldon’s teams was purchased and used at Heritage Park in Calgary for several years. In the late 60’s Eldon worked over in the Galahad area where he was able to save some money for his first land purchase from Erwin Crawford, which included the home quarter in ’71. Dad was very grateful for that opportunity as it started his own farming operation.
Horses were Eldon’s true love until he met Dale Heer. In fact, the first time Dale saw Eldon he was trading horses with her brother Gary. He didn’t ever see her, however, as Dale was hiding in the milk house because she had ripped her pants. A couple of years later Eldon would meet Dale at a dance in Botha and that’s where the romance began. They were married in the Christ King Catholic Church on February 24, 1973. Eldon and Dale started a family shortly after with the birth of their first daughter Shandele in 1974, Brandon, their first son, in 1976, Pernell their second son in 1981, and the youngest of the family and second daughter Michelle, in 1984.
In his life, Eldon worked extremely hard on his farm. He had a bad horse wreck in 1985 that broke his leg and smashed his ankle and foot. When it was suggested he change careers, he kept farming. It was through pure determination he was able to continue. It was difficult for him to take a break from the expansive cow/calf operation he built with Dale. If they did happen to get away, there were always several calls home to check on things. However, over the years, Dale was able to convince him to go to Vegas, on an Alaskan Cruise, to The Netherlands, Prince Edward Island and on two Country Music Cruises.
All of Eldon’s children married significant others and started building families of their own, which was Eldon’s true legacy. Shandele married Ted Battle in 1995 and they have four daughters, Presley, Jensen, Piper and Sutton. Brandon married Kimberley Nelson in 1996 and they have three children, Quinton, Olivia and Colt. Pernell married Carla Potter in 2013 and they have three children, Allie, Emersyn and Rhett. Michelle married Jody Renschler in 2002 and they have three daughters, Charlie, McKenna and Everly. 10 girls and 3 boys. Lucky number 13. The grandkids called Eldon, Papa, and he was so proud of each and every one of them. Papa loved giving kisses, overnight sleepovers, pulling the sleigh with his team of horses, and Kubota and tractor rides. Nothing in the world would make Eldon laugh harder than playing a game of cards, being lucky enough to win and then rubbing it in your face the next day. There are many fond memories of the grandkids having lunch in the silage field with Papa.
Unfortunately Eldon’s health started failing in the summer of 2019 which made it difficult to work like he was used to. His life was his family and his farm. Eldon was one of the kindest, most caring, generous and honest human beings you will ever meet. He will be missed by all.
Eldon is survived by his loving wife Dale, his four children: Shandele (Ted) Battle of Delia, Brandon (Kimberley) Van Straten of Fenn, Pernell (Carla) Van Straten of Fenn and Michelle (Jody) Renschler of
Gadsby; his thirteen grandchildren: Quinton Van Straten, Presley Battle, Jensen Battle, Olivia Van Straten, Charlie Renschler, Piper Battle, Colt Van Straten, Sutton Battle, McKenna Renschler, Allie Van Straten, Emersyn Van Straten, Everly Renschler and Rhett Van Straten; Eldon’s surviving siblings: Theresa Van Straten, Amelia Van Straten, Jean (Annie) Van Straten, Elizabeth (Joe) Knowles, Louis Van Straten, Irene (Dale) Hankins, Bernadette (Doug) Haustein, Kenneth (Remedious) Van Straten; brother in law: Percy (Paulette) Heer and sister in law: Juanita Van Straten; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends and neighbours.
Eldon is predeceased by his parents: Nanning and Irene Van Straten, his parents in law: Donald and Clara Heer; his brothers: Gilbert (Eileen) Van Straten, Bernard (Marie Dean) Van Straten and Norman Van Straten; his sisters: Germaine Van Straten, Norma Van Straten and Yvonne (Frank) Johnson; his brother in law: Gary (Melody) Heer.
A Funeral Mass for Eldon was held on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 1:00 P.M. at the Christ-King Catholic Church, Stettler, Alberta. Memorial donations may be made in Eldon’s name Heartland Victim Services (5902-44th Ave. Stettler, AB).
Stettler Funeral Home & Crematorium are entrusted with the care and funeral arrangements. For further information please contact 403- 742-3422. To send condolences to the family, please visit www.stettlerfuneralhome.com.