Ivan Lee Likkel

Ivan Lee Likkel

Ivan Lee Likkel was born March 20, 1940 and passed peacefully on Jan. 10 at the age of 82.

The fifth son of Fred and Nancy Likkel, Ivan was born in Everett which was a stop along the way in the family’s journey from South Dakota to eventual settling in Lynden in 1943. 

Ivan grew up on a dairy farm on East Badger Road. He attended Lynden Christian Schools until the ninth grade, after which he began full-time work on the farm with his dad. 

He met his future wife, Alicia Kay Vanderwall of Bozeman, Montana when their relatives wed. A long-distance courtship ensued and Ivan and Kay were married Aug. 10, 1960. 

After their wedding, they farmed on Badger Road with his parents and eventually took over that dairy.

Ivan’s love of dairying and farming continued through two relocations in the Lynden area. He was a good cow man, recognizing the best kind of cows and caring for them well. 

Ivan passed on his love for animals and the land to his three daughters, Leslie, Erin and Megan, who took pride in helping out on the farm.

In 1996, circumstances conspired to move Ivan and Kay out of dairy farming, and, though it was a good opportunity, it was a significant transition.

Ivan was then employed as an operator and manager of land-shaping services, but was always a farmer at heart and missed the cows and dairying.

Ivan’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease 17 years ago was slowly life-changing.

Actively tending their Northwood Road property and following the nine grandkids’ activities in sports, music and drama gave way to a number of years of being mostly homebound.

Always a team, Ivan and Kay shared the daily joys and challenges together, continuing to do so through Ivan’s final months as a resident of Silverado Memory Care.

The family greatly appreciated the care and love shown to Ivan during his stay, and the kindness of the Silverado and Hospice staffs as he transitioned to his heavenly home.

Ivan is remembered as kind, creative, generous and fun – a man of quiet wisdom, vast curiosity, wry humor, and steadfast devotion to his loved ones and his Savior. 

Ivan is survived by his wife of 62 years, Alicia Kay; daughters Leslie (Randy) Honcoop, Erin (Larry) Tremaine, Megan (Jim) Clay, all of Lynden; grandchildren Dillon (Tiffany) Honcoop, Caitlin (Jon) Tuben, Jess Honcoop, Jeffrey (Kristen) Tremaine, Alicia (Greg) Susinger, Derek Tremaine, Cameron, Sean, and Nate Clay; great-granddaughters Emma, Allie and Olivia Honcoop, Kit and Annie Tuben, Emma Marie Tremaine, and Baby Susinger, due in May; siblings Roger (Bernita) Likkel, Stan Likkel, Lorraine (Bud) Brouwer; in-laws Milly Likkel, Bonnie (Pete) Alberda, Tom (Marcia) Vanderwall, Sally (Stan) Dyk, Marcia Smith, John (Linda) Vanderwall; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins – he loved us all.

Ivan was predeceased by his parents Fred and Nancy, brothers David and Calvin, sisters-in-law, Gert and Lois, and in-laws, nephew Duane, Martin and Anne Vanderwall.

Visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 19 from 3-7 p.m. at Gillies Funeral Home.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, 11 a.m. at Third Christian Reformed Church, 514 Liberty St., Lynden.

Private interment will be held at Monumenta Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to Whatcom Family Farmers and Whatcom Hospice Foundation.