Michael (Mike) John Aalbers, 59, was born Feb. 26, 1958, in Des Moines, the eighth of nine children born to Marinus and Magdalene (Keuning) Aalbers. He attended Prairie City Christian School through eighth grade, then attended Prairie City High School, graduating in 1976. After graduating Mike began employment with a construction company where he found his passion for residential and small business construction.
Mike and Dawn were high school sweethearts and were married March 25, 1977. They soon found themselves homeowners on a lifelong journey of remodeling. As their family grew, they spent time with their six daughters on long drives in his station wagon and in his trucks. Mike enjoyed taking the family for picnics at Red Rocks, trips to the Iowa State Fair and more recently Chappell Cousins Conference (CCC) and the yearly getaway at the cabin at Christmas. He took joy in building a playhouse, Barbie house and remodeling among other things for his daughters. As grandchildren came along, he found time for gardening, cutting wood and playing games like chess and peanuts. On their 40th wedding anniversary, March 25, 2017, he and Dawn renewed their wedding vows at the marriage of their youngest daughter. He continually showed that he was a devoted husband and dad/Pa-pa/oldman to his girls.
Mike worked in the construction field for 30 years using his skills and vision to build anything that met the needs and wants of the people he encountered. He loved running his own crew and managing job sites as a foreman. In 2007, he started his own business, Double A Builders. He had a heart for those he worked with and was able to listen to their needs, help them see the vision and enjoyed setting about the task of creating their dreams with his skill and creativity. He listened and brought their ideas to life and was able to teach his coworkers and daughters his vast construction skills. Many of the people he built projects for became lifelong customers and friends.
In May 2011, the Lord ignited a renewed passion in Mike’s spiritual walk and disaster relief mission work. He took his love and passion for construction work to the mission field, mentoring young and old in his vast knowledge of skills.
By July of that year, Mike and Dawn closed their construction business, established Built on Grace Alone and spent the next five years in Alabama, Joplin and other places across the U.S. and locally with organizations including Missions to North America, Lakeview Camp, Central College and his local churches. As his love for disaster relief grew, so did his love for the Lord and the families and volunteers that filled his life and job sites. Not only did he consider them colleagues, but he made lifelong friends.
Mike’s Christian faith was important to him and he dearly loved the Lord. He was a member of Bethany Reformed Church and most recently Grace Alive in Prairie City. He also was very active with Central Iowa Cursillo and served several terms on the secretariat board. He treasured the Christian community and friendships that blessed both his and Dawn’s life. All who shared his love for the Lord will miss his soft counsel, leadership, gentle manner, dedication and resilient faith.
Mike is survived by his wife, Dawn (Dobbs) Aalbers of Vandalia; five daughters, Michelle( Ben) Hiatt of Lehi, Utah; Kathy (Ryan) Dee of Indianola; Beth (Javier) Bacaof Albuquerque, N.M.; Brooke (Michael) Olson of Chappell, Neb.; Kimberly (Drew) Schaefer of Albion, Neb.; son-in-law, Andrew Crees of Casey; and 21 grandchildren; brothers, Jerry (Donna) Aalbers, Mark (Nancy) Aalbers; sisters, Greta Aalbers, Karen (Dewayne) Repp, Marlene Aalbers and Anne Aalbers. He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Megan (Aalbers) Crees; grandson, Shane Crees; and brothers, Gordon Aalbers and Kenneth Aalbers.
A funeral service was Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the First Reformed Church in Prairie City. Burial was at Vandalia Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Michael Aalbers Memorial Fund at Great Western Bank in Prairie City, Grace Alive Church or Central Iowa Cursillo. Condolences may be left for the family at coburnfuneralhomes.com.