What is Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss?

Death and grief are common human experiences, yet these experiences tend to be different for every individual. As a result, Hamilton's Academy of Grief & Loss offers a wide variety of resources available to you and your family as you begin to work through your grief.
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Academy of Grief and Loss
Academy Events

Academy Events

Hamilton's Academy of Grief and Loss offers a variety of services to educate, support and connect with those who are grieving.
Community Events

Community Events

Hamilton's Funeral Homes host a variety of events to serve and give back to our community.

Service Details


Wednesday, January 24, 2018
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Vigil Service at 7:30 pm
Ss. John & Paul Catholic Church
1401 1st Avenue South
Altoona, Iowa


Thursday, January 25, 2018
10:00 am
Ss. John & Paul Catholic Church
1401 1st Avenue South
Altoona, Iowa


Thursday, January 25, 2018
2:15 pm
Armah Cemetery
North English, Iowa


Hamilton's near Highland Memory Gardens
121 NW 60th Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50313
(515) 289-2442

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James "Jim" Van Dee James “Jim” Van Dee took his last train ride into heaven on Sunday, January 21, 2018, surrounded by his loving wife, Jan, and daughters.

Born on October 4, 1937, in Deep River, Iowa, Jim worked for the Rock Island Railroad and Iowa Interstate for a total of 33 years. He kept many of his fellow railroaders near and dear to his heart, attending monthly lunches with many of them. Jim worked the 3:00-11:00 p.m. shift and volunteered for school playground duty so he could spend time with his children.

Jim was a devout Catholic and attended Ss. John and Paul Catholic Church in Altoona, Iowa. He was a member of the St. Joseph’s Knights of Columbus for several years and was treasurer until very recently. His faith had an impact on his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, kneeling beside them at night to teach them their first prayers. There are so many special things Pop-Pops-Papa-Dad left for his family to hold dear in their hearts and carry on for future generations.

Jim’s sense of humor, his over use of duct tape and the countless generous acts of kindness will be sorely missed! Jim could hold a crying baby and quiet it down in no time at all. He loved kids!

Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 25, 2018, at Ss. John and Paul Catholic Church, 1401 1st Avenue South in Altoona. Burial will take place at 2:15 p.m. at Armah Cemetery in North English, Iowa. Visitation will be held Wednesday evening at the church from 5:30-7:30 p.m., with a Vigil Service at 7:30 p.m.

Welcoming him into heaven are Jim’s parents, Verla and Ted Van Dee; brother, Marion (Hook) Van Dee; his son, Steven Van Dee; and grandson, Ryan Heithoff.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Janet; daughters, Renee Scott (Todd) and Rita Holt (Rick); his favorite sister, Iowa Ann; brothers, Jerry and Dave Van Dee; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Thank you to Dr. Molina, Dr. Jason Kopp, and the best Hospice team any family could ask for. You showed Dad and our family compassion and your love of humanity. Jim would tell Dr. Kopp, “Go Broncos!”

From your daughters, “Ciao for now!”

Memorials can be made to Saint Labre Catholic School, E. Tongue River Rd., Ashland, MT 59003 and Ss. John & Paul Catholic Church – building fund.

Online condolences are welcome at: