Born in Bloemendaal, Holland in 1934, Dirk Hendrik Willem Bode van Ysselmonde spent his younger years under the occupation of the Nazis. His task was helping his father deliver messages to the Dutch Underground during World War II, and he suffered two gunshot wounds at the hands of a Nazi soldier. They also hid Jews in their home, for which a tree was planted in their honor at Yad Vashem, in Jerusalem, Israel. After Holland was emancipated by American and Canadian soldiers, the family decided to make the move to America. He proudly served in the U.S. Air Force as a green card holder, becoming part of the Strategic Air Command and paying it forward to the Americans that helped them to gain their freedom. He was very proud to become an American citizen and spoke at many Veteran's Day programs and other meetings, telling his story and proclaiming his love for America.
At the age of 86, he still worked most days at his insurance office until he became ill in mid-November. He served as president of the McClellan Creek Soil & Water Conservation District.
He loved the peace and serenity he found on his ranch in Alanreed, walking daily at sunset to take in all the beauty. He will be laid to rest there in a private graveside ceremony. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, and a baby sister.
He is survived by his sweetheart of 62 years, Barbara Bode of Alanreed; a daughter, Margie and husband Randy Braidfoot of Panhandle; sons, Dirk Bode and Don Bode and wife Michele, all of Amarillo; grandsons, Ben Braidfoot of Panhandle, Bo Braidfoot and wife Lynda of Georgetown, Brice Bode and Chance Bode, both of Lewisville; granddaughter, Laci Johnson of Grand Prairie and a great-granddaughter, Emma Melber of Georgetown. He is also survived by his two brothers, four sisters, two sisters-in-law, many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends, who will miss him greatly.
Memorials may be made to United Methodist Church of McLean.