George Wayne Bulen, of Cedar Rapids, IA passed peacefully into Jesus’ arms on October 27, 2018 at the age of 85. He was a loving, caring, funny, and family oriented man. Most of all he put his love, faith, and trust in God. As George would say, “I can do anything with God’s strength.”
George was born November 14, 1932 to Ida Pauline and George C. Bulen in Galva, IL. He was the oldest of four children with two sisters, Phyllis (Bob) Ford, Bonnie (Bill) Dalton and one brother, Bob (Jane) Bulen, who he cherished and had a loving relationship with for all his life.
George attended high school in East Moline, IL at United Township High School and graduated in 1951. He was a football star and played tackle and defense. After graduating he went to college to Augastana, IL for football. He was one of two freshmen that had a starting position waiting for him. After playing football he volunteered to serve in the US Navy as an air traffic controller in the aviation division at Corpus Christi, TX where he proudly served four years for God and Country.
After returning home from the navy, George met his soul mate and the love of his life, Joyce (Steffenson) Bulen. They were married on April 8, 1955 in Silvis, IL. Together they are the proud parents of three children, Cindy Hamilton, Cathy Bailey, and Wayne (Terri) Bulen. During that time he worked for 7-UP and Sanitary Farm Dairy in IL. In 1973 George moved his family to Cedar Rapids, IA where George then became a Territory Manager for delivery as well as the Productions Floor Manager at Swiss Valley Farms where he loved working for 36 years. George also enjoyed driving the trucks and delivering all the milk to schools and grocery stores around the distribution area. He retired from Swiss Valley in 1995.
George was blessed with 17 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Family was everything to George. He made sure that everyone was loved and taken care of. He taught them that family is the most important thing after God. He was an active member at Calvary Baptist Church for several years and enjoyed drawing, gardening, and wood working. George was a pitcher in baseball during his high school years and then played softball for many years through church and other leagues. He also enjoyed bowling leagues, coffee with friends, and watching his grandchildren participate in many sports, groups, and other activities. He especially enjoyed the 29 years of going with his grandchildren to fairs and cattle shows. George felt especially honored when he was chosen to go on the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight to Washington DC on April 17, 2018 as an American Thank You for his service in the Navy. He was a blessed man through love which gave him a smile that would light up the room. He will also be remembered for his stubbornness, his jokes, and laughter he brought to others.
George is proceeded in death by his parents, George and Ida Bulen; in-laws Steven and Katherine Steffenson; daughter Cindy Hamilton; brother Bob Bulen, brother-in-law Roger Steffenson; two grandsons Chad Parks and Steven Blanchett; and two nephews Jim Dalton and Randy Steffenson.
George is survived by his loving wife, Joyce; his son Wayne (Terri) Bulen of Arbela, MO; his daughter Cathy Bailey of Brooklyn, IA; grandchildren Mandi (Chris) Bulen Cicero; Andrew (Kristie) Bulen; Angie (Andrew) Bulen Trowbridge; Kassie Bulen, Holly (and friend Jason), Bailey Ziegenmeyer, Suzzie Bailey Stoner, Eric (and friend Nicole) Bailey, Chrissy (and fiancee Jacob) Blanchett, Cindy (Patrick) Nelson Parks Mishler, 23 great-grandchildren, two sisters Bonnie (Bill) Dalton of Memphis, MO and Phyllis (Bob) Ford of Olathe, KS, one sister-in-law Jane Bulen of Memphis, MO and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
He will forever be loved and greatly missed. He was a gift from God to everyone who knew him. If George could tell you one thing at this moment it would be “Live and Love everyday as your last. God has given us a beautiful gift and it is our family and Jesus’ Love”. He was a devoted child of Christ and George lived by his favorite verse John 3:16. We know that he is no longer in pain or suffering and in his eternal home. It is not Goodbye, it is See You Soon.
Visitation was held on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at the Calvary Baptist Church in Cedar Rapids, IA with the funeral service following. George was laid to rest at the Cedar Memorial Cemetery.