Frederick Leroy DeJong
Frederick Leroy DeJong
Frederick Leroy DeJong was born November 1, 1940 on a farm southwest of Ocheyedan, Iowa to Dick and Florence Plantinga DeJong. While he was in the 5th grade they moved to a farm southeast of Harris, IA. Fred worked with many farmers in the area doing odd jobs while also doing chores at home. From the stories he would tell he had a very adventurous time in high school, usually involving cars or hunting.
In 1965, Fred moved to a farm west of Round Lake with his parents. He married Rebecca Paulsen on December 23, 1967. They farmed with his dad until 1969 when Fred took over the operation. Over the next decade he raised hogs while increasing the number of acres he farmed. At the high point of his farming career he reached 1200 acres. In 1976 they bought 80 acres on the southwest edge of Round Lake and moved there in 1979. All this was possible with the help of his wife, brother Bob and brother-in-law Mike Morrison. He farmed for Fairland Management for 50 years.
Fred loved farming. That led to participating in tractor pulls starting in 1958 and attending many farm auctions where he made a host of acquaintances, which led to traveling all around the area, even into Canada. In the 1970s he started collecting guns and reloading his own ammunition. He traveled with friends to many gun shows and gun shops. He enjoyed riding motorcycles at different times in his life and driving cars fast throughout his life. Then in the 1990s the antique tractor bug took hold of him. These passions brought many more people into his life. Many evenings were spent talking on the phone with someone about tractors or guns.
Fred and Becky began their family in 1969 when Sally was born. William (Bill) came along 13 months later in 1970 and Stacy joined the family in 1974. The family worked together doing the usual farm tasks of bean walking/riding, picking rocks, gardening and canning. They occasionally vacationed out west where they were repeatedly prompted to enjoy the local scenery.
Fred was on the Round Lake School Board in the late 1980s. He served many terms on the Prairie Reapers Tractor Club Board, holding the offices of treasurer and president. He was also a member of the Northwest Iowa 2-Cylinder Tractor Club and Lifetime NRA member. Fred died peacefully at his home near Round Lake on June 19th at the age of 73.
Fred is survived by his loving wife Becky, son Bill of Eden Prairie, daughters and sons-in-law Sally & John Kimmes of Brooklyn Park and Stacy & Michael Barnes of Spencer IA. Granddaughters Dariya Kimmes and Eleanor Barnes. His brother Bob DeJong of Eden Prairie and 5 nieces & 6 nephews. Father-in-law, Robert Paulsen; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Bonnie & Wayne Feyereisn and Lori & Mike Morrison. Aunts and Uncles; Jennie Engelkes, Tilly Rook, Minnie DeJong, Louisa Jacobsma, Gerrit & Erma DeJong, Arnold DeJong; and many cousins.
Fred is preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Florence DeJong; sister Donna Stroh; mother-in-law Norma Paulsen; sisters-in-law Nancy DeJong and Marcia Paulsen.
Visitation will be on Sunday, June 22, at the Benson Funeral Home from 5-7:00 p.m. Memorial Services will be held Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Round Lake with Rev. Robert Bartlett officiating. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service; lunch and fellowship will follow at the Round Lake American Legion.