John Clarence Rutgers
John Clarence Rutgers, age 87, was born on January 4, 1930, weighing only 3 lbs. 8 oz., in Bigelow, MN, the son of Bernard and Effie (Zylstra) Rutgers. He graduated from Brewster High School in 1948 and then served active duty in the United States Army in Korea with the 5th Regimental Combat Team. John was discharged in November of 1953 and then served in the Army Reserves for eight years.
John met his wife, Dorothy Kroonenberg while recuperating in Denver, CO after returning from his deployment. They were married on September 10, 1954. To this union six children were born, Donald, Joann, Doris, Johnna, Dennis and Jerry. He raised his family on a farm west of Brewster. John retired in 1995 from active farming. He remained involved in the rental of his farm and the Rutgers Brothers farm. John volunteered with and was on the board of the Bible for Missions thrift store for many years, he enjoyed interacting with the customers and other volunteers, he was also a faithful volunteer at the Worthington Christian School, he helped with clean up on the construction site and was a school board member. John had a generous and giving spirit to many charitable organizations.
He was lifetime member of the Worthington Christian Reformed Church. He enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles at the Homestead, playing pool, and riding his exercise bike. He resided at Homestead Cooperative for 16 years.
John died peacefully on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, MN.
Hi, John, how are you today? "Never so good, I couldn't be better, never so bad I couldn't be worse." All who knew John have heard this more than once. Now he can say "I'm the best I've ever been!"
John is survived by six children, Donald Rutgers of Clara City, MN, Joann (Daryl Harvey) Talsma of Worthington, MN, Doris (Randy) Bulthuis of St. Cloud, MN, Johnna (David) Hafich of Round Rock, TX, Dennis (Terri) Rutgers of Wilmont, MN, and Jerald Rutgers of Byron, MN; grandchildren, Danelle (Ernesto) Aviles, Kelli (Dan) Rath, Samuel Talsma, Melissa (Chad) Dahlberg. Jordan (Corina) Bulthuis, Renata (Chad) Kreider, Micah (Helen) Hafich, Jared (Asia) Hafich, Adam (Jenna) Rutgers, Jonah Rutgers, Chloe Rutgers, Peter Rutgers, Brianna Rutgers, Noah Rutgers, Josiah Rutgers, Asher Rutgers, and Micah Rutgers; great grandchildren, Mason Ashburn, Esme Aviles, Julien Aviles, AJ Olson, Grace Dahlberg, Braden Bulthuis, Gavin Bulthuis, Evelyn Kreider, Hanniah Kreider, and Luke Hafich. He is also survived by his siblings, Clarlyn (Owen) Green Richard Rutgers, Garet Rutgers, Lois Brink, and Myron (Pat) Rutgers, and other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and wife, Dorothy on August 12, 1985 in a tragic auto accident; son-in-law, Gerald Talsma, and an infant sister and brother.
Visitation will be held on Monday, March 13, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington, MN and also one hour prior to the service. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 10:30 a.m., at the Worthington Christian Reformed Church in Worthington, MN, with Pastor Adam Eisenga officiating. Casket bearers will be Donald Rutgers, Honorary; Dennis Rutgers, Jerald Rutgers, Chad Dahlberg, Jordan Bulthuis, Jonah Rutgers, Samuel Talsma, and Noah Rutgers. Burial, with military honors, will be in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.