John Martin Groninga
John Martin Groninga was born on June 21, 1920 in Sibley, IA to Joest and Trena (Rust) Groninga. John grew up on family farms near Sibley and then in southwest Minnesota. John attended elementary school in Reading and graduated from Worthington High School on June 1, 1939. John enlisted in the US Army on June 9, 1942 and served in the Engineer Corps and Infantry. He married Evelyn Johnson on July 6, 1942 in Weatherford, TX where John was in training at Camp Wolters. John had additional training in Camp Gruber in Muskogee, OK before he was deployed oversees to serve in World War II with engagements in Africa, Corsica, France, and Germany. He was honorably discharged on October 3, 1945 after serving 42 months. John and Evelyn farmed in the Reading, MN area from 1945 to 1991. Together they were active members of Bethel Presbyterian Church and relied on Christ’s guidance throughout their lives. They enjoyed dancing, playing cards, 4-H involvement, raising their 5 children and were married 53 years until Evelyn passed away in 1995. John was an active member of the Worthington Elks Lodge, VFW, and American Legion. He loved to fish, hunt, play softball, golf, bowl, shoot pool, solving crossword puzzles and cryptoquotes. He enjoyed fishing and hunting with family and friends, and was a strong supporter of his children and grandchildren in their activities. He served as elder, deacon, and trustee at his church and used his vocal talent to serve his Lord by singing in men’s quartets and church choir. He had a very engaging personality and sense of humor, and had a caring heart for people’s needs. He was an avid Vikings, Twins, and Gophers fan as tough as that was during some of those seasons. John went to his eternal home on August 6, 2019 at the age of 99 years, 1 month, and 16 days. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, August 10, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., at Bethel Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Reading, MN, with Pastor Del Bolluyt officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, August 9, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the Benson Funeral Home in Worthington and also one hour prior to the service at the church. Honorary pall bearers will be Jeff Funk, Lyndon Funk, Bruce Kingery, Gary Kingery, Mike Rogers, and Tim Rogers. Interment, with military honors provided by the Wilmont VFW, will be held in the Summit Lake Township Cemetery. John is survived by his 5 children, Ardys Ann and husband Jon Horner of Detroit Lakes, MN, Rosalyn and husband Emery Shrock of Puyallup, WA, Donald and wife Judy Groninga of Worthington, MN, Donna and husband Gary Lee of Tulsa, OK, and Paul Groninga of Twin Falls, ID; 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, and 1 sister-in-law, Helen (Mrs. Kenneth) Groninga. John was preceded in death by his parents; wife Evelyn; twelve siblings Stena, Trena, Everett, Lena, Minnie, Louis, Florence, Joe, Herbert, Ben, Albert, and Kenneth; son-in-law Arville Bakken; daughter-in-law Kay (Mrs. Paul) Groninga; granddaughter Sarah Groninga, plus many nephews, nieces, brothers and sisters-in-law, and many friends. In lieu of flowers, John requested a memorial fund at the Reading Evangelical Presbyterian Church or Hospice Cottage Inc. P.O. Box 203 Worthington, MN 56187. Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.