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John M. Wassenaar

John M. Wassenaar Nov. 2, 1930 - July 30, 2013

WILLMAR - John M. Wassenaar, 82, of Willmar, died Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at GlenOaks Care Center in New London. His funeral will be 11:00 am, Saturday, August 3, 2013 at Hope Presbyterian Church in Spicer. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in Willmar. Visitation will be from 5-7 pm, Friday at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar and continue one hour prior to the service at the church.

John was born on November 2, 1930, in Martin, South Dakota, the son of TK and Bessie (Elzinga) Wassenaar. They family lived in Martin until moving to Chandler, Minnesota, where he graduated as valedictorian of his class. He then enlisted into the United States Air Force, serving as a gunner on a B-29 in Korea. Upon his honorable discharge he returned to Chandler until moving to White Rock, SD, where he worked in a grain elevator and also helped build the Fort Randall Dam.

On April 15, 1955, he was united in marriage to Johanna VerSteeg in Hancock, Minnesota. They lived in Ruthton, Echo, Brooten and New London before moving to Willmar. John and Johanna farmed near Brooten – Sunburg and when they moved to New London he started his career at the State Hospital - Willmar Regional Treatment Center, retiring in 1994.

John was a gifted artist, painter and carver and he shared his talents as gifts to others. He loved reading western novels, watching the Twins (when they were winning) and collecting animals for his nativity scene. John also liked working jigsaw puzzles and having coffee with the guys, both morning and afternoon.

Surviving are his daughter, Kathy (and Daryl) Taatjes of Spicer; Gerry (and Kim) Wassenaar of Coon Rapids; grandchildren, Nikki (and Nathan) Braaten of Olivia; Cori Wassenaar of Dayton, OH; Kymberlie Wassenaar of Coon Rapids; brother-in-law, Art Grootwassink of Edgerton and many family members of his wife, Johanna. Also surviving is his very special friend, Florence Grendahl of Willmar.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Johanna on October 13, 1995, an infant son, sister, Sadie Grootwassink; brother, Garrit and son-in-law, Doyle Royal.