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William "Bill" Ryks

William "Bill" Ryks

William "Bill" Ryks, age 97, of Prinsburg, died Thursday afternoon, March 16, at Rice Care Center in Willmar.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at the First Reformed Church in Prinsburg. Interment will be at the Emden Christian Reformed Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, March 20, at the First Christian Reformed Church in Prinsburg and will continue for one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Tri-County Funeral Home in Prinsburg.

Bill was born on January 26, 1920, on the family farm near Renville, Minnesota, the son of Jan and Hilke (Santjer) Ryks. He grew up and received his education in the Renville community and joined his father in farming. On March 19, 1947, Bill was married to Elaine H. Buss at the Raymond Christian Reformed Church. They made their home on the Ryks family farm near Renville and in 1978, they moved into Prinsburg. Following Bill's retirement from farming in 1982, he began working at the Prinsburg Co-Op and also for several area farmers during the harvest season. He was a member of the First Christian Reformed Church and participated in Men's chorus. Bill's hobbies included woodworking, gardening, fishing and attending auctions.

He is survived by his eight children, Beverly (and Joel) Bruse of Willmar, Joyce Ackerman of Bemidji, William Jr. (and Linda) Ryks of Renville, Dennis (and Marlene) Ryks of Renville, Wendy Freiborg of Glenwood, Sandi (and Todd) Slagter of Prinsburg, Renae (and Timothy) Slagter of Lake Lillian and Patci (and Perry) Slagter of Prinsburg; twenty-two grandchildren and forty-four great grandchildren (with three more expected soon). Also surviving is one sister, Jeanette "Janet" Dugstad of Litchfield and an "adopted son", Gerry (and Rita) Gigstad of Sacred Heart, besides other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elaine in 2012; an infant daughter, Gwen; two sons-in-laws, Richard Ackerman and Lowell Freiborg; and twelve siblings.