Rufus A. 'Rudy' DeZeeuw died Friday, January 9, 2009, at the Brookings Hospital in Brookings, South Dakota. Funeral services will be 2:00 P.M. Monday, January 12, 2009, at the United Parish of Elkton, with interment in the Elkton City Cemetery. Visitations will be from 3-6 P.M. Sunday at the Eidsness-Zink Funeral Chapel in Elkton.
Rudy was born August 4, 1923, at home in Campbell Township, Sioux County, Iowa, to Rufus and Anna (Berkenpas) DeZeeuw. He attended kindergarten in a rural school and when he was in the first grade his parents and family moved to a farm in Fountain Prairie Township, Pipestone County, Minnesota. He received his education in rural school District No. 15. He grew up helping his father farm. He also worked on many farms in the Pipestone and Holland area. On July 21, 1943, Rudy married Gertrude Wussow at Pipestone. They lived on a farm in Fountain Prairie Township for three years, and in 1947 Rudy and Gertrude moved to a farm four miles northwest of Elkton. They lived on several other farms in the area, and in 1962 bought the farm that they first moved to northwest of Elkton. Rudy farmed until 1997, when he and Gertrude bought a home in Elkton.
Rudy loved to farm. He liked to see the crops grow and he liked being out on the land. He enjoyed most sports. He played softball and managed teams and served as an umpire for a number of years. He especially enjoyed throwing horseshoes, playing for over 55 years and in many tournaments. He was named to the South Dakota Horseshoe Hall of Fame in 1995, and won the World Horseshoe championship in his class in 1998. He was active in his church, serving as chairman of the board for seven years. He was a lay leader for 21 years, a certified lay speaker for six years—he seldom missed going to church. He also served on the Elkton school board for over 16 years, five years as president. He received an honorary high school diploma in 2004. Rudy was blessed in many areas throughout his life, and was so thankful that he had a Savior to lead him.
Rudy is lovingly remembered by his wife, Gertrude, of Elkton; seven children: Donald L. (Judi) DeZeeuw of Brookings, South Dakota, Audrey K. (Dave) Pratt of Spring, Texas, Susan L. Even of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Deloris A. (Darrell) Slack of Owatonna, Minnesota, Anna M. (Rick) Even of Elkton, Rufus C. (Patty) DeZeeuw of Elkton, and Pamella R. (Greg)Deckert of Greenfield, Minnesota; 30 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; a brother, John (Jean) DeZeeuw of Springfield, Minnesota; four sisters: Sylvia (Merle) Slieter of Mora, Minnesota, Rose (Darrell) Beck of Pipestone, Minnesota, Violet (Eddie) Brinkman of Hendricks, Minnesota, and Ardis (Roger) Neilsen of Springfield, Minnesota; and other numerous family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Ruth Ann DeZeeuw; six brothers: Paul, Bernard, Jacob, Sidney, Anthony, and Kenneth; two sisters, Melba Peterson and Mary Peterson; and a grandson, Troy Even.