Del Droogsma, age 77, of Cambridge died April 29, 2011 at Methodist Hospital in Rochester. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, May 7th at Cambridge Lutheran Church. Friends may gather one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. A visitation will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 P.M. THURSDAY, May 5th at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel. Interment will be in Pease Cemetery.
Del Droogsma was born on May 3, 1933 in rural Mille Lacs County to John and Minnie Droogsma. He was 5th in a family of 3 girls and 5 boys. He graduated from Pease Christian School in 1947 and Milaca High School in 1951. He farmed with his father until the military called in 1954. Following his honorable discharge in 1956 Del started his journey in the dairy industry. He worked at the Pease Creamery from 1956 1958. In June of 1958 he married Garda Godeke. They began their life in Isanti. Del worked at the Isanti Creamery from 1958 1962, the Ogilvie Creamery from 1962 1964 and at National Dairy Products from 1964 – 1972. He started up his own food brokerage in 1972, Del Dee Foods, Inc. Del officially retired in 2003. The business he began is still up and running in Appleton, MN.
Del and Garda moved to Cambridge in 1977. They spent 51 great years together. Their 50th anniversary was a very special family time filled with love and fun. Del and Garda’s summers were spent with family and friends at their cabin on Lower Hay Lake. Del spent the fall hunting and he was especially proud to share the hunting camp he started with family and friends. A few years ago a team of special men built him a wonderful deer stand christened the governor’s mansion. He loved it! Rako was a place near and dear to his heart.
Del was a wonderful Grampy. He and Garda faithfully sat on many bleachers, attended plays and concerts and watched races. He was especially fond of teaching the art of chopping wood and building camp fires. He will be dearly missed by his grandkids!
Del was passionate about donating blood. Prior to his illness he donated gallons to the American Red Cross. He became the grateful recipient of donated blood the last years of his life.
Del loved family, friends, the outdoors, chopping wood, campfires, skiing, snowmobiling, baseball, black labs, patriotism, studying maps, deer hunting, playing whist, a good sermon, a rare steak, piano music, Maui beach walks, holding Garda’s hand, sunsets and the Hallelujah Chorus. Del was a man whose handshake was as good as gold.
Del Droogsma passed away peacefully April 29, 2011 in Methodist Hospital in Rochester at the age of 77 years, 11 months and 26 days. He was surrounded by his wife and 3 children. Del was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic in December 2004 with a rare medical condition, pure red blood cell aplasia. He faced the challenges brought on by this illness with dignity and grace. His faith remained rock solid. Del and his family were so grateful for the amazing care he received at the Mayo Clinic. They want to extend a special thanks to Dr. Stephanie Carlson M.D.M.S.
Del was preceded in death by his parents, John and Minnie Droogsma. He is survived by his loving wife, Garda; daughter Lori and son-in-law Mike Lind; son Joel and daughter-in-law Teresa; son John and daughter-in-law Sara; and 4 grandchildren, Holland and Hunter Lind and Ryder and Tucker Droogsma. Also survived by siblings and spouses; Violet Rens, LaVonne Hubers, Arlene Droogsma, Donald (Carol), Melvin (Betty), Stanley (Eleanor) and Lyle. He was loved and will be greatly missed.
Memorials are suggested to Mayo Clinic Radiology Research. Attention: Department of Development, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.