Fred Van Son

We sadly announce the passing of our father Fred Van Son of Northfield, MN on 20 February 2012. Fred was born 25 March 1923 to Jacoba (van der Weil) and Johannes van Son in de Haarsteeg, The Netherlands.

Frie (as he was known in Holland) spent his formative years on the family farm with his parents and seven siblings. Raising sheep, milking cows, walking to church and bicycling out to the fields in his small hometown filled his early years. When he was about sixteen years old, this pattern was disrupted by WWII. His family lived in a heavily fought over area, so after the war when Europe was still struggling to recover, he decided getting married and moving to the United States would be a good idea.

He met and married Helena van Spijk, a girl from a nearby village. In 1949, after earning a degree in agriculture and chemistry they immigrated to Rice County, MN. Early on he found employment at Andrews Nursery in Faribault. Long time residents of Northfield will remember Fred worked at the Carleton Farm and ran the Odd Fellows farm in the 50s and 60s. After retiring from farming Fred held various jobs around town ending with a stint at NWA. This job allowed he and Lena the freedom to travel extensively - visiting friends and family all over the US, Canada, and Europe.
Fred and Lena raised seven children in Northfield and were long time members of Saint Dominic's Catholic Church. They enjoyed tending to their gardens (Fred kept a vegetable garden that fed the family all winter long) fishing, traveling, and visiting with neighbors. Most importantly they loved to laugh and spend time with their greatest source of pride - the grandchildren.
Fred will be intensely missed by his surviving children, Anne Marie (Marshall) MacKay (Chanhassen, MN), Jackie (Ron) Wilhite (Jacksonville,FL), Teresa (Richard Voorhees) Van Son (Bayport, MN), Jane (Jim) Wilkens (Anchorage, AK), Kathy (Kurt Henrickson ) Van Son (Boulder,CO), John (Anne Remes) Van Son (Fort Worth, TX), Laura (Lane) Olson (Chaska,MN).
In addition, he is survived by eleven grandchildren, Ryan (Jennifer) MacKay, Heather (Andrew) Pieper, Brett Wilhite, Jill Van Sickle, Cassidy (Clint) Van Boylan, Amanda (Peter) Sejna, Jake (Lindsey) Wilkens, Lauren Van Son, Megan, Willem & Siri Olson.
Six great-grandchildren, Allyn and Evelyn MacKay, Marshall and Madeleine Pieper, Owen and Quinn Sejna.
Two sisters Jo van Hulten - van Son and Dina van der Leeden – van Son. Many treasured in-laws, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife Lena in 2006, brothers Ries, Jan, Piet and Andre van Son and his sister Helena van Opzeeland – van Son.
The Van Son family would like to thank the Northfield community for their support and friendship over the years. A special appreciation goes out to dad’s gang at the QB, his Sunday morning breakfast club, the staff at 3-Links and DaVita Dialysis Center in Faribault. We are grateful for many caring friends who made his last years lighter. Special favors and small visits went a long way and made a significant difference in the quality of his life.

Please join us for a Mass of Christian Burial at the Church of St Dominic in Northfield on Monday 27 February, 2012 at 10:00, with Fr. Dennis Dempsey officiating. Interment well take place at the Calvary Cemetery. Visitation well be held on Sunday, February 26th from 2 to 5 pm at the Bierman Funeral Home in Northfield and on Monday one hour prior to the service at the church.

Contributions may be made in his name to 3-Links or the Church of St. Dominic.

Arrangements by the Bierman Funeral Home of Northfield.