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Arie Edward Drooger

March 10, 1935 ~ October 9, 2017 (age 82)


In the early morning hours of October 9, 2017, Arie Edward Drooger took his last breath on earth and inhaled his first taste of Heaven. It marked the end of a hard-fought and well-run race. From his birth on March 10, 1935 to his death on Monday, he showed others compassion, his kind heart, and how to keep a vehicle clean and lawn well-manicured.

He was born on a farm in Murray County to Dutch immigrants Gerritt and Nellie (Brands) Drooger, the youngest of 5 children. He was a happy child, much younger than his siblings and much more spoiled. He loved animals and working on the farm. Arie attended Edgerton Christian School through the 8th grade. In his teens he worked for his parents and neighboring farmers.

On Christmas night 1953, Arie saw Mary Ann Van Maanen at the Edgerton Roller Skating Rink and thought he might try talking to her. He said “Can I talk to Mary Ann?” Another woman stood up. He said “Not that Mary Ann, the other Mary Ann!” They were married January 24, 1958 in the Reformed Church of Steen, MN. They settled on a farm north of Edgerton. They had three children, Sharon Ranell, Michael Gene, and Susan Kay.

Arie farmed until 1969 when he began vocational school. While attending school he acquired his GED. He also worked for DeKam Hatchery, Roelof’s Implement, the Chandler Machine Shop, did carpentry, gravel hauling, and bus driving, along with other odd jobs. In 1971, Arie earned his degree in Ag Banking from Pipestone Area Vocational Technical Institute. He then moved the family to Brewster, MN and began work at First National Bank. He had the experience of a lifetime when a bomb was placed on his back by a man trying to rob the bank. In the years that followed he worked at Star Insurance Agency, Star Travel Agency, the Chandler Machine Shop, and Bob Menning Trucking. He battled Parkinson’s for many years with dignity and an unwavering faith. From 1977 until his health prevented, he took pride in doing the books for the grocery store he and his wife owned and later his son. The taxman often said if all of his accounts were as particular as Arie’s, he would have far less work to do.

Arie held a variety of positions in the Reformed church: Deacon, Elder, General Fund Treasurer, Clerk, Vice-President, Sunday School Treasurer, Men’s Brotherhood Executive Committee, Secretary-Treasurer of the Southwest Fellowship of Churches, and Secretary of the Regional Men’s Brotherhood. He was also active in his community serving on the Advisory Committee for the Wilmont Mutual Insurance Company, the Southwest Mutual Insurance Company, and as the President of the Community Club.

Arie is lovingly remembered by his wife of 59 years, Mary Ann of Edgerton; three children, Sharon (Tom) Weaver of Lowry, Minnesota, Mike (Gay Lynn) Drooger of Edgerton, Susan (Craig) Kallymeyn of Sioux Center, Iowa; 8 grandchildren, Ranell (Josh) Strommen, Adam Weaver, Andrew (Lauren) Kallemeyn, Amy (Dave) Thornton, Austin Kallemeyn, Alyson Drooger, Lindsey Drooger, and Luke Drooger; four great-grandchildren, Carter, Reese, Sierra, and Addelena Strommen; Mary Ann’s brother John Van Maanen and his wife Carol from Hills, MN.  Arie was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Gerritt Drooger; and three sisters, Christina (John) Vander Top, Reina (Jack) Zwart, and Cornelia (Walter) Post.

Our grandpa was the greatest man ever. We will never forget his tight hugs, his spot in the southwest corner of the EHS gymnasium at his grandkids’ sporting events, his big love for his four great-grandchildren, his sweet tooth, his positive attitude, his constant jokes, his love for music and how it was never turned up loud enough, his desk at Drooger’s Food Center in the back for his bookwork, his love for our grandma, how he’d never order a meal at a restaurant unless he knew she wanted half of it, his love for a clean car, his desire to keep his lawn mowed, his love of animals, his driving hat, his height, and our favorite thing: him. So long, Grandpa. We love you and “we’ll stop again soon”.

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