Dick Groefsema

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dick L. Groefsema, 83, formerly of Mountain Home, died suddenly yet peacefully at his home in Gustine, Calif., on Friday, May 2, 2008.

Memorial services will be held today, Wednesday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at the Hillview Funeral Chapel, 515 1st Street in Gustine.

He was born on Nov. 8, 1924, in Mountain Home, to Clay and Virginia (Chattin) Groefsema,

Dick came to California after graduating from Mountain Home High School in 1942 to attend the University of California at both Berkeley and Davis. After serving in the U.S. Navy, he received his college degree from the University of California in 1950.

A farmer at heart, Dick farmed in Idaho, Australia, and the San Joaquin Valley of California over his lifetime. Dick farmed almost 40 years in the Merced County towns of Gustine and Los Banos. In addition to farming, Dick was the gin manager at the Dos Palos Cooperative Gin as well as an agricultural real estate broker.

"Dick was most happy being outside breathing the country air and sitting tall on the tractor," his family said.

Dick served as a board member of the Merced County Farm Bureau for 28 years, as well as a 22-year tenure on the Hillview Cemetary Board in Gustine. Dick was also a member of the Gustine Community Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Shirley, were also members and docents of the Gustine Historical Society.

Dick is survived by: his wife of 26 years, Shirley; his son Lars; his daughters Terry Fowler and Julie Jackson; his brother Ken Groefsema; as well as eight grandchildren and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.