NEW SHARON — John E. Terpstra, 83, of New Sharon, passed away the evening of Dec. 26, 2013, at the Mahaska Health Partnership in Oskaloosa.
John Elmer Terpstra, son of Nick and Jennie (Vanden Heuvel) Terpstra, was born July 26, 1930, at the rural home of his parents near Lacey. After finishing the eighth grade at Lacey School, John joined his father and brother Richard in working the family farm. Early on, they raised purebred Chester White breeding stock, and from 1965-79, John was a breeding stock producer for Kleen-Leen, Inc. From 1972 to 2012, John was a certified soybean grower for several seed corn companies. He loved farming as a way of life; his pride and passion was planting a straight corn row, and he did his own planting through the 2012 season. Many will remember John because of the hundreds of auctions he cried as auctioneer for Terpstra Auction Service. He had the privilege of crying the 4-H livestock auction at the Southern Iowa Fair for more than 50 years. John was an avid bowler, participating in Monday Night League and attending tournaments for many years.
John married Phyllis Holm in May 1950; to this union four children were born. They later divorced. He married Mary Cathryn McDowell in Ottumwa in 1978.
John is survived by his wife of 34 years, Mary of Oskaloosa; his children, Vickie Terpstra of Des Moines, Cynthia L. (Terry) Fenaglio of Knoxville and Ronald G. Terpstra of New Sharon; stepchildren: Billy Hart of Ottumwa, David (Tina) Hart of Chariton and Jimmy Hart of New Sharon; two grandchildren, Tim Fenoglio and Brian Fenoglio, both of Knoxville; a great-grandson, Bret Fenoglio; and a great-great-granddaughter, Lia Fenoglio; several stepgrandchildren and stepgreat-grandchildren; and two sisters: Nancy Van Zee of Oskaloosa and Alida Terpstra of Grand Rapids, Mich.
In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death by his son, James; and two brothers, Richard and John Martin Terpstra.