Wilbur Cornelius “Bud” Houtman

Monday, October 23, 2017 4:37 pm

Wilbur Cornelius “Bud” Houtman, 90, passed away Oct. 18, 2017. A private family memorial service is planned for Dec. 29, at the Draeger home in Wisconsin with interment at the Trinity Cemetery in Volga, S.D. the following summer just before the Houtman family reunion. In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to Don Shire Ministries (donshireministries.org), where a grandson works as a missionary.

Born Jan. 14, 1927, in Volga, S.D., Bud married Belinda Delores “Dee” Nelson, also of Volga, S.D., Dec. 30, 1950. The two shared 66 years together until Dee passed away in January of 2017.

Bud dropped out of school at a young age to work the family farm outside of Volga, S.D. (back when he plowed fields with a horse and a single plow tine). That family homestead is now the site of Oakwood Lakes State Park. Bud fell in love at first sight with Dee but had to wait for her to turn 18 and graduate from high school. Love is patient and he worked the farm for four more years; then the 23-year-old was quick with a proposal. Bud joined the U.S. Army and served in Alaska during the Korean conflict. After honorable discharge, the family returned to Volga where Bud opened a small Ford dealership and auto repair shop. In the early 1970s, the family moved to Canby, Minn. and in the 1980s Decorah, where Bud worked at area technical colleges in the fields of auto mechanics and auto body. He was gifted in making engines run smoothly. In retirement, Bud and Dee shared their time between Antigo, Wis. and Mesa, Ariz. A member of Peace Lutheran Church in Antigo, Wis., (as well as previous memberships in Lutheran churches in Decorah, Canby and Volga), Bud helped launch a mission church in Mesa, Ariz. Bud survived colo-rectal cancer in the 1990s. He always had a car project going (or two) and even into his 80s completed the restoration of a 1934 Ford Model A.

Bud is survived by his son, James (Kristine) Houtman of Orono, Minn., daughter Reva (Curt) Draeger of Antigo, Wis., daughter Rita Johnson of Antigo, Wis., son Jason (Ashley) Houtman of Mound, Minn., sister Dorothy Vostad Weisser of Volga, S.D. and brother Charles (Karen) Houtman of Canby, Minn.; 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Preceding him in death were parents Charlotte and Hessel Houtman, son Keith Douglas Houtman, son-in-law Todd Johnson, brother Gerald Houtman, sister Hester Jennings, sister Alice Doop, sister Lorraine Lengkeek and infant brother David as well as additional brothers- and sisters-in-law and nieces.

Beautifully devoted to his wife, Dee, the two lovebirds raised a faithful, God-fearing and loving family. All look forward to being reunited one day in the presence of our Lord.

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