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March 23, 2019

2/11/2019 8:49:00 AM
Funeral for Avery Vrieze Feb. 13 at SUMC

The funeral service for Avery D. Vrieze, 88, of rural Spring Valley, will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, at Stewartville United Methodist Church with Rev. Bridget Sheely officiating. Burial, with military graveside honors by Stewartville American Legion Post 164, will follow at Hamilton Cemetery in rural Racine.
Mr. Vrieze died peacefully on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, of natural causes, at Mayo Clinic-Rochester-St. Marys Campus, where he had been a patient for the past week.
Avery Donovan Vrieze was born on Aug. 7, 1930 in Spring Valley, to Harry and Winnie (Hess) Vrieze. He grew up on the family farm in rural Racine, attended country school and began farming with his family. He enlisted into the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and served overseas during the Korean Conflict as a radio operator in Korea. Following his discharge in 1956, he returned to the family farm.
Avery was married on Nov. 17, 1956 at East St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Rock Dell, to Donna Mae Kleinwort. Following their marriage, the couple moved to rural Racine where they farmed as partners. Along with the children, they raised dairy and beef cattle, sheep and pigs. Rural Racine continues to be called home.
Avery was a past member of Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville and was a current member of Sumner Center United Methodist Church. He served as Sumner Township Clerk for 11 years and on the Spring Valley Mutual Insurance Board for 12 years. Avery was a charter member of the Racine Lions, the Racine Saddle Club and a farm advocacy group - the Southeast Minnesota Resource Center in St. Charles. He enjoyed being a 4-H leader in Sumner Center when his kids were young. He and Donna enjoyed going to Arizona in the winter for many years after they became (re)tired farmers. He also enjoyed fishing and RV camping, square dancing and playing cards. Avery loved time spent with his family.
Avery is survived by his wife of 62 years, Donna; one son and three daughters, Henry (Sandi) of rural Racine, Marcella Boyer of Vancouver, Wash., Susan (Bruce) Hemphill of Apache Junction, Ariz. and Arlis (Bruce) Vrieze-Duncan of Plainview; one grandson, Carter Duncan of Millville; five step-grandchildren and seven step-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Kenneth (Joanne) Vrieze of rural Racine and Floyd Vrieze of Storm Lake, Iowa; sister-in-law, Maxine Vrieze of rural Racine; first born nephew, David (Judy) Patton and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Winnie, son-in-law, Dave Boyer, four sisters and brothers-in-law, Harriet and Everett Rolli, Vivian and Earl Rodenz, Eleanor and Dean Squire and Dorothy and Bob Burmeister, brother and sister-in-law, William (Franklyn) and Donna Vrieze, brother, Calvin Vrieze and sister-in-law, Dianne Vrieze.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place from 4-7 p.m. today (Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019) at the Stewartville United Methodist Church and one hour. prior to the service at the church on Wednesday morning.
Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. On-line condolences and memories of Avery are welcome at

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