Ron Veenker, 68, of Bingham Lake died Oct. 28, 2019, at his home in Bingham Lake. Mass of Christian Burial was Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at 2:30 p.m., at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Windom with Father Pratap officiating. Special music was provided by Colleen Ortmann, organist; Dustin Stevens, pianist; and Nadine Forman, soloist, singing “I Can Only Imagine” and “I Am the Bread of Life.” Congregational hymns were “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.” Ushers were John Holt, Dan Fossing and Barry Ommen. Casket bearers were John Veenker, Scott Veenker, Amy Gould, Tom Veenker and Butch Baller. Honorary bearers were the Benson Office Supply team, deer hunting crew, past and present employees of Balzer, Inc. Burial with full military honors provided by Windom American Legion Post 206 was at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery in Windom. LaCanne Family Funeral Service of Windom handled the funeral arrangements.
Ronald “Ron” Joseph Veenker was born on April 4, 1951, in Windom to the late Arthur John and Doris Melvina (Smith) Veenker. He received his education in the Windom Public School system where he participated in a number of different sports, including wrestling, tennis and the “Golden Gloves” boxing program. He graduated with the Class of 1969. Ron enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Nov. 4, 1969. On Nov. 7, 1970, Ron was united in marriage to Catherine Mary Benson at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Windom. After marriage, they made their home in Norfolk, Va. He was later honorably discharged and they returned to the Windom area. Three children were born to this marriage: John, Amy and Scott. For many years, Ron worked for Benson Office Supply before becoming a part owner and the CFO of Balzer, Inc. in Mt. Lake. On Jan. 21, 2015, Ron retired. After retiring, Ron continued to live in rural Bingham Lake until becoming suddenly ill on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, and passed away at his home at the age of 68 years.
Ron and Cathie were longtime members of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Windom where they were youth leaders and marriage counselors in their younger years. Ron was involved in his community as a 4-H leader, member of the American Legion Post 206 where he also served as vice-commander, member and president of the Windom Area Chamber of Commerce, longtime member of Windom Lion’s Club, Benson Office Supply softball team player and captain, president of Windom’s softball league, and member of the men’s pool league and the gun club in Windom. Ron will be remembered for his enjoyment of youth sports activities, time spent with friends and family, and fun times at the Veenker cabin. A much-loved, well-respected, fair-minded, self-made man, Ron was the embodiment of “still waters that run deep.” His perseverance, tenacity, humility, kind heart and laughter will remain with those who knew and loved him.
Ron is survived by his wife of 48 years, Cathie Veenker of Bingham Lake; three children: John (Staci) Veenker of Windom; Amy (Steve) Gould of Delano; Scott (Aimee) Veenker of Windom; eight grandchildren: Jenna, Hailey and Jackson Veenker, Danielle, William and Katya (Tyler) Gould, Claire and Ben Veenker; sister, Pat Thornton of Toronto; brother, Tom (Harriet) Veenker of Aitkin; sister-in-law, Kathy Veenker of Windom; and several nieces and nephews. Ron is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Richard (Alice) Veenker and Gerald (Rose) Veenker; infant sister, Jeannie Marie; and nephew, Randy Veenker. Blessed be the memory of Ron Veenker.