John M. Klaassen was born to the late John P. and Margaret (Dick) Klaassen on October 17, 1928 in Mountain Lake, MN. The oldest of two children, he attended country school until the 8th grade and then graduated from Mt. Lake High School in 1947. At a young age, he professed his faith in Jesus Christ, was baptized and was a member of Lakeview Gospel Church, Mt. Lake, MN. John worked on the family farm in Mt. Lake for 15 years and then moved to Madelia in 1962. He drove truck for Gilling Trucking in LaSalle, MN. for 2 years. He then worked in St. James for about 10 yrs. as a Maintenance Supervisor at Scherr-Tumico. He helped build the recent Denver, CO. airport while working for Lorentz Construction, St. Peter, MN. He drove truck for them for 18 yrs., having many experiences with road construction in several states. He drove pilot car for 2 yrs. after retiring his truck driving experiences. John acquired Guillain-Barre syndrome in his early 40’s. It’s a rare disorder attacking the immune system in the nerves. It affected his legs and feet. He was told he’d never walk again, but God saw otherwise.
John married Lillian Buhler on August 11, 1949. Lillian passed away August 7, 2007. Their union was blessed with four children.
John had a great sense of humor, strong, hard work ethic and super friendly personality. Loved to visit! His hobbies included singing in men’s choirs, helping his children in any way he could, as well as spending time with the grandkids and great grandkids. His love for Guernsey cows, old farm equipment and work horses lasted a lifetime. He enjoyed making leather harnesses with all the trimmings for his Belgian horses, hooked up to antique toy scale size horse drawn equipment. He displayed his workmanship at the Butterfield Threshing Bee for a number of years and loved visiting with the people who stopped to see his display.
John entered the Good Samaritan Home in Mt. Lake on February of 2015.
Survivors include daughter Linda (Mitch) Wilson, Sioux Falls, SD, and their son Matthew (Ashley) Wilson and great grandsons, Gabe and Logan, Charlie (Rhonda) Klaassen, Brooklyn, IA. and their children, Brenda (Jason)Willis and great grandchildren, Ally, Drew and Tana, Chris (Amy) Klaassen and great granddaughters, Kaylee and Lauryn, Rachel Latcham and great granddaughter Brylee, Arlie Klaassen, Mt. Lake, Laura (Chuck) Winkler, Tucson, AZ. and their children, Nicole Winkler,Tyler(Xuan) Winkler and great grandchildren, Whitney and TJ. Brother in laws, Noel Gardner, Paul Buhler and Greg Tharp and sister in laws, Martha Claassen, Mary Saenz and Alis Buhler. He also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. John was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lillian, sister Marjorie and sister in laws, Eleanor Gardner, Agnes Tharp and brother in laws, Melvin Claassen and Ventura Saenz.
Memorials prefered to Gideon Bibles and KJLY (Blue Earth, MN christain radio station).