Richard J. DeGroot

Resided in Northland, MI
Died February 1st, 2015

Richard J. DeGroot, 65, of Northland, MI, died on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at Marquette General Hospital from pancreatic cancer.

He was born on March 16, 1949 in Escanaba, the son of Joseph and Mary (Guntlisbergen) DeGroot. Richard graduated from Holy Name High School in 1967. In spite of his handicaps, he was an adventurous soul. Following graduation he enrolled in a heavy equipment operating school in Florida and continued to work in the area on several golf courses and could use a bulldozer to level to the inch. From there, he moved to Barrow, Alaska where he worked for four years, operating heavy equipment to help build the Alaskan Pipeline. During one of his slack times, he traveled to Rome with his uncle Fr. John DeGroot.

When the pipeline was finished, he bought himself a semi-tractor and trailer and the next 17 years he hauled for Amway and produce across country from coast to coast. In 1993, he parked the semi and returned to work the family farm in Northland. There he has managed and operated a successful Black Angus Cow/Calf operation reaching a peak in 2013 of producing 95 calves. He was kind hearted and was always willing to help friends and neighbors in need. Richard will be sadly missed.

He is survived by siblings, Henry (Rosemary) DeGroot of Northland, Norbert (Bonnie) DeGroot and Rita Bruce of Arnold, Therese (Carl) Stenberg and Bernadette (Richard) Haeusler of Bark River, Fr. Francis DeGroot of Escanaba; special friend and partner in farming Audrey Doss; aunt, Sr. Oda Marie DeGroot; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary DeGroot.

Visitation will be held on Friday, February 6, 2015 from 4 to 6 p.m. at St. Anne’s Church in Escanaba. The Mass of Christian burial will follow at 6 p.m. at St. Anne’s Church with his brother, Rev. Fran DeGroot as main celebrant and Rev. Al Mott of St. Joseph Church in Northland concelebrating. A meal will follow in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Holy Name School in Richard’s name. Memorial envelopes will be available at the church or the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba.

The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the DeGroot family with arrangements.

16 Tributes to “Richard J. DeGroot”

  1. Our condolences to the DeGroot Family, Audre and our whole community. Richard was a wonderful man and a real friend. He will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace.

  2. I met Rich a couple of times while hunting around Arnold. Two of my friends lease land from Rich and have a camp on the land. Despite me being a “Troll,” I always found him to be very friendly and helpful in my search for U.P. bucks. May he rest in peace.

  3. Our prayers are with you at this sad time. Eternal rest grant unto him, oh Lord. He will be missed.

  4. I got to know Rich while staying at the Moose Milk Mansion Camp for the past several years, and having a beer or two with him at the old and new Knotty Pine. Even though I’m a Troll, Rich was always very friendly, and helpful to me in my chase of U.P. bucks. May he rest in peace.

  5. Our deepest sympathy to Audrey and to all of Richards family on the loss of your Loved one.May God bless and be with you and help you in this time of your grief and sorrow when this beautiful person had to leave all of you.We have a wonderful memory of Richard when we came up to Arnold last May and had a great Sparerib dinner and visited with Richard and Audrey.He will be missed..Our Love and prayers are with all of you…May God bless all of you. We will keep you all in our prayers..

  6. thank you Richard for the many,many wonderful memories. You were so special to us all. Love Always Audrey

  7. My partners and I at Moose Milk Mansion camp are so very sorry to hear of Rich’s passing. Rich was a honorable man who was always pleasant. Rich would sometimes join us for turkey dinner at camp. We will miss his smile and friendship. God bless Rich and his family.

  8. I feel so sad. Richard was a wonderful man and a good friend to so many people, me included. I’m glad I stopped to see him at the hospital about a month ago. I will be out of town on Friday and can’t attend his funeral, but please know that I am thinking of all of you and the loss of your brother, uncle, partner and cousin. He is pain free and in heaven for sure!

  9. Richard was a wonderful friend. I got to know Richard from working at the Knotty Pine and he was always friendly and a great conversationalist. He will be dearly missed. My love and prayers to Audrey and his family.

  10. i am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Richard was always kind to me whenever I was visiting up north. Saw him at church every time I went. God speed.

  11. Richard, you were the best neighbor. Always ready to lend a hand where needed, The whole community will miss you dearly. Rest in peace.

  12. Our Sincere Sympathy to the DeGroot Family at this time. May God give you peace,
    Jim and Karen DeYoung

  13. You will be missed, Richard!! You were a kind hearted man who was successful in any adventure you put your mind to. Your hard work and physical labor took a toll on your body but it would never break your soul. Now it’s finally time to kick back and relax with your parents and friends – as you have been called home. Lift a glass, while sitting on heaven’s beach and talk about the old days with Rod and all he mischief you would get in. It’s now time for you to retire and only concentrate on the glory before you. We all got this back on earth. We shall see you again, one day, my friend!

  14. Richard was on of the kindest men I have had the pleasure of meeting the past 10 years at the Knotty Pine. He would come in for coffee and I would always give him a little Baileys in his coffee, we would just smile at each other when I would give it to him. I am really going to miss seeing Richard and Audrey together at the Knotty, having dinner or sharing a drink. RIP my friend, see you on the other side, save me a seat next to you.

  15. My sincere condolences to the family of a sincerely humble person who I had the fortunate to care for while a patient. He was a model patient and my condolences to his special friend Audrey who was there most days for him. God Bless Richard.
    Terry Ayotte

  16. Our deepest sympathy to Audrey and to all of the DeGroot family on the loss of your loved one.We have a beautiful memory of Richard when we came to visit last May and went out and enjoyed a great sparerib dinner with Richard and Audrey.May God be with you and help you in your time of grief at this sad time in your life..

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