James L. Ver Duin, 77, of 301 Black River Road, Sheboygan, passed into eternity while at the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice Center on Friday morning, July 26, 2013, two and onehalf years after cancer invaded his body.

Jim was born Oct. 22, 1935, on a 40- acre farm in the Black River area of the town of Wilson, son of Clarence and Tena (Kaat) Ver Duin. He attended South Side Junior High School and graduated from Central High School in 1953.

On Dec. 22, 1956, Jim and Eileen Meerdink, daughter of Elmer and Henrietta Meerdink of Oostburg, were united in marriage at the First Reformed Church in Oostburg.

Jim worked in the offices of the RWay Furniture Co. and the Wisconsin State Highway Commission in Milwaukee before beginning employment with the Vollrath Co. in 1955. He spent 42 years with Vollrath in the materials and production planning and materials management areas, primarily in middle management positions. He retired in 1997 as director of materials planning.

Jim enjoyed athletics, especially watching his sons compete in track, football, and basketball at Sheboygan South as well as track and football at University of Wisconsin La Crosse and University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. This activity continued for his grandsons at Howards Grove High School and UW-Stevens Point. He was an avid Packer and Badger fan and in 1967 attended “The Ice Bowl.”

He partnered with a carpenter friend in the early ‘60s to build and sell two homes in the city of Sheboygan before they built his home on the original 40-acre homestead on Black River Road.

Jim formed River Gardens Inc., a family owned corporation in 1981. For about 56 years, Jim and wife Eileen supplied homegrown cabbage, cauliflower, peppers, squash, and tomatoes to local supermarkets, restaurants, and wholesalers.

Jim is survived by his wife, Eileen; two sons, Terry (Mary, nee Pepitone) Ver Duin of Howards Grove and Rick (Tammara, nee Sheldon) Ver Duin of Coppell, Texas; five grandchildren, Marcus of Sheboygan, Nicholas of Wausau, Angela of Lincoln, Neb., and Lauren and Eric of Coppell; and one sister, Marie Van Der Waal of Sheboygan. He is further survived by brother and sisters-in-law, Arvin (Doris) Meerdink, Lu- Ann (Dale) Ten Pas and LaVerne Gabrielse, all of Oostburg; Arlene Meerdink of Denver, Colo.; Phyllis Meerdink of Sheboygan Falls and Francis Ver Duin of Hartford.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Howard; a nephew, Charles; mother- and father-in-law, Elmer and Henrietta Meerdink; and brothers- and sisterin law, Martin and Muriel DeVriend, John Van Der Waal, Eugene Meerdink, Roger Meerdink, and John Gabrielse.

Funeral services to celebrate Jim’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, at the First Reformed Church in Oostburg with the Rev. Brian Taylor officiating. Entombment will take place at Sunrise Memorial Gardens in the town of Wilson.

Relatives and friends may call Wednesday, at church, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service.

A memorial fund has been established in Jim’s name for the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice and the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund.

For online condolences and additional information, please visit www.wenigfuneralhome.com.

The staff of the Wenig Funeral Home of Oostburg (920-564-2771) is serving the Ver Duin family.

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Warren Luedke