Maurice L. DeWispelaere was born in LaPorte, Indiana on October 24, 1929 as the youngest of four children to Joe and Yvonne (DeMunck) DeWispelaere. He died peacefully on March 7, 2017, with his friends and family by his side at his home for the last 4 years, the Colonial Manor of Balaton, Minnesota. The staff at Balaton loved and cared for Maurice so he had a second chance at life, making amends with his family and asking forgiveness of his sins from God. He is now in heaven with his Lord and Savior, where there is no more pain or sorrow.
Maurice’s family moved from Indiana to the Ivanhoe, Minnesota area to farm when he was six weeks old. He attended a District 48 country school until the eighth grade near their farm, five miles east of Ivanhoe on Highway 19. Maurice helped his Dad farm, where he especially enjoyed riding and working with their Belgian horses. From April 1954 to April 1956, Maurice served his country in the Korean War in the United States Army. He spent five months at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in basic training camp and then built roads near Karlshruhe, Germany. He later served in the National Guards for 18 years. Maurice married Carol Giles on November 8, 1958 in Marshall, Minnesota and they had four children together. They later divorced. Maurice farmed between Ivanhoe and Arco and also worked construction in northern Minnesota. In October 1969, the family moved to Luverne, Minnesota where Maurice worked various jobs with construction.
Maurice lived in Montevideo before entering the Colonial Manor in Balaton in September of 2012. He enjoyed polka/waltz dancing, which he was very good at, listening to polka and country music, tractor pulls, threshing events, fishing, just being outside, farming, old cars, mechanics, and driving around the country roads with his son, Dan. He loved ice cream and Milky Way candy bars! He especially enjoyed seeing his children, hearing about their lives and looking at pictures of their adventures. He always told us to “enjoy life and have fun!” He also enjoyed the staff at Balaton and liked joking with them. They said he was a great guy and that he will be missed!
Maurice is survived by his four children: Dan (Dawn) DeWispelaere of Luverne; Laurie (Jay Johnson) DeWispelaere of Glennallen, Alaska; Angie (Hans Schernthaner) DeWispelaere of Big Sky, Montana; and Dave (Angela) DeWispelaere of Loveland, Colorado; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren: [Dan and Dawn’s children] Nick (Bobbi) DeWispelaere and their children, Harper and Tejay; Abby DeWispelaere and her children, Alex and Hailey; [Laurie and Jay’s children] Vince (Kristin) Johnson and their children, Ryder, Cash and Winter; Vanessa (Andrew) Duley and their son, Nathan; [Dave and Angela’s children] Daniel and Alyssa DeWispelaere; sister, Alice Murphy of Lawrence, Kansas; sister-in-law, Clara DeWispelaere of Marshall; and several cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mary (Stan) Taberski; and brother, Alphonse DeWispelaere.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Colonial Manor of Balaton; C/O Shelly; 551 US Hwy 14 East; P.O. Box 219; Balaton, MN 56115.
Memorial service will be held at Colonial Manor on Sunday, March 19th at 2:00 p.m. A graveside service with military honors will be held at a later date in the Ivanhoe Cemetery.
Per Maurice’s wishes, his body was donated to the Anatomy Bequest Program at the U of MN Medical School in Minneapolis as his final gift to the welfare of mankind.