PETER VAN SANTEN was born to Adrianus and Maartje (Drop) Van Santen on July 28, 1927 in Schipluiden, the Netherlands. He was baptized in August of 1927 at the Schipluiden Christian Reformed Church. He attended grade school in Schipluiden and remained in his homeland until 1947 when he immigrated to America. He made his way to Hawarden, IA where he farmed for Dick Vander Lugt, who also was his immigration sponsor. On January 26, 1949 Peter was united in marriage to Nellie Van Hemert at the Maasland Christian Reformed Church in Maasland, the Netherlands. Following their marriage the couple began their life together farming near Hawarden. Peter began farming independently in 1951. The couple then farmed in Alcester, SD from 1951-1959, Lake Park, IA from 1959-1969, and settled on a farm near Luverne, MN in 1969 where he continued to farm until his retirement in 2001. Though he formally retired, he continued to remain active on the farm. On June 3, 2011 Peter passed away at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage following a 17 month battle with health issues at the age of 83 years, 10 months, and 5 days.
Peter was a member of the United Reformed Church in Hills. During his life he enjoyed farming and the outdoors. Later in life he enjoyed his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was an avid Minnesota Twins fan and also enjoyed his computer and reading, especially the Dutch newspaper. Above all, Peter always enjoyed a good conversation.
Peter is survived by his wife, Nellie; 10 children, Marian (Steve) Schneekloth of Luverne, Marlene (John) Wienstroer of Olathe, KS, Marge Briese of Hartford, SD, Jim (Marilyn) Van Santen of Luverne, Linda Vis of Brandon, SD, Steven (Carla) Van Santen of Luverne, Doug (Kathy) Van Santen of Brandon, Carolyn (Tim) Diedrich of Luverne, Rick (Carrie) Van Santen of Luverne, and Lori (Gary) Serum of Champlin, MN; 33 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; six siblings, Betty Vreugdenhil of Sumas, Washington, Riek Vermeer of Maasland, the Netherlands, Jo (Niek) Voogt of Gouda, the Netherlands, Map Vanden Berg of Krimpen a/d Lek, the Netherlands, Adrie (Siem) Doelman of Maasland, the Netherlands, Rienus (Joke) of Schipluiden, the Netherlands; two half-sisters, Riet (Dick) Eikelenboom of Krimp a/d Yssel, the Netherlands, and Tineke (David) Van Santen-Williams of Koblenz, Germany; and other family. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Betty Jean; a son, Arvin Jay; his parents; two infant sisters; brother, Dick Van Santen; and stepmother, Maria Drop Van Santen.