DOUGLAS “DOUG” WILBUR VENEKAMP was born to Wilbur Venekamp and Berniece (Petersen) Johannsen on December 15, 1944 in Tyler, MN. He was baptized in 1945 and confirmed in 1957 at Bethany Lutheran in Arco, MN. Growing up, he lived in several towns in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. When Doug was 15 years old, his parents divorced, and he immediately assumed the role of caretaker to his five younger siblings by working various jobs while in school.
Doug graduated from Lake Benton High School in Lake Benton, MN in 1962, where he enjoyed athletics and excelled at football and wrestling. Following graduation, he worked at the Journal Printing Company in Lake Benton. On May 22, 1965, he married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Ann Ohl of Tyler, MN. They shared 57 years together and were blessed with four children, Kyle, Lori, Joel, and Marc. After enlisting in the military, Doug served his country from 1966-1969 in the Army Intelligence program in Baltimore, MD and Sioux City, IA. Then, with grit and determination, he pursued his lifelong calling as a first-generation farmer in 1969. He rented land for the first two years of operations, and then bought his first farm in 1971. He milked 40-60 cows for 37 years, had hogs, and grain farmed. Although he officially retired in 2015, he rented out his land and continued loving his work as a hired hand and tending to his flock of chickens, which he enjoyed immensely. He was a hardworking handy man, and was always willing to go above and beyond to help with any issue or project.
Doug held many interests and hobbies over the years as an avid collector of steins, tractors, and horses. In his downtime, he was entertained by western books and shows, listening to country western music, and playing cards. He was the epitome of a family man, and was dedicated to his children and grandchildren. He held a special bond with his grandchildren and remained young at heart by taking the time to play with them and make lasting memories.
Doug passed away unexpectedly on Monday, February 6, 2023, at Brookings Health System following an accident at his home.
Doug will be lovingly remembered by many: his wife, Carolyn; four children, Kyle (Janel) Venekamp of Marshall, MN, Lori Eddy of Fargo, ND, Joel (Bridgit) Venekamp of Sioux Falls, SD, and Marc (Brittany) Venekamp of Elkton, SD; nine grandchildren, Tyler and Maxx Venekamp, Jacob (Sarah Stein) Eddy, Jaclyn (Garrett) Hoy, and Jayson Eddy, Aaron and Brandon Kasch, and Hudson and Liam Venekamp; three great-grandchildren, Oliver Eddy-Stein, Charlotte Kasch, and Addison Kasch; three siblings, Mike (Cynthia) Venekamp, Karen Venekamp, and Patricia Harris; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandparents; infant sister, Donna; and brothers, Brian and Kevin Venekamp.