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JIM VAN SANTEN was born on July 19, 1953 to Peter and Nellie (Van Hemert) Van Santen in Hawarden, Iowa. He was baptized at Hawarden Christian Reformed Church and raised on a farm near Alcester, South Dakota. When he was six years old the family moved to a farm near Lake Park, Iowa. Jim attended grade school at Ocheyedan Christian grade school in Ocheyedan, Iowa and then began high school in Lake Park. In 1969, the family moved to a farm near Luverne, Minnesota and Jim continued his education at Southwest Christian High School in Edgerton, Minnesota, graduating in 1971. On January 29, 1974, he married Marilyn Van Essen at the First Christian Reformed Church in Edgerton. Following his schooling, Jim worked various jobs prior to farming full time. In 1979, he and Marilyn purchased an acreage west of Luverne where they made their home for the next thirty years. Through the years, Jim remained busy crop farming and raising livestock to care for his family. In 2000, Jim was proud to have his son, Jeff, join the farm operation. In 2008, he semi-retired due to health issues with his back, and built the house where he and Marilyn currently reside. He was a hard worker throughout his entire life, which he tried to instill into his children. Retirement didn't last long, as he helped build their new home with Cleveringa Construction and then continued working a couple of years with them before returning to farming part-time with Jason Fick. As farming practices and equipment have changed, Jim enjoyed learning the new technologies by watching videos on the internet. As a farmer often becomes a jack of all trades, he often would just figure things out himself. In April, 2018, Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer. As he wasn’t a person to back down from a challenge, Jim was determined to do all he could to overcome his diagnosis. On Thursday, November 26, 2020, while under home hospice care and surrounded by his family, Jim went peacefully to his eternal home at the age of 67 years, four months and seven days.
Jim was a member of the Luverne Christian Reformed Church. One of his favorite pastimes was reading. He enjoyed telling stories and making relationships with anyone he came across. He enjoyed traveling with Marilyn and visited many places. Later in life, Jim spent many summer days on the pontoon. A couple of the cherished memories were spending a week at Lake Mary, Alexandria with the children and grandchildren for their 40th and 45th wedding anniversaries. Whether it be on the water, at athletic competitions or in their personal life, Jim loved watching the grandchildren develop and achieve their goals. He also enjoyed coffee with the guys at Jaycox Implement. Jim’s mischievous grin, sense of humor and funny stories will continue to warm the hearts of those who knew him.
Grateful to have shared his life are his wife, Marilyn; three children, Jeff (Alanna) Van Santen of Luverne, Melissa (Brian) Fick of Luverne, and Travis (Ronna) Van Santen of Sioux Falls; seven grandchildren, Kelsi and Aiden Van Santen, Mara, Madison and Jaelyn Fick, and Logan and Samantha Van Santen; nine siblings, Marian Schneekloth of Luverne, Marlene (John) Wienstroer of Lenexa, Kansas, Marge Briese of Hartford, South Dakota, Linda Vis of Sioux Falls,South Dakota, Steve (Carla) Van Santen of Luverne, Doug (Kathy) Van Santen of Brandon, South Dakota, Carolyn (Tim) Diedrich of Luverne, Rick (Carrie) Van Santen of Luverne, and Lori (Gary) Serum of Champlin, Minnesota; in-laws, LeAnne (Glen) Schoolmeester of Chandler, Minnesota, Karla (Lyle) Schiebout of Trosky, Minnesota and Lloyd (Lavonne) Van Essen of Edgerton, Minnesota; and numerous other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter (2011) and Nellie (2016); brother, Arvin Van Santen (2002); infant sister, Betty Jean Van Santen; brother-in-law, Steve Schneekloth (2015), and mother-in-law, Laura Van Essen (2007).
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Southwest Christian School in Edgerton, Minnesota or Sioux Falls Christian School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.