Douglas James VanRyswyk, 70, of Buffalo Center, IA, passed away on February 24, 2023 at Mercy One Hospital in Mason City, IA.
Doug was born in Albert Lea, MN on June 12, 1952 to Lester and Dolores (Giles) VanRyswyk. He was raised on the family farm where he spent numerous hours assisting his father and continued to help throughout the years. As a child, Doug raised a Shetland pony named Thunderbolt, whom he cared for tenderly. Doug attended Manchester-Freeborn schools and later entered the workforce, working in maintenance in a variety of businesses and especially loved driving school bus for the Alden-Conger School District.
On November 13, 1976 he wed Karen Thomas, a love that started with a simple motorcycle ride and continued for 46 amazing years. Karen and Doug settled in Alden, MN where they raised their two children, Angela and Christopher. They recently moved to Buffalo Center, IA.
Doug had many hobbies, that mostly involved vehicles with two or four wheels, including his father’s John Deere B tractor, his 1931 Pontiac and a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Numerous hours were spent at car shows, demolition derbies, and stock car races. He enjoyed going to LeSueur swap meet every spring collecting metal signs and antiques. With a talent as a mechanic, he loved tinkering around with a variety of vehicles and getting them running; once owning a mechanic shop with his cousin, Rick. In his pastime he enjoyed metal fabrication and could often be found creating numerous different items; his biggest accomplishment was a hauling trailer. Doug also enjoyed the outdoors and hunting.
Family was a very important part of his life. Sundays were reserved for church services, family dinners and afternoons visiting, and playing cards with friends and family. He adored his grandsons and even made sure that his 1931 Pontiac hotrod had four seats to be sure they could ride along with Grandpa/Papa! Doug was a gentle and caring man and once assisted his daughter hatch a duck egg, which then turned into a pet duck named “Quacker” who followed Doug around loyally. He was a giving soul and enjoyed gift exchanges during the holidays; but mostly looked forward to receiving gifts. Doug and Karen, together, had a love for riding motorcycle and took several trips to Sturgis. Most of their summer was spent at their camper which they enjoyed sharing with their family and friends. Doug was known for being friendly and kind, being able to start up a conversation with anyone, along with his desire to do anything possible to help others; his kindhearted charm will be missed by all those who loved him.
Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife, Karen; son, Christopher; grandsons, Devin and Braxton; sisters, Janice (Scott) Schroader, Pam (Jerry) Christenson, Paulette (Arlyn) Anderson, Tricia (Scott) Kast, and Leslie LaCanne; sister-in-law, Charlene (Bruce) Holland; brothers-in-law, Duane Thomas, Greg Thomas, and Ron (Renae) Thomas; and many nieces and nephews.
Doug was preceded in death by his daughter, Angela, parents, Lester and Dolores, parents-in-law, Bill and Martha Thomas; grandparents, Lloyd and Nellie Giles and Pete and Clara VanRyswyk; brother Steve VanRyswyk; and brothers-in-law, Bob Thomas and Richard Thomas.
Doug's family will receive friends at a visitation on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM at Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services in Albert Lea, MN. A private service will be held Thursday March 2, 2023.
Doug's family asks that you wear Harley Davidson or John Deere colors and clothing to celebrate Doug.