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Richard Van Zee, 65

Richard Allen Van Zee passed away from pancreatic cancer on December 18, 2013 at his home in Waldo, Florida. He was 65 years old. He was best known as Rick.

Rick was born to Edward Van Zee and Wilma Drost in Hayfield, Minnesota on October 24, 1948. He grew up in the Glenwood area.

Rick entered the Army in 1968 and served in Vietnam, receiving the Purple Heart and the Combat Infantryman Badge. While still in the Army, he married his first wife Jill Hammer in 1969. He was promoted to sergeant and completed his military service at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

They moved back to Minnesota, living in Luverne and then in the Hutchinson area.

Rick and Jill had two children. They were also foster parents to two children.

In 1994, Rick started working for Fagen, Inc. in Marshall. In 1997, he was promoted to safety director. He married Diane Bulechek in 2001. Rick held the position of safety director until his retirement in August of 2013 due to the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Edward and Wilma.

He is survived by his wife, Diane; his two children, Stacy Stigman and Clint Van Zee; his two foster children, Mike Boller and Angela Forcier; and numerous grandchildren. He is survived also by four brothers and three sisters.

There will be a family memorial gathering in January. In May, there will be another gathering for the spreading of Rick's ashes.