John Alden DeGroot



(November 24, 1924 - February 21, 2008)


The Lusk Herald
June 11, 2008


John Alden DeGroot

The remains of John Alden DeGroot were buried in the Lusk, Wyo., cemetery on Friday, June 6, 2008. He passed away in Westminster, Colo. on Feb. 21, 2008, after being hospitalized for several days with emphysema.

He was the youngest son of the late Carl Everette and Maude Alice (Maxon) DeGroot. He was born Nov. 24, 1924 at Shoshoni and moved to Lusk with his family in 1925. He received both his elementary and high school education in Lusk, graduating with the Class of 1943.

John Alden DeGroot entered the Army Air Corps in March 1943 at Fort Morgan, Colo., and was sent to Sheppard Field in Wichita, Tex. He then went to mechanics school at Lincoln Aero Institute at Lincoln, Nebr., and served in the ground forces at Columbus Army Air Field in Columbus, Mississippi and Hamilton Field at San Rafael, Calif. He received his honorable discharge at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, Calif. in January 1946. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, and the American Campaign Medal. He was promoted from Private to PFC in May 1943.

He was united in marriage to Viola L. Peterson on Nov. 30, 1946 in the parsonage of the United Presbyterian Church in Torrington, Wyo. Mrs. DeGroot is the only daughter of John and Pearl Peterson. They were the parents of two children: Rhonda Mawreen and David. Following his discharge, he was employed in the Lance Creek oilfield, Budget Food Mart and the Lusk Free Lance. John and Viola were later divorced. He later married Erika Zopp on May 2, 1974 and they have since resided in Colorado. Erica had a daughter by a previous marriage, and between them they had nine grandchildren. John worked as a route salesman for a dairy concern and a bakery in Colorado until retiring.

He was the last of a family of eleven children. He was one of four brothers entering the armed services during World War II from Niobrara County, these being: Donald, Carl Jr., Val, and John, all now deceased. Others preceding him in death were his parents, Carl and Maude DeGroot; brothers James and Daniel in infancy, and Everette DeGroot; sisters Margaret DeGroot Sturman, Dorothy Tenney, Ada Vogel, and Phyllis Manning.

John is survived by his wife, Ericka; daughter, Rhonda Proctor and husband Gary and their children Gary Jay, Troy Alden, Tana Sue, Sonya Lynn, and Greg Lee; his son David DeGroot of Omaha and his children Trent and Chad; his step-daughter Gina Wylie and her children Jeff and Jimmy Hunter; and 18 great-grandchildren.




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Related Historical Entries: 'John Alden DeGroot'

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