Victor Vriesen, age 93 of Blue Earth and formerly Ledyard passed away Sunday November 28, 2021 at the United Hospital District in Blue Earth. A celebration of life will be held Friday December 3 at 11am at Bethany E&R Church in Ledyard with Revs. Brent Walker and Colin Andrade officiating. Visitation will be Thursday evening from 4-6pm at Patton Funeral Home in Blue Earth and will continue one hour before the service. Burial will be at Highland Home Cemetery in Ledyard. Masks are strongly encouraged by the family.
Victor Gerhard Vriesen was born May 17, 1928, in Greenwood, Wisconsin. His family moved to rural Hamburg, Minnesota, where he attended country school until 8th grade. He graduated from Central High School in Norwood/Young America and went on to complete his degree at Hamline University in St. Paul. From there he went on to earn his Master of Divinity degree from Mission House Seminary in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1953.
Age 9 was when Vic felt called by God into the ministry, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, but he began his formal pastoral ministry in 1953 at Bethany Evangelical and Reformed Church, Ledyard Iowa. Despite receiving a variety of calls to other pastorates over the years, Vic maintained his commitment to the church in Ledyard for 40 years, helped throughout by his wife Betty (Fossum; they married in 1951) and supported patiently (usually) by his three “preacher’s kids.” Many pastors would feel their ministry stopped at the door of their church, but Vic always maintained a commitment to his community, even his county. His lifetime of public service began in high school and college, and continued into his serving on a wide variety of boards and committees, spearheading community projects such as the building of the Ledyard Public Library. Finally, in 1993, retirement came: a time to rest and relax, enjoy one’s golden years. Unless you were Vic Vriesen. He and Betty moved to Blue Earth, where he tried to sit down, but all the needs kept calling. He barely slowed down as he threw himself into spiritual and community service once again. He provided pulpit supply to many area churches, did some interim pastoring, and served as hospice and hospital chaplain for many years. Again, he served on a variety of boards and committees, helping with projects such as building projects at St Luke’s Lutheran Care Center. 60 years of service did not mean that Vic was all work: he did have hobbies, such as singing, playing the trombone, gardening and wood carving. But, as he was a man born with service in his blood, even his hobbies turned into service: trombone playing and singing were frequently for churches, nursing homes, and even hospital patients. Through his woodworking he discovered a favorite project: handcut crosses by the hundreds, that he would give out to anyone at any opportunity and garden produce shared with many people. Jesus told the story of a master who said to his servant, “well done, good and faithful servant.” I think he spoke those words again Sunday morning.
Vic or Reverend as he was frequently known was preceded in death by his parents Otto and Alberta (Hayn) Vriesen, in-laws Edgar and Augusta Fossum, brother-in-law Orville Fossum, siblings Calvin, Kenneth and Lois Mooers and their spouses, nephew Paul Vriesen and niece Melinda Vriesen.
Surviving Vic are his wife of 70 years, Betty, preacher's kids Jeff (Sharon), Merry (Randy) McGowen and Beth (Dave) Klope, grandchildren Brian (Beth)Vriesen, Erin (Marty) Oian, Kathie (RJ) Linder, Bob (Karrie) Owen, Micah (Katie) McGowen, Jon (Kristin) McGowen, Kayla (Nic) Olilla, Josh (Elisa) Klope, Rachel Klope, Great grandchildren Macie, Lanie, and Benjamin Oian, Blake Victor and Barrett Vriesen, Gavin and Olivia Owen, Preslie, Haddie and Cormac Linder, Parker, Jamison, Mercedes, Cade and Anders McGowen, Khloe and Liam McGowen, Ryken Ollila and Emmett Klope and dear nieces and nephews David, Joy, Barb, Nancy, Jon, Tim and Pete.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to UHD Hospice, Interfaith Caregivers, Faith Lutheran Brethren Church in Blue Earth or Bethany Evangelical and Reformed Church in Ledyard would be appreciated.