Francis E. DeGrote, age 88, of Willmar, passed away Saturday morning, August 19, at the St. Cloud Hospital in St. Cloud.
Visitation will begin at 9 AM followed by a celebration of life service at 10 AM on Saturday, August 26, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. Interment will be at Cloverleaf Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to Peterson Brothers Funeral Home. www.petersonbrothers.com
Francis Eugene DeGrote was born September 9, 1934, on the family farm near Clara City, Minnesota, the son of Peter and Minnie (Freese) DeGrote. He grew up and received his education in the Clara City community. On November 27, 1953, Francis was united in marriage to Wilamine Annette Wiese. Since Francis was employed in the construction business, they lived throughout the United States. In 1962, they settled on Eagle Lake and founded the 71 Bait Shop. He continued to work for many years in the construction business as a supervisor for Nelson Construction. Francis was an avid hunter and fisherman. He enjoyed woodworking, gardening and yardwork. He also enjoyed collecting antique fishing rods, reels and lures.
He is survived by his four children, Sheila Thompson of Lake Lillian, Rita (and Douglas) Olson of Tucson, AZ, Lowell (and Jill) DeGrote of Union City, TN, and Jackie Van Hove of Pennock; ten grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and one great great grandson. Also surviving is one brother, Virgil (and Jeanne) DeGrote of Raymond and one sister-in-law, Erma of Clara City, besides other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Wilamine in 2020; one great granddaughter, Shelby Grace; two brothers, Bud and Harm; and one sister-in-law, Marilyn.