John William Mouw, 86, Leota, died Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage in Luverne.
A funeral was Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. Burial followed at Leota Community Cemetery near Leota.
John Mouw was born on Oct. 11, 1930, to William and Margaret (DeBoer) Mouw on the farm place between Leota and Chandler. He was raised on the farm and attended country school. When he was 16, the family moved into Leota. John graduated from Edgerton Public High School in 1949.
John started Mouw’s Hatchery in 1950 at the age of 19. On Dec. 4, 1951, he married Lillian Lubben at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. They spent the next 64 years together, raising four children and growing their business at the hatchery. John attended a short course at the University of Minnesota for poultry disease. He worked hard and anticipated the needs of his customers. He hatched over a million baby chicks annually. In 1988 his sons purchased part of the business. John still handled the poultry end of the business and started selling Garst Seed Corn, which earned him Most Valuable Salesman in 1988 and 1989.
John and Lillian loved to travel and visited 49 of the 50 states. During retirement years, John and Lillian wintered for over 30 years in Arizona. John enjoyed breeding and showing Purebred Arabian horses and fishing and golfing. He was a gifted singer, even recording his own CDs. He cherished time spent with his grandchildren.
John was a member of Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. He served on the Leota Water Board, Leota Civic Board, and the Leota Christian School Board. He was a member of the American Egg Board. John was a passionate advocate for Citizens for Educational Freedom (CEF) which helped solicit funds for private schools.
He is survived by his children, Cheryl (Milo) Feikema, Leota, Bradford (Linda) Mouw, Leota, Lucinda (Dan) Blom, Fairview, Tennessee, and Wm. Michael (Lori) Mouw, Leota; nine grandchildren, Lindsay (Bryce) Rieck, Crystal (Boe) Kelley, Ashtin (Cory) Roebuck, Jena (Jim) Ver Steeg, Erin (Kenny) Gradert, Jared Mouw, Chloe Blom (fiancé Clete Philyaw), Britney (Heath) Van Wyhe and Brooke Mouw (fiancé Dominic Nibbelink); three great-grandchildren, Aiden and Logan Ver Steeg, and Quinn Rieck; and his siblings, LaVonne Hulstein, Gordon (Elaine) Mouw, and Patricia (Stan) Prins, all of Leota.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Lillian; his grandson, Erik Blom; and his brother-in-law, Gary Hulstein.
Arrangements were by Hartquist Funeral Home of Luverne, www.hartquistfuneral.com.