Condolence & Memory Journal

Dear DeZeeuw Family, I was so sorry to read of John's death in the Springfield Paper. I always remember that he graduated with his M.S. degree the day that I got my undergraduate degree at Mankato. He would always keep up on my teaching career whenever I would make it back to Springfield for a week-end visit. He was a great educator and will be greatly missed.

Posted by Vicki (Gould) Kanne - Faribault, MN - Friend   June 27, 2016

My deepest sympathy to the DeZeeuw family.
John was such an amazing person, so happy and full of life. I will always cherish how warm and welcoming he and Jean were to me when I moved to Springfield for my teaching job. He was encouraging and had a great sense of humor.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Joanne Zak - Edina, MN - Coworker   June 12, 2016

My deepest sympathies to all of you. Mr. DeZeeuw was a wonderful, caring and funny man. I enjoyed having him as my high school principal.

Tiffany (Runck) Ahearn
Class of 2002

Posted by Tiffany Runck Ahearn - North Mankato, MN - Student   June 10, 2016

Dear Jean, Melissa and Mari - My sympathy to all of you on John's death. I have many great memories of
Mr. D as my sixth grade teacher. He cared about his students and taught us well. I also have good memories of babysitting in your home when Melissa was a baby. My condolences to all of you.

Posted by Louise Helleloid Anderson - Apple Valley, MN - Student   June 09, 2016

Dear Jean, Melissa, Mari and Families

The Class of 1992 extends our deepest sympathies to our family! Our hearts are heavy hearing the passing of Mr. D! We have many fond memories that flood our minds from our high school days. Our thoughts and prayers extend to you during this difficult time and also the days, weeks, months and all of the 1st events and holidays ahead of you!

Our class has decided to send Melissa a gift certificate for a Nursery in your area to purchase a shrub or tree in memory of your Dad!

Gods blessings to all of you,

Class of 1992

Posted by Crissy Rogotzke Class of 1992 - Springfield, MN - Classmate   June 09, 2016

Jean,Melissa & Mari- Our deepest sympathy to all of you on the passing of Uncle John. He was a special little brother to my mom, Rose! She'd always say the he was exactly 10 yrs younger than her.
Cherish all of those memories forever and even though unseen, he will always walk beside each of you.
May God's peace comfort your family during this time.
Kris and Jacey Schiager; Jessica and Jared Nygaard

Posted by Kris Schiager - Pipestone, MN - Family   June 08, 2016

"John's smile was the real deal; genuine, warm, sincere. When he smiled (which was most of the time), it spread up into his eyes and out onto everyone around him. His smile said, "now isn't life just such a delight!" That smile will be so missed, along with his kindness, energy, optimism and compassion. He touched countless lives for the better. Our sincere sympathy to Jean, Melissa and Mari and families. God bless."

Posted by Kathy and Scott Potter - Brainerd, MN - Friend   June 08, 2016

We enjoyed our last visit together in April on your way home to MN. John was amazed at our forecasters waiting for the tornado which never happened. So glad we had that precious time with John and Jean. Little did we know it would be our last time with John. How he loved playing Farkle in AZ! He was such a dear man. Our love and prayers to you Jean, your lovely daughters and their families.

Posted by Phyllis Maxwell - Derby, KS - Friend   June 07, 2016

Jean--I was very sad to hear of Johns passing--our condolences to you and your family--sue Imker--(from Dr Danielson's office)

Posted by Sue Imker - Lamberton, MN - Acquaintance   June 07, 2016

Dear Jean, Melissa, Mari and families,
We were saddened to hear of John's passing. We have such fond memories of our time in Springfield and the entire DeZeeuw family! John was always so kind and supportive as I began my teaching career in Springfield 25 years ago. May God Bless you all! We pray that your memories will be of comfort to you now and in the future.
Chris, Tina and family (Aaron, Mitchell, Kaitlyn and Adam)

Posted by Tina Brown - Chisago City, MN - Coworker   June 07, 2016

Mr. D was a wonderful man. Loved his laugh. Thoughts and prayers to family.

Posted by Beth Lassas - Madelia, MN - Coworker   June 07, 2016

" I am truly sorry to hear of the loss of John (my American Dad). I am honored and blessed to have known him. He was truly a blessing in my life and I will miss him.
Please accept my condolences and may my prayers help comfort you and hasten the journey of his soul to Heaven."

Posted by Dennis Pires - Brazil - Son   June 07, 2016

We got to know of Mr. Dezeeuw passing with regret.
Our family has a lot to thank to the Dezeeuw's family, in special to John. He as an educator and a perceptive man, knew as few, to perceive the world around him and to motivate youngsters to meet and develop themselves.
For sure God is receiveing him with open arms!
Our sincere condolences to Jean, Mari, Melissa and all John's friends.

Posted by Claiton Gaieski Pires - Caxias do Sul, RS, Brazil - Friend   June 07, 2016


Jean & Family - Sorry to hear of John's passing. You have my sympathy. Rest in peace, John.

Posted by Rosie (Solyntjes) DeZeeuw - Lake Benton, MN - Family   June 07, 2016

I was saddened to hear of your loss. Melissa has praised her dad's name on numerous occasions, and reading the other guestbook entries, it is clear he will surely be missed by many. May you find comfort in one another and in the thoughts and prayers of those who knew him, or know each of you.

Posted by Michele Zeidler - Breezy Point, MN - Acquaintance   June 07, 2016

What a beautiful life John had in service to his community. We knew him such a short time but feel privileged to count him as a friend. May you find comfort and peace as you celebrate his life. God Blessings to all of you

Posted by Jim and Carol Eich - Fort Dodge, IA - Friend   June 07, 2016

Jean, Melissa, Mari and family, What a wonderful man he was! Truly a "CLASS ACT"! He was always going above & beyond for anyone he met. John was my 6th grade teacher - always encouraged me to push myself. I also work with John at SHS. He had a way with the students- they always came first as did his family. He had respect for the students and they in return for him. He gave of himself. Our family is blessed to have his daughter Mari Jean join our family a few years ago when she married Eric. Our deepest sympathy to all! God truly gave us a loving man!

Posted by Jody & Neil Ryan - Springfield, MN - Friend   June 07, 2016


I offer my condolences to the DeZeeuw family. He was a terrific teacher and will be missed.

Posted by Shawn Weedman - San Antonio, TX - Student   June 07, 2016

Everyone at Pequot Lakes High School sends their thoughts and prayers for your family's loss. Please know that John's legacy lives on through Melissa. We are very honored to have her on our team at Pequot Lakes! She is a fabulous leader with a huge heart!

Posted by Chip Rankin - Pequot Lakes, MN - Friend   June 07, 2016

Mr. DeZeeuw, my 6th grade teacher, was the first teacher I had that said "I know you can do better", and moved be from the lower level reading class to the higher level. What a difference that made to me, a shy and scared little girl at that time. He gave me a reason to believe in myself. He changed lives and made a difference to so many of his students. Thank you Mr. D!

Posted by Kari Rudh - Rothsay, MN - Student   June 07, 2016

May the God of all comfort wrap His loving arms around you at this sad time of loss. Cherish the memories you have made. You have our sincere sympathy. Darrell and Deloris (DeZeeuw) Slack

Posted by Deloris Slack - Owatonna, MN - Family   June 07, 2016

Words cannot express how saddened we are at the passing of John. Today and always, may the loving memories you have created as a family, bring you peace, comfort and strength.

Posted by Denice & Ray Evers - Springfield, MN - Friend   June 07, 2016

So sorry to hear of John's passing. He truly was a great educator.

Posted by Dan Cudmore - Harrisburg, SD - Acquaintance   June 07, 2016

So sorry to hear about John's passing. He was a great principal and teacher when all 4 of my boys were in school. You always had time for them and always tried to do the right thing with the kids. Our sympathy goes out to the whole family. Rest In Peace John!

Posted by Donna Guttum - Springfield, MN - Neighbor   June 07, 2016

So saddened to hear that John has left us. Jay and I send our sympathies and prayers to all of you. He was a wonderful person and he will be missed.

Posted by Jay and Cindi Drury - Springfield, MN - Friend   June 07, 2016

Mr. D was a huge part of Springfield Public School. He will be remembered well and missed

Posted by John Peters - Bloomington, MN - Student   June 06, 2016

So sorry to hear about John. He was such a great man, who touched so many lives. We will always remember everything John and you did for us to make us feel welcome in Springfield. We are going to be heading to our cabin on Thursday and hope to stop in if it works out. We are praying for you and your family. God bless. Troy and Darcy Hoyt

Posted by Darcy and Troy Hoyt - Springfield, MN - Coworker   June 06, 2016


Dear Jean and family, I am so sorry for your loss. May John be at peace and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Dotty de Lambert

Posted by Dotty de Lambert de Lambert - Springfield, MN - Acquaintance   June 06, 2016


My Condolences go out to Principle DeZeeuw's Family , He was a great Person and will be sadly missed !

Posted by Bonnie Lowinske - Mankato, MN - Student   June 06, 2016

I am so saddened to hear Mr. DeZeeuw has passed away. He was always such an awesome principal and will truly be remembered as a great educational leader!

My greatest condolences to the DeZeeuw family. Sincerely, Chera (Dehn) Sevcik.

Posted by Chera Sevcik - North Mankato, MN - Student   June 06, 2016

Jean, Melissa, Mari and family,
We are so sorry to hear of John's passing! We remember our time in Springfield fondly and part of that is definitely the DeZeeuw family! God Bless you and your families during this difficult time. May happy memories help to comfort you today and the days to come.
Chris and Tina Brown and Family (Aaron, Mitchell, Kaitlyn and Adam)

Posted by Tina Brown - Chisago City, MN - Teacher   June 06, 2016

Out deepest sympathies to the family! We are so sorry to hear the news.

Posted by Tom and Corinna Erickson - Breckenridge, MN - Neighbor   June 06, 2016

John was a good man, a caring man, and a great teacher and leader. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Posted by Rod Saffert - Lake in the Hills, IL - Student   June 06, 2016

So sorry for your loss. Hugs to all of you!!! John or as I know him Mr. DeZeeuw, was an amazing person.....I worked in the office during my study hall and had so many laughs. Many years later I ran into him in Willmar, he didn't remember my name but he knew my face which surprised me....I reminded him of my maiden name and he knew exactly who I was. You are all in my thoughts and prayers

Posted by Kelly Peterson (Walter) - Blomkest, MN - Acquaintance   June 06, 2016

What a surprise to hear about John passing away. He always wanted students in Springfield to have the latest tech education and did a lot for the community. Peace with you. Karen & Jake Shiveley

Posted by Karen Shiveley - Springfield, MN - Coworker   June 06, 2016


Dear DeZeeuw's ~

We are thinking of you & praying...we are so sorry to learn of John's passing.

We'll miss him in worship service & fellowship. He could always bring a smile to our faces with his stories...those were "God moments."

Posted by Bill and Amy Hinman - Grey Eagle, MN - Friend   June 06, 2016

We are so saddened by the loss of your John. We are praying for you Jean, & family...he will be missed. We are so happy that he shared one of his favorite hymns on Memorial Day weekend with us at Grey Eagle United Methodist Church, with hand over his loving heart! Sending love from The Hinman's~
Bill & Amy

Posted by Bill & Amy Hinman - Grey Eagle, MN - Friend   June 06, 2016

Hello Jean and girls: I have fond memories of Mr. D --especially of the play Oliver. I will always remember my school years in Springfield. Cling to your Faith and the memories to get you through this trying time.

Posted by Cindy Wildman Haugland - Hutchinson, MN - Student   June 06, 2016