Dean F. Minnaert, 87, of Annawan, IL, passed away on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Hillcrest Home, Geneseo, IL. A Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday Oct. 2, 2020 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Annawan, IL, celebrated by Reverend S. Stephen Englebrecht. Due to the Covid safety restrictions in place, only 50 people will be allowed into the church, and all must wear a mask.
Burial will follow at St. Anthony Cemetery, in Atkinson. Military Honors will be accorded by the Don Cherry VFW Post #5083. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Church, the Annawan Alba Fire Department, or American Legion Hall in Atkinson, IL. Vandemore Funeral Homes and Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
Dean was born in Atkinson, Illinois, the son of Art & Sophie (Windy) Minnaert. He spent most of his life on the family farm between Atkinson and Annawan. He was an Army veteran who served in the Korean War 1953-55. Soon after his return, he married the love of his life, Marlene (Buysse) on Nov. 3, 1956. One of his favorite memories was the Honor Flight he took in 2012.
He was a farmer and a coal miner, working at mines near Atkinson and Victoria, IL. After retiring from the coal mine, he became a feed salesman for FS. Dean’s quick wit and friendly personality quickly allowed him to earn annual incentive trips to various places in the Caribbean. Dean & Marlene raised three sons, Jay, Alan, and Kyle, and his support of their varied interests was incredible. Whenever there was a sporting event, cattle show, or any other activity involving his children or grandchildren, Dean was always there. After retiring from FS, he spent time fishing in the boonies with his dogs and planting his garden. The garden always included the best sweet corn in the world and featured many obstacles to keep the raccoons out of it. Dean & Marlene extended their hospitality to include foreign exchange students, Javier & Gabriella Herrera from Costa Rica. Some of Dean & Marlene’s favorite trips were to Costa Rica to visit their second family there. Another special exchange student was Maria Robison. Dean & Marlene were huge supporters of 4-H, FFA, and AFS programs at Annawan High School as well as Sacred Heart Parish in Annawan and American Legion in Atkinson. Their support extended many years beyond the attendance of their children. Dean’s hallmarks were his love of family, his many friendships, his love for the outdoors, and his incredible work ethic.
He leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Marlene; sons, Jay (Julie), Alan (Sylvia Herrera), and Kyle (Jill). Julie, Sylvia, and Jill all shared the title, “My Favorite Daughter-in-Law”, but don’t tell the others!
The truth is he treated all of them like they were his own daughters. He also leaves behind grandchildren Jason Minnaert, Jeremy Hartsock, Allie Schnowske, Sophia Minnaert, Alex Minnaert, & Mario (Emily) Minnaert; and great grandchildren, Gabby Vesperman, Asa Schnowske, Summer Schnowske, and Ellie Minnaert.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant brother, Art, Jr., a sister Donna, and a long list of fellow farmers, coal miners, and fishing buddies.
Posted online on September 30, 2020