William “Bill” Meulepas, age 88, of Faribault, passed away on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 in Northfield, MN.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Drive, in Faribault. Interment will be held at St. Lawrence Cemetery, Faribault.
Visitation will be held at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory of Faribault on Friday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. and at the church on Saturday for one hour prior to services.
William Anthony, the son of Pieter and Anna Marie (VandeLoop) Meulepas, was born on June 13, 1923 in Longenboom, Netherlands and was raised on his family farm. In 1948 Bill boarded the Leerdom Cargo Ship and endured a 3 week journey from the Netherlands to the U.S.A, landing at Ellis Island, in search of opportunity and a new life. Bill was sponsored by a Dutch family from New York Mills, MN, the Sweere Family, Cos and Gert Sweere and their 6 children. They welcomed Bill in as one of their own and referred to him as “Brother Bill”. To this day Bill has always considered them as part of his family. During this time Bill worked various jobs that took him from New York Mills to Chicago, IL. Bill would also travel with the Sweere family to go and visit with other Dutch families throughout the state. During one of these visits he met his future wife, Betty Ernste at a wedding dance at Jewett’s Point. They were united in marriage on June 13, 1957 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Faribault. Together they worked together and farmed their land in Bridgewater Township. Bill loved his land and loved farming. He was a hard worker and enjoyed the freedom of the work and the ability to set his own schedule. Betty preceded him in death on April 20, 2002. Bill was known for his heavy Dutch accent, one which is lovingly imitated by the grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Bill had served as a board member for the Community CO-OP and was currently a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #889 in Faribault and the Faribault Aerie 1460 Fraternal Order of Eagles. Family was very important to Bill and he enjoyed spending time with all of his family and friends.
He is survived by five children, Mary (Bob) Zika of Durand, WI, Peter (Maria) Meulepas of Lakeville, MN, Amy (Steve) Samuels of Northfield, MN, Gloria Meulepas of Minneapolis, MN and Barb Kratt of Faribault; by ten grandchildren, Jake (Kate) Zika, Elizabeth (John) Doucette, Jessica Zika, Michael Zika Joe (Brianna) Samuels, Josh Samuels, Jack Samuels, Andrew Kratt, Willliam Kratt and Luke Meulepas; by two great grandsons, Joshua Zika and Liam Doucette; by the Sweere Family, Ted (Joanne) Sweere of California, Ed (Cathy) Sweere of Mankato, MN, Veronica Chatterton of Minneapolis, Joe (Mary) Sweere of Owatonna, MN and Dave (Tamara) Sweere of Kiev, Ukraine; by brother-in-laws, Chuck (Susan) Ernste of Faribault, Stan (Karen) Ernste and John (Muggs) Ernste, both of Rochester, MN; by sister-in-laws, Coby Meulepas of Gemert, Netherlands, Marie Ernste, Dorothy Ernste and Carol Ernste, all of Faribault and Belle Bartel of Ronan, MT and by many nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, two sons, Petey and Leo Francis Meulepas, his sister, Hanneke (Ton) VanderHeijden, four brothers, Jan Meulepas, Theo Meulepas, Franc (Nolda) Meulepas and Marinus (Mein) Meulepas and by Sweere family members, Cos and Gert Sweere and Harry (Jan) Sweere and Sharon Sweere.