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Harriet Irene (DeRycke) Bruggeman, 18 Jul 1925 - 16 Jun 2022


Posted By: Sarah Witte (email)
Date: 6/23/2022 at 15:52:03

Harriet Irene Bruggeman, 96, a longtime resident of the Victor and Hartwick, IA area, died on Thursday, June 16,2022, at Brooklyn Community Estate surrounded by many of her family.

A funeral service will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at St. Bridget Catholic Church in Victor. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery in Brooklyn. A reception will follow at St. Bridget Catholic Church.

A rosary and scripture service will be held at 4:00 pm on Monday at the Smith Funeral Home in Victor followed by visitation with the family present to receive friends from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm.

Memorials may be designated to the Water Works Park Project, Essence of Life Hospice in Amana, IA, or for the family intentions, mailed in care of the Smith Funeral Home, PO Box 485, Victor, IA 52347. Memories and condolences may be shared with her family online at www.smithfh.com.

Harriet was born on the family farm near Hartwick, IA on July 18, 1925, the daughter of Henry and Mary (LaKose) DeRycke. She lived most of her first 45 years on that farm on the hill; first as a middle child of three girls, and later as the wife of a farmer with seven children. She was the grandchild of Belgian immigrants who spoke no English, with a father who served his country in France in World War I and a mother who was an artist with her needlework and sewing.

She attended Hartwick School and graduated as one of five students of the class of 1942. While in high school, she enjoyed playing basketball, which ignited a life-long love of the sport. In 2019, she was honored at the Iowa State Girls Basketball Tournament in Des Moines as one of the oldest living girls basketball players in the state.

Harriet met the love of her life Charles (Chuck) Rene Bruggeman in 1946. Chuck was from Moline, IL and was best friends with Harriet's first cousin, Walt LaKose, the "brother she never had". Their first date was when Walt brought Chuck to the farm to hunt. Harriet and Chuck were married on October 9,1948 at St. Bridget's Catholic Church, and made their home in Moline, IL. Chuck worked as a draftsman for John Deere Plow Works, and Harriet was a homemaker with four young children. In 1955, Chuck's dream of becoming a farmer came true when Harriet's parents decided to retire. They moved their growing family back to the farm and they were blessed with four more children.

In 1970, their farming days were over, and Harriet began her work outside of the home, working at Brookhaven Nursing Home and at Char-Du Manufacturing in Brooklyn, making tumbling mats and electronic scoreboards. After 33 years of marriage, on November 8, 1981, Chuck passed away after battling a long illness. Harriet and her two youngest children moved to Victor the following year. She then worked at the Smith Funeral Home in Victor for *26 years as a greeter, cleaned homes, and served with Hospice.

Friends were important to Harriet during her entire life. During her early motherhood years her kitchen would be filled with laughter during afternoon coffees with dear friends. She loved to play cards, go to the casino with her daughters, laugh and have a good time. In her later years, she enjoyed playing cards all afternoon after the Congregate Meals in Victor, going to events with the Red Hat Ladies, and on adventures with her friends Mary Lou Blomme and Nadine Gray.

Harriet loved her canine friends (Tiffy, Sandy and then Charlie) who kept her company and filled her life with joy after she became a widow. We will always envision her in her recliner, with Charlie by her side, watching the Iowa Hawkeyes football or basketball games.

Harriet will be remembered as a person who loved her family above all else and they are her greatest legacy. She and Chuck had eight children, and she loved being a mom, grandma, and great grandma. She was happiest with a baby in her arms, playing cards with a grandchild, cheering at sporting events for her children and grandchildren, or sitting at the dining room table with them with dessert or a glass of wine, talking and laughing.
She encouraged her children to stand strong and believe in themselves. She was a hard worker, and weathered life's difficulties with great courage. She had wanted to go to college to become a teacher and never got the chance, but we think she achieved that goal in other ways. Her family will try to follow the example she set and remember the life lessons she taught.

Harriet is survived by six of her children: Mike Bruggeman (Connie Andrews) of Walford, IA, Carol Garringer of Eugene, OR; Susie DeSmet (Jim) of Victor, IA, Jane Krauss (Steve) of Amana, IA, Mary Boeding (Rollie) of Middleton, Wl; and Beth Schultz of Victor, IA; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and her younger sister, Joan Lambka DeRycke of LaGrange, IL.

She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Patricia Lynn (1958); husband, Charles (1981); parents, Henry DeRycke (1983) and Mary (LaKose) DeRycke (1988); sister, Evelyn (DeRycke) Wauters (2016), son-in-law, Jerry Garringer (2017); and daughter, Joan Lingle (2020).

The family most appreciated the loving care Harriet received at Brooklyn Community Estate in Brooklyn, where she resided since 2018. Essence of Life Hospice from Amana, IA provided invaluable support to her and her family during Harriet’s final week of life.

Published in The Gazette on June 20, 2022 and in The Hometown Current on June 22, 2022


Iowa Obituaries maintained by Steve Williams.
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