Dick A. Dykema, 90, died peacefully at Edgewood Vista from Parkinson's Disease on Sept. 13, 2015. Born at home near Manhattan, Montana, on April 29, 1925, he was the oldest of three children born to John and Jennie (Bouwman) Dykema. Shortly after graduating from Manhattan High School, he enlisted in the Army and served primarily in the occupation of Japan until his honorable discharge in November 1946. He returned to the Three Forks area where he started farming dry land-raising winter wheat.
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Dick married Gertrude Ypma on May 24, 1949, at Manhattan Christian Reformed Church. To this union were born four children: Kay, Lynn, Jay and Sue. Dick farmed the Ypma family farm until 1968 when the family relocated to Portland, Oregon. Dick found employment as a commercial laundry truck driver until his retirement in 1987. Then he drove bus for a local school district for ten years.
Dick attended church faithfully all his life. His community involvement in Manhattan included serving on the church council as a deacon, and at Portland's Parklane CRC, he served as the church janitor. After retirement in Portland, he served on the board of a local water district. He also enjoyed weekly league bowling.
In 1997, Dick and Gertrude moved from Portland back to his beloved Montana and settled in the home they built on Churchill. He enjoyed driving rental cars, traveling, puttering around the house keeping his yard looking good, and going out for coffee with friends. If you asked how he was doing, he predictably replied, "Oh, still kicking."
Dick is survived by his wife, Gertrude; his brother, Harley (Adeline) Dykema of Portland, Oregon; and his four children, Kay Dykema of San Ramon, California, Lynn (David) Koetje of Happy Valley, Oregon, Jay (LouAnn) Stark-Dykema of Okemos, Michigan, and Sue (Dave Megens) Dykema of Huntington Beach, California. He has four grandchildren, Sara Koetje, Nathan (Sarah) Koetje, Joshua Stark-Dykema, and Evan Stark-Dykema.
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Churchill Cemetery, with a memorial service to follow at 11 a.m. at Manhattan Christian Reformed Church. Memorials are suggested to Back to God Ministries International at 6555 West College Drive, Palos Heights, IL 60463; ph: 800-879-6555; or donate online at "backtogod.net".
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 15, 2015