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John Van Tongeren, III, 83, entered this world on February 12, 1929 in Conrad, Montana and departed this life on August 18, 2012 at his home in Springfield, MO. He was preceded in death by his parents, John II and Lucille (Kulikamp) Van Tongeren; 1 son, John Van Tongeren IV; 2 sisters; 1 son-in-law and 1 daughter-in-law.
John had dedicated his life to Jehovah and had a strong faith in the Bible’s promise of resurrection. He will be remembered by his family and friends for his generosity and genuine concern only for others, very seldom (if ever) for himself.
He was raised on a farm outside the town of Conrad until he moved his family to California because of the cold weather, where he worked as a groundskeeper for 10 years in San Bernardino’s Mt. View Cemetery. In 1965, he relocated his family to Springfield, in search of a city with cleaner air. While searching for a job, John found Eastlawn Cemetery where he worked for over 40 years as the caretaker. He had such a passion for nature and archeology that even his vacations included helping his brother on the farm in Montana.
Being a perfectionist, he took pride in all endeavors throughout his life. He took great pride in preparing his plots at Eastlawn and making them as beautiful as possible under the trees.
Survivors include his former wife, Avis Cave of Clever, MO; 2 daughters, Diana Rader of Republic, MO and Rose Marie and Phillip Downs of Springfield, MO; 1 son, Douglas Van Tongeren of Sacramento, CA; 1 brother, Maynard and Linda Van Tongeren of Conrad, MO; former wife, Judy Van Tongeren; 1 step-son; 1 step-daughter; 6 grandchildren; 1 step-granddaughter; 11 great-grandchildren; 2 step-great-grandchildren; 9 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.
Graveside services will be held Saturday, August 25, 2012 at 1P.M. in Eastlawn Cemetery, 2244 E. Pythian, Springfield, MO under the direction of Eastlawn Funeral Home.