Ivan C. "Ike" VandeWeerd, 81, of Preston, died suddenly Friday morning, Aug. 2, 2013, in Chatfield following a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born Nov. 26, 1931, on the family farm in York Township, Fillmore County, Minn., the son of Evert and Bertha (Hebrink) VandeWeerd. He attended country schools.

He worked in construction until serving with the U.S. Navy from Jan. 4, 1951, until Nov. 16, 1954, during the Korean War on the USS Rowan DD 782 as a seaman.

He married Ruth Elaine Schwartz on Sept. 30, 1956, in Preston where the couple made their home.

He worked in construction following his marriage, drove school bus for 33 years starting in September 1961 and retiring in 1994, then he drove as a substitute for a number of years and was also a longtime custodian at Christ Lutheran Church in Preston. He also worked for Thauwald Funeral Home for many years.

He was a 50-year-plus and Life Member of the Preston VFW and had served as commander in 1975. He was also a member of the "round table" at the Preston Serviceman's Club for many years and placed the wreath in the Root River during Memorial Day festivities. He also was a longtime member of Christ Lutheran Church.

He enjoyed coin collecting, hunting, fishing, card playing, traveling and spending time with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Ruthie; two daughters and sons-in-law, Deb and Kim Brastrom of Clear Lake, Iowa, and Denise and Ron Vierling of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; one granddaughter, Lindy Brastrom; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by twin infant daughters, Dawn and Darcy; and two brothers, Eugene and Gordon VandeWeerd.

The funeral was held on Tuesday at Christ Lutheran Church with the Rev. Dave Jore officiating. Burial with military graveside rites was in the Christ Lutheran Cemetery.

The family prefers memorials to the American Cancer Society and the Preston Serviceman's Club Scholarship Fund.

Online condolences can be made at thauwaldfuneralhomes.com.