NICK PRONK, 86, of Jackson, passed away at his home on Sunday, June 27, 2010. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 1, 2010 at the United Methodist Church in Jackson beginning at 10:30a.m. with Pastor David Brown officiating. Burial, with military rites by the Jackson American Legion and VFW Posts, will take place immediately following the service at Riverside Cemetery in Jackson.
A visitation will take place on Wedensday June 30, 2010 from 5-8p.m. at the Osterberg Funeral Home in Jackson and on Thursday, one hour prior to the services at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Honor Flight. Information on the Honor flight can be found at www.honorflight.org.
Nick Pronk was born on May 6, 1924, in Edgerton, Minnesota, the son of Lue and Wilhelmina (Vos) Pronk. He attended school in Edgerton, earning his GED from Jackson County Central. Nick began working for the Minnesota Egg Plant in 1940, and entered the military in 1943. On December 18th of that year, Nick married the love of his life, Beulah Mix, in Chesterfield, South Carolina. Shortly afterward, he was deployed overseas to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. Nick was initially a member of the 17th Airborne Division, then the 82nd and 101st. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge, along with the crossing of the Rhine River and the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. When the war was over, Nick and the rest of the 101st Division marched proudly down Fifth Avenue in New York City. Nick returned to the Minnesota Egg Plant after the war, and eventually became the manager until 1965. At that point, he held similar positions at plants in St. Charles and Lonsdale, Minnesota. He and his family moved back to Jackson in 1969 and Nick worked for the Highway Department as a sign man until his retirement in 1987. While retired, Nick kept busy watching his favorite sports teams, fishing, and spending time with his family and friends. On June 27, 2010, Nick died at home surrounded by his loved ones.
Nick was a member of the United Methodist Church, the American Legion, and the VFW in Jackson, where he had served as Commander and Quartermaster, receiving national recognition. Nick also served on the Jackson School Board and the Jackson Park Board. Additionally, he was one of the original members of the VFW Racing Association, which began in 1954. He was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2003. Nick’s affiliation with the VFW led to his involvement in establishing the Avenue of Flags to honor veterans on Memorial Day in Jackson. Nick recently participated in an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., where he was met by Senator Bob Dole and viewed the new World War II memorial.
Nick is survived by his wife of 66 years, Beulah; four sons, Douglas (and Nina) Pronk of Prescott Valley, AZ, James (and Robin) Pronk of Rochester, MN, David (and Pam) Pronk of Jackson, MN, and Curtis (and Barbara) Pronk of Rochester, MN; seven grandchildren, Tyler (and Tonia), Tracey (and Matthew), Ryan, Amanda, Nicholas, Phillip, and Dustin; one great-granddaughter, Sophie; two brothers, Bernard Pronk of Cottonwood, MN, and Louis “Junior” Pronk of Donna, TX; and five sisters, Joann DeWire of Ohio, Elsie Milhenbeck of Florida, Esther Vande Stedg of Florida, Alice (and Gentius) Shriver of Truman, MN, and Leone (and Gerald) Goding of Florida. He was preceded in death by an infant son, his parents, two sisters, Frannie Abbink and Louise Achterhoff, and one brother, Thorton Pronk.
Nick will be lovingly remembered by all who knew him.