Eldon Folkerts, 93, of Minonk, passed away at 5:12 p.m. Sunday (March 15, 2020) at Heritage Health, Minonk.
Due to concerns over the COVID-19 virus, a private graveside service for immediate family will be held at Minonk Township Cemetery. Military rites will be accorded. At a later date when the public health threat has ended, a celebration of life service will be held at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Minonk. Memorials may be made to St. Paul's United Church of Christ or the charity of the donor's choice.
Ruestman-Harris Funeral Home, Minonk, is in charge of assisting the family with arrangements.
Eldon is survived by his wife, Dorothy, to whom he was married 65 years; his son, Brian (Yvonne) Folkerts, Alexandria, Va.; two grandchildren, Kristen Folkerts, Washington, D.C., and Eric Folkerts, Fort Collins, Colo.; his brother, Ronald (Dorothy) Folkerts, Washington, Ill.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lena and John Folkerts; his sister, Marie Oltman; brother, Virgil Folkerts; and sister, Lorene Johnson.
Eldon was born Nov. 30, 1926, to Lena (Gastman) and John Folkerts at the family farm near Benson, and attended a one-room school until his family relocated to a farm near Rutland in 1938. He graduated from Rutland High School in 1944.
He married Dorothy Jury in 1954 at the First Presbyterian Church, Minonk, and farmed in the Rutland and Minonk areas until his retirement in 1991. Eldon served two elected terms on the Marshall County board of supervisors, and for 45 years in various leadership roles at the Minonk Presbyterian Church. He was a member of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Eldon served from 1950 to 1952 in the U.S. Army, and in 1951 in the Korean War in the U.S. Army's 70th Tank Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, where he saw action in Korea's Chorwon Valley. He was proud to attend the 1995 opening of the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., and returned to visit many times.
Eldon enjoyed many interests, including politics and local history. For decades he drove in local parades either a 1951 Dodge sedan or a 1924 Model T truck, both family heirlooms that he restored. He was well-known in the area for repairing and restoring clocks and watches, and for his unique ability to successfully "find water" through the art of "dowsing." He enjoyed socializing with friends and neighbors at local restaurants and at home over a lively game of ping pong. Eldon was never without a smile, and was kind to all. He had an easy laugh and a warm sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by his family and those who knew him.
Tributes and condolences may be made at www.ruestmanharrisfuneralhome.com.