John Richard Drees John Richard Drees
1946 - 2014

BORN: 05 Sep 1946
         Grand Forks, North Dakota
         28 Nov 1970
         Grand Forks, North Dakota
DIED: 27 Sep 2014
         Grand Forks, North Dakota

John Richard Drees was the tenth and last child born to Albert and Ethel Drees. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church and attended Immanuel Lutheran School through his Freshman year before transferring to the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston, Minnesota where he graduated in 1964. John served as a cook in the Army Reserves from 1966 until 1971. During Reserves summer training in Aurora, Colorado, he met Vivian Justin and they were married Thanksgiving 1970.

John's father Albert, sold the farm to John on favorable terms and after a short time John built a home for Vivian and himself a short distance from his father's, which allowed him to care for his parents as their health began to fail.

John worked with his brothers and nephews in the Drees Farming Association until 1999, where he liked to focus on the repair and maintenance of the organization's machinery. During most of this time, the farms grew seed potatoes, beets and various grains.

John and Vivian were both very family oriented, with John adopting Vivian's son Troy soon after they were married. John and Vivian became foster parents in 1975 and together they cared for 28 children over the years. Five of these children they adopted: Anthony, Steven, Aaron, Heather and Bethany. Vivian gave birth to their only biological child, Matthew, in 1980.

John served on many boards and councils, such as: The Grand Forks Trail Water Users, the Grand Forks Township Board of Directors, The Thompson Rural fire Department Board, the LISTEN Board of Directors, the ARC Board of Directors, and the Grand Forks Planning and Zoning Board.

In his later years, John and Vivian were active members of Sharon Lutheran Church and he had been working on a development called Wheatland Acres, a new housing development on Drees lands near the south side of Grand Forks.

John was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia sometime around 2010, the disease that his father died from. This advanced to acute Leukemia in 2013. He passed away in his home a year later.

Visitation for John Richard Drees was held Wednesday, October 1st at Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks. A private memorial service was held the following day.

At the time of his death, John had seventeen grandchildren.

WIFE of John Richard Drees:
    Vivian Fern JUSTIN

PARENTS of John Richard Drees:
   Albert Frederick Frank DREES

   Ethel Viola KUSTER

CHILDREN of John Richard Drees:
   1. Anthony Tyrone DREES
   2. Troy Daniel DREES
   3. Steven John DREES
   4. Aaron Lonnie DREES
   5. Heather Edain DREES
   6. Matthew Dale DREES
   7. Bethany Renae DREES


  A Genealogy and History for the Family of Albert and Ethel Drees, by Donna Widenhoefer
  Obituary, Amundson Funeral Home