Agnes Vanderwerf, 89, of Willmar and formerly of Redwood Falls died Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at Bethesda Pleasant View in Willmar. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 15, 2012 from First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls with burial to follow in the Springfield City Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, September 14, 2012, from 4 until 7 p.m., at the Nelson-Martin Funeral Home in Redwood Falls and will continue at the church on Saturday for one hour prior to services.
Arrangements are with Nelson-Martin Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via
Agnes June Alexander was born June 29, 1923 in Vesta Township, Redwood County to David “Ormie” and Bertha (Simondet) Alexander. She was raised on the family farm and attended country school. Agnes was a 4-H member and was proud to have played on a softball team that won the Redwood County championship. She attended Redwood Falls High School, graduating as an honor student in 1941. Agnes graduated from Minneapolis Business College and worked briefly in Minneapolis. After passing the civil service test, she worked for the U.S. Maritime Commission in Washington, D.C., during World War II. She worked as a secretary and later in the accounting department. While in Washington, she sang with a choir that presented songs on the CBS radio “Church of the Air” show. She was a member of the USO and enjoyed attending USO dances. On Jan. 15, 1944, Agnes married Hubert C. Plunkett in Washington. They later divorced. She worked at the Scenic City Co-op Oil Company in Redwood Falls.
On Sept. 30, 1950, Agnes married John Vanderwerf at Evan. They farmed in Paxton Township in Redwood County for many years and moved from the farm into Redwood Falls in 1979. Agnes began working at the Redwood County Court in 1971 and worked as a deputy court administrator and probate registrar until her retirement in 1993 at the age of 70. She was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church at Gilfillan. She taught Sunday School and was church treasurer for many years. Agnes later joined First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls. She was a member of the Sunshine Girls and was active with the extension service. Agnes was a Girl Scout leader and a proud member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
She entered Bethesda Pleasant View on Aug. 28, 2004, and lived there for nearly eight years. Her family is grateful for all the kindness shown to Agnes while she was at Bethesda.
Agnes was always ready to help a friend and was a good listener. She loved her family above all else and lived her Christianity every day. Although dementia robbed her of much in her later years, she never lost her love of a good joke.
Survivors include her children Warren (and Delores) Vanderwerf of Redwood Falls, Doris Neudecker of Redwood Falls, Dale (and Bernice) Vanderwerf of St. Cloud, David (and Donna) Vanderwerf of Malden, Massachusetts, John Steven (and Cynthia) Vanderwerf of Fridley, and Linda (and Mark Fernelius) Vanderwerf of Willmar. Also surviving are 20 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; her brother Gordon (and Ardis) Alexander of Vesta; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Agnes was preceded in death by her husband John in 1985; son James Vanderwerf in 1982; daughter-in-law Lucille Vanderwerf in 2011; son-in-law Richard Neudecker; grandson James Vanderwerf; brother Donald Alexander; and sisters Katherine Johnson and Bernice Alexander.