Our hearts were broken on Thursday, April 5, 2012 when at the age of 52, John William Verburg passed from this life into the waiting arms of our Lord. We didn't want to let him go, but God said it was time. John was surrounded by his family as he took his last breath. He had fought the good fight after being hit with a severe stroke one month ago. It was heart-breaking to watch what it did to this strong, independent, hard-working man who did not know the word quit. Our lives will never be the same without him. He was such a presence wherever we were or whatever we were doing. To say he will be missed does not begin to describe...
Our hearts were broken on Thursday, April 5, 2012 when at the age of 52, John William Verburg passed from this life into the waiting arms of our Lord. We didn't want to let him go, but God said it was time. John was surrounded by his family as he took his last breath. He had fought the good fight after being hit with a severe stroke one month ago. It was heart-breaking to watch what it did to this strong, independent, hard-working man who did not know the word quit. Our lives will never be the same without him. He was such a presence wherever we were or whatever we were doing. To say he will be missed does not begin to describe effectively, the emptiness his passing has left behind for those of us who were closest to him.
John was born on February 16, 1960 to William and Rachel Verburg in Hanford, CA. The family lived and dairied in the Salinas area until 1970, when they made the move to Fresno. It was there that they started the dairy on Brawley Avenue where John continued for the next 42 years. John graduated from Central Union High School in 1978. Aside from being a born and bred dairyman, John had a love of rodeo, specifically bull-riding. As a young man he participated in high school and some college rodeo, then a few years on the professional circuit. John so enjoyed those years and loved the people and the challenge of the sport. But then in 1985, life changed forever. He met the girl that was to become his wife of 26 years, who would bare for him a baby boy that became the center of his world. From that point on, John dedicated himself to his family and to working hard to provide a good life for them; as well as an outstanding example for the four boys they went on to have.
Over the years John built the dairy up and made improvements little by little. He took great satisfaction and pride in doing his own work as opposed to hiring it out. He used to say – "If a man can do it, I can do it." While that may not have held true to all things, he would always give it his best shot and if there was a way he'd find it.
John loved his family so much. His wife Melanie and boys, Josh, Jake, Austin & Ty were absolutely the most important thing in his life, and they were the beneficiaries of that love. John was also a devoted son. He loved and respected his mother and always made a point to show it. This too was an example he set for his boys. He adored his family, he loved his land and his cows, he loved his home, he loved his "doggies", and last but not least, he loved the Lord and gave thanks every day for his blessings. His faith ran deep in his heart and true.
John was so proud of his four boys. He believed in each one of them that they had the potential to do anything they wanted. He took seriously his responsibility to teach them what hard work meant and to live your life right and to make good choices. He believed in teaching by example.
From a business standpoint, John was a straightforward, honest, fair man to work with. This man's word was golden. Those who worked with him knew that he would always honor his commitments, and wouldn't hesitate to hold your feet to the fire if you didn't honor yours.
John enjoyed his friends and extended family and the good times had over the years. The deep sea fishing trips, the nickel-ante poker games, team roping, parties at Bulls Eye Arena, holiday gatherings or just plain ole' getting together to shoot the breeze. No matter what, whether it was work or play, John always managed to make a good time out of it. We didn't know it then, but looking back now, we can see those times were all precious memories in the making.
The broken hearts he leaves behind are his wife, Melanie Verburg; sons, Joshua, Jake, Austin and Tyler Verburg; mother, Rachel Bynum and her husband Raymond Bynum; sisters, Angie Verburg and her husband Greg Schlepp, Anna Verburg, Melanie Izard and her husband David Izard; numerous nieces and nephews and some very close cousins who will miss him dearly. John was preceded in death by his father, William Verburg.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 14th at 2:30 pm at The Gold Rush Dairy Barn - Quist Dairy - 5500 W. Jensen Ave. ½ mile west of Cornelia. Arrive early for parking and seating.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the John Verburg Sons Memorial College Fund - Bank of the West, 2035 Fresno Street, Fresno, CA 93721 OR any charitable organization of your choice. Please notify family if a remembrance is made so that acknowledgements can be sent