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Descendants of Jan Janse Ryckman

225. SEYMOUR WILLARD9 RYCKMAN (JAMES ALLEN8, PHILIP7, ALBERT6, PHILIPPUS5, TOBIAS4, JOHANNES ALBERTSE3, ALBERT JANSE2, JAN JANSE1)596 was born 09 May 1895 in Orange Township, Kalkaska County, MI., and died 19 Mar 1980 in Traverse City, MI.. He married LAVERNE ELIZA JENKINS596 24 Dec 1915 in Kalkaska County, MI., daughter of JAMES JENKINS and LILI CARLISLE. She was born 16 Feb 1896 in Orange Township, Kalkaska County, MI., and died 28 Apr 1989 in Grayling, MI..

Notes for S
Leader and Kalkaskian, March 27, 1980

South Boardman:

Seymour W. Ryckman, 84, of Rt. #1, South South Boardman, died Wednesday March 9, 1980 at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.

He is survived by his wife, La Verne; four sons, Seymour J. of Dayton, Ohio, Willard A. of Kalkaska, DeVere W. of St. Louis, Mo., and Clesson L. of South Boardman; two daughters, Mrs. Gene L. Woodhams of Fife Lake, and Mrs. Virgil L. Uitvlugt of Battle Creek; one brother, James Wellington Ryckman of South Boardman; 19 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Ryckman was born in Kalkaska County on May 19, 1895, the son of James and Ida Mae Sheridan Ryckman. On December 24, 1915, he was united in marriage with LaVerne Jenkins in Kalkaska.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one grandson, and two great grandchildren.

Mr. Ryckman had been a lifelong resident of Kalkaska County, and was a retired dairy farmer. He was a member and trustee of East Boardman United Methodist Church, a member of the Kalkaska County Farm Bureau, and a former member of the Orange Township Board of Review.

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22, 1980, at the Schwartz-Wolfe Funeral Home, Kalkaska. Rev. Marion Nye, pastor of the East Boardman United Methodist Church, officiated. Burial was in Lodi Cemetery, Kalkaska County.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the East Boardman United Methodist Church. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

From the Parents of the Year Program Honoring Seymour and LaVerne Ryckman
Kalkaska Lodge 332, F. & A.M., November 9, 1974.

            A Synopsis of The Ryckman Philosophy

On December 24, 1915, two young people, a farm boy and a school teacher, began their married life together. After living on a farm near Grand Rapids for a short time, they bought an 80 acre farm in the East Boardman community where both had grown up.

Each of the six children born to them was guided by their high principles. Education and increasing knowledge were stressed. At least 30 minutes a day were set aside as a time for family reading. The children would sit with their feet close to the pot-bellied stove while Mother read aloud from such books as Tom Sawyer, Robinson Crusoe, Hedi, and the poems of Edgar Guest.

A visiting evangelist who made the comment that he was raised on a farm, so had no chance for an education, quickly learned his statement was a red flag in the Ryckman home.

There were no school buses to provide transportation to the high school, so the teenagers depended on the second-hand family car. One day during the Depression, Father received a telephone call that a tire was flat and beyond repair. Without hesitation, he said, "Tell the garage man to give you a tire, and I'll come in and settle for it tomorrow." The next day he sold the cow known as "Old Blue" to pay for the tire. As they drove to school, one of the girls, referring to the tire, commented, "There's Old Blue going around and around".

Each member of the family was part of the team and felt responsibility for all other members. In the winter when the road past their place was not plowed, the Ryckman high school students left the car a mile across the fields from home. Each morning and afternoon, the brother would break a trail in the snow to make walking easier for his sister. When the chores were done in the evening, he would make a second round trip to town to practice basketball.

Whether it was one of the children home from school for the summer or the first Ryckman university professor home for a visit, the cooperation in getting the farm work done was accepted as a way of life. Perhaps this is what is called the "work ethic."

The Ryckman's' faith and tenacity were tested in 1948 when their house and its contents were destroyed by fire. A search was made to find a similar house that could be purchased and moved to the site of their former home. Such a building, requiring some adjustments to the foundation, was located, negotiated for and preparations made for the move. In spite of 20 degree weather, concrete was poured to adjust the foundation and the house was transported to its present site.

The girls were in college, but were prepared to leave school to help their parents. When the college faculty and students took up a collection among themselves to pay for tuition and replace the lost clothing, the girls could not turn their backs on such concern and confidence - they continued their education.

The parents demonstrated support of the children's activities with encouragement and attendance, whether it was two lines in a school play, an important basketball game, or a band concert (where deafness could have been a blessing at times).

Members of the family and the community will attest that among Seymour and LaVerne's many outstanding qualities is their determination to do something worthwhile with their time, and the personal satisfaction that comes from having helped someone else or contributing to the successful completion of a community or church activity.

The principles of love, faith, integrity, service to God and man - could one ask for a greater heritage?


Grandchildren                              26
Great-grandchildren                        8
Chicken Thieves                              0
Jail Birds                                    0
High School Diplomas Earned                        32
Years of Higher Education                        137
College & University Degrees                        24
Years of Secondary Teaching                  95
Years of University Teaching                        71
Years of Church Attendance                        1,147
Civic & Professional Offices Held                  137
Other Honors and Awards                        80
#Includes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generations and spouses.

1930 U.S. Census:

1930 Orange Twp, Kalkaska Co, MI, ED 11, page 4A
Seymour Ryckman, 34, MI/Can/NY, farmer
Laverne, 34, Ml/lndiana/Ml
Seymour J., son, 12, MI
Willard, son, 11, MI
Devere, son, 5 yrs 11 mos, MI
Gene, daughter, 4 yrs 3 mos, MI
Virgil, daughter, 1 yr 9 mos, MI

More About S
Burial: Unknown, Lodi Cemetery, Orange Twp., Kalkaska County, MI.
Religion: East Boardman Methodist Church

Notes for L
Excerpts from: James Edward Ryckman, Orange Township And The Ryckmans, 1971, p. 27-30.

Seymour Ryckman and Family

On December 24, 1915, Seymour Willard Ryckman (1895) and LaVerne Eliza Jenkins (1896) were married. (8)

Harry Ryckman owned a farm on Section 33. Across the road was a logging cabin in old Camp 33, which Seymour and LaVerne purchased and moved across the road. This is where they lived and farmed the first year of their marriage. This land had never been farmed before. (10)

Seymour and LaVerne started with two cows. One of the two was a gift from James Ryckman. Seymour had a horse and buggy. He traded the buggy for the second cow and a horse for a workhorse. They also had about fifty to sixty chickens. (8)

In 1917, LaVerne Ryckman, Gertrude Montgomery (Ryckman), Libbie Vyverberg and Hazel Hall came up with an idea to raise money to buy Defense Bonds. They decided to make a quilt with people's names sewn on it. To have one's name on this quilt, one had to pay ten cents. If anyone wanted their name on the quilt more than once, they paid more.

This quilt was raffled off at a box social in 1918. Hugh Shannon won the quilt and years later Hazel Shannon returned it to be hung on display in the Rowe Schoolhouse. (8)

In 1917, Seymour and LaVerne moved to Allendale, which is 14 miles west of Grand Rapids, where they farmed for a year. They paid fifty cents for a ferry to cross the Grand River. A chain on a wheel pulled the ferry across. The team of horses, two cows and their wagon were on the ferry. (10)

The Ryckman family was very close and wished to have their younger brother closer to home. Therefore Allie made a fifty dollar down payment on the White farm and Wellie went down and helped them move back to Orange Township in the spring of 1918. (8)

LaVerne and Seymour have six children, Seymour James (1917), Willard Allen (1918), DeVere Wellington (1924), Gene LaVerne (Woodhams) (1926), Virgil Lucille (Uitvlught) (1928) and Clesson LeRoy (1934). (8)

In 1920, Seymour worked on the county road. LaVerne spent her time making flowerbeds with Seymour James and Willard Allen. She canned pork, chicken and beef and made her own bread. They had enough food from the farm that they would not need to go to town for months if they did not want to. (8)

That was the year the seeds burned up from the heat and the grasshoppers ate the potatoes.
LaVerne was a schoolteacher and taught at the Dowling School in Wilson Township, the Sanders School and at the Rowe School. (8]

In 1939, Seymour had a barn raising. One neighbor told LaVerne that she would not be able to come as she had started some bread. LaVerne told her to come and bring her bread. When the barn raising was over, the bread had been baked and everyone had had an enjoyable time. (8)

In 1942, electricity was brought to Orange Township, by the Rural Electric Association. This revolutionized the lives of people in this area. (9)

The house Seymour and LaVerne found on the White farm was remodeled and built over until it no longer was the same. Then on the afternoon of February 15, 1948, while celebrating LaVerne's birthday with their son, Willard and his family at Willard's home in Kalkaska, LaVerne and Seymour's home burned with all possessions inside. (9)

As with many other families of this area, a house was bought and moved from another farm. Their new large two-story house came from the farm of William Dick. After the other children had married and left home, Clesson remained to help on the farm. He married Kay Sherwood in 1955. They remodeled the upstairs of the house to make an apartment for themselves. In 1970, the family of Clesson Ryckman, which now included Lynda, Lorie and Craig, outgrew the upstairs apartment.

Seymour and LaVerne moved to a comfortable trailer home near the farmhouse to give their son and his family more room.

Seymour still enjoys helping with the farm work and LaVerne tends a bountiful garden, sews quilts and takes an active part in church functions.

Personal interviews with:

[8] LaVerne Jenkins Ryckman
[9] Maxine Rugg Ryckman
[10] Seymour Willard Ryckman

Reference: The Traverse City Record Eagle, April 1989


LaVerne E. Ryckman

South Boardman - LaVerne E. Ryckman 93, of South Boardman died Friday at Grayling Health Care Center.

She was a lifelong resident of Kalkaska County and a former member of the Farm Bureau. She was an active member of the East Boardman United Methodist Church, where she held many offices. She enjoyed gardening, roses, and flower arranging.

She was born in Kalkaska County to James and Lilly (Carlisle) Jenkins on Feb. 16, 1896. On Dec. 24, 1915, in Kalkaska County, she married Seymour Ryckman, who died in 1980.

She also was preceded in death by three sisters, Pearl Waubeke, Elva Main and Bertha McKinney; one grandchild and two great-grandchildren.

Surviving are two daughters; Gene Woodhams of Fife Lake and Virgil Uitvlugt of Battle Creek; four sons, Seymour J. Ryckman of Dayton, Ohio, Willard A. Ryckman of Mancelona, DeVere W. Ryckman of St. Louis, Mo., and Clesson L. Ryckman of South Boardman; Two sisters, Hazel Scully of Grand Rapids and Francis Cartwright of Charlotte; 19 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p. m. Monday at the Wolfe Funeral Home in Kalkaska. The Rev. Gary Wales will officiate. Burial will be in Lodi Cemetery in Kalkaska County.

Friends may call at the funeral home from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p. m. Sunday.

Memorials may be directed to the building fund at East Boardman United Methodist Church.

More About L
Burial: Unknown, Lodi Cemetery, Orange Twp., Kalkaska County, MI.
Education: Teaching Certificate
Religion: East Boardman Methodist Church
Children of S
297. i.   SEYMOUR JAMES10 RYCKMAN, b. Private.
298. ii.   WILLARD ALLEN RYCKMAN, b. Private.
299. iii.   DR. DEVERE WELLINGTON RYCKMAN, b. 27 May 1924, Orange Twp., Kalkaska County, MI.; d. 14 Sep 2004, St Louis, Missouri.
300. iv.   GENE LAVERNE RYCKMAN, b. Private.
301. v.   VIRGIL LUCILE RYCKMAN, b. Private.
302. vi.   CLESSON LEROY RYCKMAN, b. Private.

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