Adrian Ploegstra of Elkhart, Iowa, was born March 19, 1932, to Minnie “Ben” and Agnes (DeWaard) Ploegstra near Kanawha, Iowa. At age 14, Adrian had to leave school behind and assume the responsibility of farming his father’s land due to Ben’s failing health. At 20 years of age he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an MP from 1952 to 1954. He was stationed at Treasure Island in Calif. After his discharge from the service, he returned to Iowa and worked for a while at a produce house in Kanawha. With bigger dreams he later enrolled in Waldorf College, where he met Shirley Sande. Shirley and Adrian were married December 26, 1964, at Salem Lutheran Church in Roland, Iowa.
Upon graduating from Luther College in 1960, he began his career with Iowa Farm Bureau, where he worked for 32 years. After completing several Drake University law courses and correspondence coursework through LaSalle Extension University and Universal Schools, he attained the level of Division Claims Manager, where he dealt with litigated auto and personal injury claims. He retired from Farm Bureau in 1992.
His main hobby was farming his 340 acres in Polk County. He farmed in his free time while working and continued for 13 more years until health issues forced him to stop. He spent many hours restoring his International Harvester 400 with the dream of going on the Great Iowa Tractor Ride. He was an avid reader of history, farm newspapers and magazines, and the daily news. Adrian also loved to travel. He visited all 50 states (many of them numerous times) and every continent except Antarctica. He loved being with family, getting hugs from his granddaughters and making connections with people about everything from philosophy to history and travel to farming.
He was a member of Trinity Christian Reformed Church in Ames, where he served as an elder, the Bondurant American Legion Post #396, and the Webster City Lions Club. He also served on the Polk County Condemnation Board for several years, and he enjoyed the camaraderie with the Alleman and Ankeny McDonalds coffee groups.
Adrian slipped peacefully from this life at home on Aug. 17, 2016, at 84 years of age.
Adrian is survived by his wife, Shirley Ploegstra of Elkhart; his children, Paula (Jason) Blair of Blaine, Minn., Mark Ploegstra of Ames and Carl Ploegstra of Ankeny; his grandchildren, Breonna Blair and Jordan Blair; his sister, Lois Conrad of Kanawha; and four nieces with their respective families.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Memorials may be sent to the charity of your choice.