August 18, 1925 June 6, 2020
John Vergot, 94, of Stevensville, passed away peacefully at his home on June 6, 2020
surrounded by his family. John was born on August 18, 1925 in Uniontown, PA to the late Peter, Sr. and Rose
(Milasinic) Vergot. His family moved to a farm in Stevensville where they raised John
and his four siblings.
On December 23, 1953 John married his better half, Donna Mae Ruthsatz, at a ceremony
in Berrien County. They shared 66 years together, setting an example of integrity,
respect, and dedication as they raised their five children into adulthood.
John worked his entire adult life with his wife and children on his family farm and fruit
stand in Stevensville. He did so with great pride, passion, and perseverance. The fruit
stand was open every day from May through October, and John rarely took a day off
during that time. His commitment to providing the highest quality produce at a fair
price, his support of other farmers in the area, and his generosity to the Stevensville and
surrounding communities earned him the respect and admiration of friends and
strangers alike. John was very charismatic – you only needed to meet him once to never
forget him. He greeted everyone he met with a sincere and infectious smile, and his
unflagging optimism in both good times and bad was a valuable life lesson to all who
John’s knowledge and memory of all things related to farming were astonishing, and he
would happily share those with anyone would cared to listen. He could just as easily tell
you how much he paid for a tractor in the 1940’s as he what he planted in the field
behind the fruit stand last week. He could tell you the price of produce on any given day
from Michigan all the way to Florida. John shared his farming expertise with his three
sons, two of whom, Tim and Mike, continue running the family’s farm today.
In his free time, John enjoyed offseason trips to Florida with Donna, where he spent his
time fishing, flea marketing, playing cards, and occasionally picking oranges. He never
met an auction he didn’t like, frequently to the dismay of the rest of the family. John
was also an avid (and vocal) pinochle player. He taught both his children and
grandchildren how to play so he’d always have a foursome when the opportunity arose.
John always looked forward to spending time with his family, especially his
grandchildren. He made sure that they had plenty of food to eat when they came to visit
and plenty to take home. You never went hungry around John, and it didn’t matter who
John was preceded in death by his parents; a son, John (Butch); and his siblings, Daniel,
Stella Schoenfelder, Ann Ster, and Peter, Jr.
Surviving John is his wife of sixty-six years, Donna Mae Vergot; his children Michael
Vergot, Timothy Vergot of Stevensville, Susan (Mark) Benson of Rapid City, SD, and
Kathy (Ivan) LaHaie of Grass Lake; grandchildren Michael Vergot, Jr., Katelyn Hill, and
Allie LaHaie; and great-grandchildren Chloe and Noelle. He also leaves to cherish his
memory several nieces and nephews, especially his nephew Peter Vergot III with whom
he had a special bond.
John’s entire family is deeply grateful to Bertie, Robin, and Lauryn Hamilton and Judi
Krager for their help in running the fruit stand during the last 40 years. They would also
like to thank those who helped care for John, including Sam, George, Preston, and
Marcella of Caring Circle Hospice, but most importantly, his sons Tim and Mike, for their
unselfish dedication and sacrifice to John’s well-being and comfort.
In keeping with his family’s wishes, there will be a gathering at a future date to
celebrate John’s life.
Memorial contributions may be made in John’s memory to the Stevensville American
Legion, Post 568, 3093 Johnson Rd, Stevensville, Michigan 49127 or to Berrien County
Youth Fair, P.O. Box 7, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103.
Memories and condolences may be left for his family at www.purelycremations.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Purely Cremation Services, Benton Harbor.
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