Mass of Christian Burial for Richard Bot, 100, of Marshall, formerly of Cottonwood, was held Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. Eloi Catholic Church in Ghent. Visitation was Tuesday, August 8, from 5-7 p.m. at the Horvath Remembrance Center in Marshall, with a rosary at 5 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation continued one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment with military honors was held at St. Eloi Catholic Cemetery in Ghent.
Richard John Bot was born Sept. 24, 1922, in the midst of harvest. It’s no wonder he always loved the harvest season. He was the oldest son of Charles and Elizabeth (Brewers) Bot and born in Grandview Township at the family farm.
Rich attended the St. Agnes Catholic School in Ghent through the 8th grade. After that, he helped his father farm and worked for neighboring farmers. As was the common practice in the 1940s once Rich was old enough to drive, he attended dances in the area. At one of these dances, he met Phyllis VanOverbeke who eventually became his wife. They talked about marriage but in 1944 Rich was drafted so they chose to wait to marry until after he returned from his stint in the US Navy.
Rich served aboard the USS Catoctin on clean up missions in the Philippines, Japan, Korea, and China. Rich enjoyed talking about his time aboard the naval vessel. It was of particular interest that he was able to serve with a long-time neighbor and friend from Ghent, George DeSutter. He was discharged from the Navy in 1946.
Rich and Phyllis were married Jan. 14, 1947, at St. Clotilde Catholic Church in Green Valley. They began farming on a farm northeast of Ghent. In 1949 they moved to the farm they worked on until moving to Marshall in 1997. To their union five children were born. Rich valued education and was proud that his five children all had a college degree. Their marriage was traditional for the times and Rich and the boys did all the outside work while Phyllis managed the household and raised a huge garden. Rich continued combining until he was 94 years old.
In their retirement years they spent the winters in Mission, Texas where they golfed and visited their Minnesota friends and relatives. Rich also golfed at the Cottonwood and Minneota courses and he was a 77-year member of the US American Legion Post 564 in Ghent. He was a lifetime member of St. Eloi Catholic Church where he was baptized, received First Communion, Confirmation, and now his funeral.
When asked to serve on the Lyon County Co-op Oil Board, he accepted. Because of that position, he was asked to assist with getting a cooperative corn wet-mill plant started in Marshall. This was the beginning of his time serving on the Minnesota Corn Processors Board. Rich enjoyed bettering farming opportunities for local farmers.
At his 100th birthday celebration, Rich jokingly said he was starting his second 100 years. While at Boulder Estates Rich was usually found in the puzzle room working jigsaw puzzles. Early in July of this year, he realized he needed more assistance than he could get at Boulder Estates where he had lived since 2017. He moved into Morningside Heights Care Center on July 14. His health declined at that point, and he peacefully died on Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Rich is survived by his children Don (Rosemary), Elizabeth, Rick (Ruth), Ben (Jan), and Larry (Barb). His 10 grandchildren: Chad (Stephanie), Jill (Ronnie Walker), Corinne (Aaron Kompelien), Carolyn, Carmen (Tyler Nettestad), Colleen, Olivia (Riley Miller), Victoria (Vasiliy Kifyak), Cole (Bernadette), and Ella. His 8 great-grandchildren: Reid & Kaitlyn Bot, Reese and Quinn Kompelien, Lane and Piper Shoultz, Ari and Isla Nettestad. He is also survived by brothers Arnie and Fran (Joan) and sister-in-laws Alice Bot and Lou and Delores VanOverbeke. Preceding Rich in death were Phyllis, Charles and Elizabeth (parents), Norbert Bot (infant brother), Bernard (Barney) Bot, Raymond Bot, Florence (Bot) Determan, Emerence (Bot) Derynck, and Vincent Bot as well as in-laws Robert Determan, Roland (Mike) Derynck, and Judy Bot. Also included are Francis, Vincent, Doris Labat, Ronald (Buddy), Audrey Bakker, Jimmy, and Marlin VanOverbeke.
Memorials preferred to Prairie Home Hospice or St. Eloi Catholic Church.