Thorben Leroy Duitsman, age 65, of Sac City, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, October 22, 2020, at his home.
Thorben and his twin brother Thomas were born on May 29, 1955, to parents Robert and Kamma (Nielsen) Duitsman at Loring Hospital in Sac City. Thorben was baptized and later confirmed at the Nain Lutheran Church in Newell, Iowa. Thorben attended both Sac City and Newell schools, graduating from Sac City High School in 1973. He also attended Iowa State University. On July 17, 1981, Thorben married Cindy Ann Miller at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Ida Grove, Iowa. This union was blessed with two daughters, Jennifer and Stephanie.
Thorben worked on his parents’ farm from a young age. He was also involved in FFA in high school, and was on the judging team, which won first place in the state judging contest. Agriculture was his life’s passion, and he farmed his entire life, taking a great deal of pride in his crops. In 1988, Thorben was the state champion in the Conservation Tillage Division of the Iowa Master Corn Grower’s Association Contest; the grand prize was a trip to Hawaii, which he and Cindy took together in 1989. In 1992, he won First Place in District Five in the Conservation Tillage Division of the Iowa Master Soybean Grower’s Contest. He loved John Deere: he owned almost entirely John Deere equipment (with a few exceptions) and collected John Deere memorabilia.
Throughout his life, Thorben also was a semi-truck driver. One of his favorite movies was Smokey and the Bandit. He always had an avid interest in semi-trucks and trailers, and he became the proud owner of a brand new, custom-built, red-and-chrome Peterbilt in 1999. Thorben and Cindy built a successful hog hauling business, which they operated as Duitsman Farms north of Sac City.
Thorben was a charismatic, no-nonsense, generous man with a quick wit and a smart comment or joke always at the ready. He was a loving and involved husband and father. He taught Jennifer and Stephanie to read music and to play baseball and softball. He helped them with school projects. He always emphasized independence and education for his daughters, and he was always there when they needed him. Being a grandfather was special to him. He was a proud grandfather and liked to play games with his grandson, Tate. “Boots”, as his father nicknamed him, was a self-proclaimed cowboy, and he was often seen wearing cowboy boots. Thorben was deeply interested in Native American history and the great American West. Family trips to South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona and Nevada are a source of many treasured memories.
In his youth, he enjoyed playing guitar in a band with friends and raced his Boss 302. He enjoyed playing euchre and any other game involving strategy. Thorben often built or rebuilt his own equipment. He enjoyed taking part in auctions, watching Nascar races, and showing off his skills as a grill master. He collected model farm tractors and cars, as well as farm and car projects. Thorben also enjoyed Cyclone football, especially the Iowa-Iowa State game, and attended games at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. Thorben had a way with animals, enjoyed working with horses, and particularly liked reading books and stories about grizzly bears. Most of all, Thorben enjoyed the time he spent with his family and his friends. All who knew and loved him will miss him dearly.
Thorben is survived by his wife, Cindy Duitsman of Sac City, Iowa; daughters Jennifer Duitsman (Darrick) Coy of Gaylord, Michigan, and Stephanie Duitsman (Adam Port) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; grandson Tatum Port; brother Kurt Duitsman of Arthur, Iowa; sister-in-law Leanne Duitsman of Boone, Iowa; mother-in-law Dorene Miller of Ida Grove, Iowa; sisters-in-law Camy (Steve) Lunzman of Chillicothe, Illinois, Peggy (Gary) Rainbow of Madison, Wisconsin, and Misti Baker of Ida Grove, Iowa; and many extended family members and friends.
Thorben was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Kamma Duitsman; his twin brother Thomas Duitsman; his father-in-law Marvin Miller; and brothers-in-law Tracey Miller and Jack Baker.