William E. “Bill” Verbrugge, of Humboldt, died Monday November 30,2020 in the Hospice Room of Humboldt County Memorial Hospital at the age of 87 years.
Bill was born April 10,1933 on the family farm in Beaver Township to Dan and Mae (Storms) Verbrugge. He attended Dakota City Public School until the 8th grade and then attended Humboldt Public School where he graduated in 1950. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Industrial Arts and Music from Iowa State Teachers College in 1957. It really didn’t take him seven years to graduate as he was drafted into the Army in 1953 and served 2 years. Upon his discharge Bill returned to Cedar Falls and completed his college degree. During his college career he composed an anthem titled “The One Hundredth Psalm” which was performed both at Cedar Falls and in Humboldt. He earned a Master of Arts in Music from Colorado State College in Greeley, Colorado in 1960.
While in Greeley he worked as personnel director at a local hospital. Bill taught vocal music at several locations: Clarion, Iowa; Kimball, Nebraska and Ames, Iowa. Due to declining physical health, he ended his public-school career and returned to Humboldt.
He joined Humboldt Public Library staff as a part time librarian where he worked for many years. He also played in the piano bar at Anvers in Fort Dodge. Music was his great love, and he willingly shared his gift throughout his life as both a soloist/singer and as organist for both First Congregational Church in Humboldt and at First Congregational Church in Fort Dodge. He spent nearly 30 years at Fort Dodge where he was especially known for his Cantatas and Christmas concerts. He also played and sang for many weddings and funerals. One of his greatest honors was to play for Karl King’s funeral in 1971.
Upon retirement from Fort Dodge, he was a substitute organist at area churches. Bill was asked to entertain at the local care centers. He organized and led 4 benefit music concerts for Humboldt County Historical Association. Bill and fellow organists at United Congregation Church of Christ in Humboldt offered a number of Christmas concerts for the community.
Bill was a member of the Fort Dodge Symphony and sang with both the Fort Dodge Choral Society and Humboldt Community Chorus. Besides music, Bill enjoyed gardening, flowers, watching birds, compiling his family history, wood working projects, collecting antiques, working crossword and picture puzzles and dining and visiting with friends. He belonged to Humboldt County Historical Association, Humboldt County Genealogical Society, BPO of Elks in Fort Dodge, Masonic Lodge #195 in Humboldt, Shriners of North America and the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in which he attained the 32nd degree.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers: Durand, Gene, Robert, Bernard and Adrian, two sisters-in-law Betty Verbrugge (Durand) and Ann (Gene) Verbrugge, and nephew Ronald Verbrugge. Survivors include nieces Judy Buffington Johnson, Janet (Norm) Verbrugge - Gee, Betsy (Jim) Mielke and Marsha Gumness; nephews Gary Verbrugge, John (Denise) Verbrugge, and Mark (Kathy August) Verbrugge, cousin Lloyd Intermill, great nieces and nephews, and many friends.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, September 30th at Union Cemetery in Humboldt. The Mason-Lindhart Funeral & Cremation Service of Humboldt is in charge of the arrangements.