Dec 20, 2022
John Verbrigghe, Michigan potato grower, dies

John Verbrigghe, 91, of Verbrigghe Potato Farms, died Dec. 15, in Escanaba, Michigan.

Visitation is scheduled for Dec. 20 at Anderson Funeral Homes in Escanaba. Mass of Christian Burial is also scheduled for Dec. 20 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Perkins, Michigan.

John Verbrigghe

Verbrigghe, a son of Belgian immigrants who was raised on his family’s dairy, beef and potato farm in St. Nicholas, in the south-central part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, died after a short stay at a health care center in Escanaba. He was surrounded by his family, according to an obituary and a report in the Escanaba Daily Press.

Verbrigghe farmed potatoes with his sons, Dan and Terry Verbrigghe, two of his grandsons, Brad and TJ, deceased nephew David Verbrigghe, and his wife Everell, who he married in 1954, according to the news report.  The father and sons transformed a homestead farm into a modern potato farming operation, next to his childhood family farm, according to the news report.

He was involved in the Upper Peninsula Potato Growers Association, the state’s Farm Bureau and the Farmer’s Union.

Verbrigghe is survived by his wife, his two sons, daughter Tracy Maskart, 10 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, two sisters, a brother, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Perkins, Michigan. Online remembrances can be shared at




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