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Sherwood “Woody” Jorritsma
June 3, 1941 – Feb 5, 2022

Turlock, California – Sherwood Jorritsma passed away on February 5th, in Turlock, California.

Woody, as most knew him, was born in Artesia, California, to parents Cor and Alice Jorritsma. The family moved to Turlock, where Woody, along with his three sisters and brother grew up on the family dairy on the west side of Turlock. After enjoying years of participation in FFA, Woody graduated from Turlock High School in 1959. Following graduation, he joined the Coast Guard, where he served from 1959 to 1965.

Woody worked as a milk delivery man in the Bay Area and a milk truck driver before starting his own water truck business in 1971. In 1972 he met the love of his life, Eloise Andre, and wisely married her in 1974. They lived in Turlock when their daughter was born, moved to Modesto before the birth of their first son and eventually made their way to Hilmar in 1980, where their second son was born.

Woody worked long hours driving and maintaining water trucks and tending to his almond orchard, but still found the time to serve as a volunteer fireman for the Hilmar Fire Department for 40 years, a member of the Hilmar Covenant Church Board of Trustees, a founding member of the Hilmar Municipal Advisory Council and a regular attendee at each of his children’s sporting events.

Woody was blessed with incredible friends, with whom he shared many wild stories and some of his favorite hobbies. He was a member of a stock car racing pit crew for local driver, Jim Reich, a member of the Valley Tractor Pullers Association, and volunteered as a FFA Farm Power Coach at Hilmar High School.

Woody was a devoted man of God, dedicated provider for his family, and a strong example to his children of what it was to work hard.  His large physical presence was matched only by his equally big personality and huge heart. He cared deeply for his family, friends, and community and showed this through his willingness to help out whenever asked.

Along with his parents, Woody was preceded in death by his brother John Jorritsma and sister Gerita Duree.  He is survived by his wife Ellie; his daughter Constance (Chris), and sons Rodney (Randee), and Curtis (Kimberly), and precious grandchildren Lyla, Justin, Kade and Jett.  He also leaves behind his sisters Joanne (Jim) Schaafsma and Arlene (Richard) DeGraff.

The family invites you to join in celebrating Woody’s life. On Thursday, February 24, a visitation will be held at Allen Mortuary in Turlock, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. On Friday, February 25, there will be a celebration of life at Hilmar Covenant Church at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow at Pageo Lavender Farm (11573 Golf Link Road, Turlock).  

In lieu of flowers, we invite you to make a contribution in Woody’s honor to the Merced County Rescue Mission or a charity special to you.