The passing of 15-year-old Caleb M. Jurgens on Sunday, May 21, 2023, has left many in his hometown of Hopkinton, Iowa, and beyond heartbroken.
Caleb was well-known for his love of farming, his passion for football, and his warm smile that lit up any room he entered.
At his core, Caleb was a kind-hearted and hardworking young man who touched many lives in his short time on this Earth. The following is a tribute to Caleb Jurgens, honoring his life and legacy.
Early Life and Education
Caleb was born on October 22, 2007, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to Eric and Laura Jurgens. He grew up in Hopkinton, Iowa, where he attended St. Luke’s Catholic Church and later enrolled at Monticello High School.
As a freshman, Caleb was involved in a variety of extracurricular activities, including football and the Future Farmers of America (FFA). However, his true passion in life was farming, a love that started at a very young age and continued to grow throughout his adolescence.
Passion for Farming
Caleb’s love for farming was ignited by his grandfather, Rod Jurgens, who taught him the ropes from a young age.
Caleb worked alongside his grandfather on the family farm and learned everything from planting and harvesting to animal care and maintenance.
He was especially known for his meticulous attention to detail and unwavering work ethic, a quality that was instilled in him by his family.
Caleb’s passion for farming also extended beyond his time on the family farm.
In the evenings, he would often play farming simulator games with his friends, talking excitedly about different crops, machinery, and the different techniques he had learned from his grandfather.
It was clear to everyone who knew Caleb that farming was not just a hobby or a job – it was a way of life that he deeply cherished.
Involvement in Football
Despite his love for farming, Caleb was also dedicated to football, playing for the Monticello High School team as a freshman.
Those who played with him or knew him say that Caleb was a fierce competitor, always giving his all on the field and pushing his teammates to do the same.
He was known for his quick instincts, agility, and unwavering determination, earning him the respect of his coaches and teammates alike.
Strong Family Ties
Caleb’s love of family was evident in everything he did. He was especially close to his parents, Eric and Laura, and his older sister, Avery.
Caleb’s grandparents, Jerry and Susan Nefzger and Rod Jurgens, were also a significant influence in his life, teaching him invaluable life lessons and providing him with a strong sense of support and belonging.
Caleb’s great-grandparents, Ruth Ann Jurgens and Carl and Betty Sternhagen, were also a cherished part of his family, and their legacy will continue to live on through the countless memories they created together.
Caleb was an active member of his community, known for his generous spirit and willingness to lend a helping hand whenever he could.
He was involved in a variety of community events, volunteering his time and resources to support local farmers and fundraisers. His warm smile and friendly nature made him a much-loved member of the community, and his absence will be deeply felt by all who knew him.
Caleb’s sudden passing has left a hole in the hearts of his family, friends, and the wider community. However, his legacy of kindness, dedication, hard work, and love of farming will continue to inspire all who knew him.
As we mourn his loss, may we also celebrate his life and the beautiful memories he created with those around him. Rest in peace, Caleb M. Jurgens, and know that your spirit will forever live on in the hearts of those who love you.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, the family prefers memorials be sent to the Caleb M. Jurgens memorial fund at Reiff Funeral Home, P.O. Box 271, Dyersville, IA 52040 or to F & M Bank, 101 E. Main St., Manchester, IA 52057.