Cover photo for Bradley VandenAkker's Obituary
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1981 Bradley 2023

Bradley VandenAkker

January 3, 1981 — July 14, 2023

Schoolcraft, MI

Bradley John VandenAkker passed away unexpectedly at his home on July 14, 2023. Brad was born January 3rd 1981 to Lisa J VandenAkker. 

He grew up in Schoolcraft MI, where he also graduated from Schoolcraft Community Schools in 2000. He enjoyed creating art, but his passion was in athletics, playing football, basketball, baseball, and running track & field. He was co-captain of his football, basketball and track teams.

Brad married his one and only, the absolute true love of his life, Melinda L (Douglas) VandenAkker on July 12, 2003. They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary together just days before his passing. They made their home in Three Rivers MI, living there for the remainder of his life.

Brad had a beautiful smile and was always quick to smile, but the two biggest smiles he ever had were when his sons, Trent Bradley VandenAkker and Nolan Jeffrey VandenAkker were born. His boys were the joy, the brightest lights of Brad's life and he loved them so very much. Always so proud of them in everything they did, he enjoyed going to their sporting events, supporting them and cheering them on. He cherished and lived for his family.

Brad enjoyed spending time with his family. He liked to watch movies together, football and basketball games, as well as work together in the yard. They’d like to go to the occasional Renaissance Fair where he was often singled out to get on stage, much to his amusement. He was a Red Wings and (often disappointed) Lions fan. He enjoyed going to Lake Michigan, bowling, water parks, music and taking walks through the woods. He loved everything to do with nature, finding joy in hunting for mushrooms and fossils, and going camping with his family. As well as taking them to natural history museums, zoos and aquariums, any activity that brought his family together made him happy and brought him joy.

Brad leaves behind: his wife Melinda (Douglas) VandenAkker, his sons Trent Bradley and Nolan Jeffrey VandenAkker, his mother Lisa VandenAkker, his brother Michael Melching, his grandmother Shirley VandenAkker, his aunt Julie VandenAkker-Arney, his cousins Alexander (AJ) and Matthew Arney, his mother-in-law Terri Douglas-Wheat, many brothers and sisters-in-law (10), nieces and nephews (6), extended family and his friends.

Brad was preceded in death by: his sister Amber Marie Melching, his grandfather John A VandenAkker, and his father-in-law Jeffrey S Douglas.

Bradley was a good, kind, helpful, caring man who was always protective of and took care of those he loved and who loved him. Bradley will forever be deeply loved and greatly missed.

The family plans to have a celebration of Bradley's life at a later date. Please follow this webpage for updated information once it is available. The family appreciates your prayers and privacy at this time.

 In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association in Bradley’s memory.

While at please take time to sign Brad’s guestbook and/or share your favorite memory with the family.

The VandenAkker family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 129 South Grand, Schoolcraft, MI 49087 (269) 679-5622.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bradley VandenAkker, please visit our flower store.


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