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Richard Anton VanderStraaten

Richard “Dick” Anton VanderStraaten of Vicksburg, MI passed away on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at the age of 69. He was born in Kalamazoo, MI on November 22, 1951, the son of Marvin and Norma (Hartleroad) VanderStraaten. He is preceded in his passing by his parents and brothers: John and James VanderStraaten. Left to cherish Dick’s loving memory are his sons: Jeff (Michelle Weemhoff) VanderStraaten and Jason (Alicia) VanderStraaten; grandchildren: Ella and Grace VanderStraaten, Timmy Axtell and Logan VanderStraaten; his brother: Bob (Linda) VanderStraaten; sister-in-law: Holly VanderStraaten; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Dick dedicated his career to working at Stewart Sutherland for nearly 50 years. His most cherished role was being dad to Jeff and Jason, and always told the world how proud he was of his boys. He was the sweetest father-in-law, beloved grandpa, and best friend to his brothers. He loved lighthouses, the Detroit Tigers, the Indy 500, blues music, metal detecting, and the casino. Most of all, he loved his family and never missed a chance to attend football games, dance recitals, family gatherings, or take his grandkids to concerts, movies, fishing, riding on the lawn mower, or reading a book together. Dick was caring, honest, loyal, hardworking, and loved more than words can describe. He will remain forever in the hearts of those who deeply love him. We love you thiiiiiiis much, Grandpa Van! Memorials made in Dick’s memory may be directed to the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, or the American Cancer Society. While visiting Richard’s tribute page, please take a moment to light a candle or share a memory with the family. The VanderStraaten family is being assisted by Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 129 S. Grand Street, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. 269-679-5622.

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Dick was a kind generous man and I'm glad that he was my brother in law. He truly loved his boys and their families and was very proud of them. Bob and I had many trips with Dick to see lighthouses and going "junking" as he called it, we always had a good time. So many memories over the years. Dick used to pick on me all the time about goofy things I said or did....they never went away. One that comes to mind is due to the Covid virus, Bob thought it would be a good idea for me to cut his hair, that didn't go so well. When Dick saw it he said "Bob I have been on this earth for 69 years and that has got to be the worst haircut I have ever seen. Needless to say, Dick wouldn't let me cut his hair. After teasing me he used to say Linda, I have to say you take it well. Bob and I will miss our adventures, but we are glad he is at peace now. Enjoy your time in heaven with the rest of the family. Love you Bob & Linda

Robert A VanderStraaten Apr 5 2021 5:37 AM

I had the pleasure of growing up across the street from the VanderStraaten family. So many great memories! Rest in Heaven Dick My sincere condolences to the family.

Chris Glidden Richter Apr 4 2021 12:57 PM

Sandlot baseball (no protective eq.) thru J.V.,,, cub scouts/boy scouts,,, swimmin in Pickeral Lake,,,

Brockway Steve Apr 3 2021 8:19 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Richard VanderStraaten

George Henderson Apr 2 2021 12:43 PM

I grew up two houses down from Dick. He was my first childhood friend and many good times around the neighborhood and in Boy Scouts. He will be greatly missed. Godspeed Dick. Morris (Bill) Giddings.

Morris Giddings Apr 1 2021 10:36 AM

I remember the day Ella was born and we all met at the hospital. Dick was overcome with tears when he saw Ella for the first. That was one of my lasting memories of Dick. When Gracie was born he overflowed with love for her. He adored his family and they in turn adored him. He will be greatly missed by all of his family, friends and work buddies. RIP dear friend.

Sue Weemhoff Mar 31 2021 4:51 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Richard VanderStraaten

Art & Karen V Mar 31 2021 3:51 PM

I dont even know where to begin to describe what a pleasure it was to have know Richard. I have the privilege of working with his son Jeff, whom I know Richard adored deeply. Every time I spoke with him on the phone or saw him in person, he would tell me about times he was out with his sons and his grandkids and would often joke about how he always had to pay. Which Im guessing was only true because he would let no one else. Those stories would always be followed up with the question of how I and my kids were. He always asked, and always wanted to know, because he genuinely cared about everyone. He will be greatly missed. Thoughts, love, and prayers for all the family.

Ryan Hekman Mar 31 2021 3:29 PM

So many great things to say about this man I could go on and on for days .I worked with Dick for 20 years and we grew to be good friends even after our post Stewart Sutherland lives were through he would make an effort to always keep in contact or stop in to stay hello and shoot the breeze. His sense of humor was amazing , heart large and would do anything for anyone without looking for recognition . He could not boast enough about his children and dearly loved his grand children and looked forward to sharing his love of music with them as they grew older . Rest in peace Mr. Vanderstratten I will miss our Tigers and Lions conversations and just conversation in general . You are missed greatly already . This world lost a genuine soul when you passed .

Bill McClure Mar 31 2021 2:58 PM

My heart is so sad. He will be so missed by all but especially his family. In those 69 years he has never said a cross word to me. Always kind always a gentleman. My prayers are for all who knew him and loved him. Cousin Laura and Larry

laura hopcroft Mar 31 2021 2:52 PM