Serving West Michigan Since 1899

William Vanderbilt

July 15, 1939 - April 15, 2016
Holland, MI



Friday, April 22, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Dykstra Funeral Homes
Mulder Chapel
188 West 32nd Street
Holland, MI 49423
(616) 392-2348
Driving Directions


Saturday, April 23, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Christ Memorial Church
595 Graafscap Road
Holland, MI 49423


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Bill Vanderbilt Fund at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area
85 East 8th St #110
Holland, MI 49423

Life Story / Obituary


William (Bill) Roy Vanderbilt, age 76, well-loved husband, father, grandfather, professor/coach, businessman, and community leader died on Friday, April 15, 2016 surrounded by family. He was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on July 15, 1939 to William and Mabel (Knuth) Vanderbilt. His early years were spent working in various family businesses, singing with his father, running from sport to sport, and creating life-long friends. After graduating from Oostburg High School, Bill earned a bachelor’s degree from Hope College in 1961, At Hope College he participated in athletics, dreamed of becoming a teacher and coach, and met his first wife Patricia (Winchester). Higher Education accomplishments include a master’s degree from University of Michigan in 1963 and a PhD from University of Utah in 1971. Bill returned to Hope College and became the Chairperson of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics, Professor, and Head Cross Country Coach. His runners remember Bill as an innovative, encouraging coach and mentor, in addition to being a lot of fun. After 21 years at Hope College, he left his alma mater to become a founding partner of Freedom Village retirement complex. There he hired a staff of some good people, who worked hard and laughed harder, as they brought Holland an outstanding facility where people continue to enjoy the “Best of Life for the Rest of their Life.” In 1994 Bill became the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Holland and then the Zeeland Community Foundation. Under his leadership, the two foundations merged into one stronger unit which grew in assets to more than $25 million. Life-long passions that Bill continued to enjoy into retirement included golfing with buddies, singing in the Christ Memorial Deformed Church choir (where he was an active member), riding his bike, and spending time with family. He was preceded in death by his parents and his first wife of 37 years Patricia (Winchester) Vanderbilt. His love, laughter and hugs will be greatly missed by his wife of 12 years Susan Borger Lantz Vanderbilt; Children: Sandra and Christopher Bajema of Grandville (Jake, Tricia, Holly, Lydia, and Blu); William and Abigail Vanderbilt of Saugatuck (Caleb, Noel, Joshua, Moses, Esther, and Jennifer); Susan Vanderbilt of Holland (Annalise and Lena); Step-Children: David and Candace Lantz of San Antonio ( Colin, Kyle, Raegan, and Emery); Matthew and Heidi Baughman of Dublin, Ohio (Madelynne and Drew). Sisters: Virginia (Howie Vande Guchte) and Mary (Roy Ackermann); in-laws; nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Friday, April 22, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the Dykstra Funeral Home-Mulder Chapel, 188 West 32nd Street. A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 23 at Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschap Rd, Holland, MI with Bill Boersma and Gary Matthews officiating. In Lieu of flowers, Memorial contributions may be made to the Bill Vanderbilt Fund at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, 85 East 8th St #110, Holland, MI 49423.