Friday, June 30, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
Family Church-Grace Chapel
9530 Woodbridge Street
Zeeland, MI 49464
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.
Blue Tear Drop c/o VFW Auxiliary 2144
175 W 8th St.
Holland, MI 49423
Life Story / Obituary
Richard Vredeveld, age 73, of Holland, Michigan passed away unexpectedly on June 23, 2023. He was born in Holland on 5/2/1950, graduating from West Ottawa High School in 1968.
He is survived by his children: Tracy (Cerry) VanFleeren; Tom Vredeveld; Tim (Joanne) Vredeveld; brother: Gary (Deb) Vredeveld; sister: Pam (Jim) Lockwood; former wife Nancy (Schreur) Vredeveld; grandchildren: Mikayla (Logan) Welcher; Vanessa (Warren) Haynor; Jaydon Vredeveld; Faith Vredeveld; Desmond (Devon) Kolean-Burley; Autumn (Natasha) Chorney.
Supplementing this is a long line of important nieces, and nephews who also mourn the loss of their Uncle Rich. Also pained by this loss are the collection of dear VFW friends who will miss his willingness to lend a hand and dedication to making things happen.
He was predeceased by his parents: James and Pearline (O’Donnell) Vredeveld; infant brother Len; infant granddaughter Aleyah VanFleeren.
Rich was a passionate man, who was exceptionally generous and loved to help others. He was also a notably stubborn man, well known for demanding the check when dining out with friends and family, insisting he cover the bill. He had an adventurous spirit and was always interested in learning and experiencing new things. He enlisted in the Air Force at age 18, where he was able to have first-hand experience with serving his country, becoming an airplane mechanic, and achieving the rank of Sergeant during the Vietnam War. This launched a life-long love for aviation. It also cemented his devotion to and participation with the family of US Veterans. He joined the VFW and served twice as Post Commander for the the Holland VFW Post 2144, as well as District 8 Jr. Vice Commander, District 8 Sr. Vice Commander, and All State Team 1988 Post Commander. He was also a proud member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, the Pioneer Club, Moose International and the Marine Corp League. He became an expert marksman, winning multiple shooting competitions and even owning his own small gun business, Ottawa Arms, where he sold guns, reloading and gun supplies. He had many opportunities to explore new career opportunities working for Holland Hitch, Batts, Life Savers, Sara Lee, and Brooks Beverages. He yearned to explore the world, enthusiastically engaging in hobbies including photography, hunting, fishing, and star gazing. In his later years, blindness didn’t stop his zest for adventure. He was regularly seen with his white cane, continuing to serve with the VFW Color Guard for 30 years, honoring other Veterans during their funeral services.
Please join with friends and family for visitation and remembrance on Thursday evening, June 29 from 6pm until 8pm at Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue. The funeral service will be on Friday morning, June 30 at 11am, at Family Church-Grace Chapel, 9530 Woodbridge Street, Zeeland.
Following the funeral there will be a lunch served at the Holland VFW Post 2144. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to an important veteran focused initiative to combat suicide, at VFW Auxiliary 2144, 175 W 8th St., designated Blue Tear Drop.