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Richard J Vandenberg
January 2, 1930  -  June 16, 2017


Richard VandenBerg, age 87, passed peacefully early Friday morning, June 16, 2017 at his home in Fairfax, Oklahoma, surrounded by his loving wife Dina and family.

Born in Madjene, Celebus Island, Indonesia on January 2, 1930 to Petrus and Bolong (Patawa) VandenBerg, he attended school there and completed his high school education. As a teenager in foster care, he received care packages from a young girl in Holland who was a schoolmate of Dina's. Due to a simple act of kindness and a mix up, Richard started a pen-pal friendship with Dina while both were teenagers. In 1956, Richard came to Holland for a surprise visit to see Dina. The couple dated while he served in the Royal Dutch Army. Richard and Dina were married on January 23, 1959 while still in Holland. Then, one day, Richard told Dina, ''I'm tired of Holland, let's move to the United States,'' and in November of 1960, with baby daughter, Jolanda, they did just that.

The family lived in Buffalo and Rochester, NY before settling down in Victor in 1965. They reared Jolanda and their three other children: Lillian, Richard and Evelyn while living in New York for over thirty years. Richard worked as a machinist, after retirement they visited daughters Jolanda and Evelyn, both living in the Fairfax area, and decided to buy a home here as well. Since 1993, Fairfax has been their home.

Richard was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. He had a very firm belief in Jehovah God and his son Christ Jesus. As such, he eagerly looked forward to the fulfillment of God's promise of the restoration of this earth to a paradise, as he had originally purposed with the Garden of Eden. Richard was hospitable and had a smile and story to share with everyone.
He enjoyed going on camping trips with friends and family; and loved working in the kitchen and garden, which was reflected in the peppers he grew to make his own hot sauce. His family realizes that his suffering has ended and that he is at peace, but will miss him each day.

He leaves to treasure his memory, his wife, Dina of the home; daughters, Jolanda and Bernie Bain of Fairfax, OK; Lillian and Tony Yacuzzo of Prattsburgh, NY; son, Richard and Brianna VandenBerg of Lebanon, ME; son-in-law, Robert Bays of Ponca City, OK; fourteen grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Evelyn Bays; and great-granddaughter Deunan Bouchard.

Memorial services will be held 2:00 pm, Saturday, June 24, 2017 at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 915 N Birch, Ponca City, OK.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, 445 Fairview Ave STE 101, Ponca City, OK 74601-1933.

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Richard J Vandenberg

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