Wednesday, August 12, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
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.
4065 Saladin Dr. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Hard working only begins to describe the life of Paul VanDenBerg. He was a personable and well liked man whose gift for gab found him to be a friend of many. A lifelong resident of Plainwell, Paul had farming in his blood, and like his grandfather and father before him, he passed his hard work ethic on to his sons with whom he was proud. Although he wasn’t one to outwardly express his feelings, Paul deeply loved the family entrusted to his care. For all he was and so much more, the memory of Paul will be fondly remembered in the hearts of those who knew and loved him best.
Truly a time of celebration and reflection, the end of World War II found Americans ready to move forward and begin anew. The year 1946 introduced many new advances in science and technology, and industry and manufacturing continued to increase, giving many hope for the future. For Donald and Fern (Whyment) VanDenBerg of Plainwell, Michigan, nothing could compare to the excitement they experienced at William Crispe Hospital on May 2, 1946 when they welcomed the birth of a baby boy they lovingly named, Paul.
One of three children in the VanDenBerg household, Paul grew up on their family farm alongside his sisters, Betty and Janet. Although as a child Paul enjoyed numerous memories and adventures on the farm, he also had his share of daily chores along with his studies. Paul attended the Plainwell schools and played football where he landed the nickname, “Fire Plug” for his ability to stop an opposing player in his tracks on the line. During his youth he was also active in the Future Farmers of America.
Following high school, Paul continued to work the farm he was so accustomed to and loved. He met his future wife on a blind date, and after dating for a time and falling deeply in love, Paul married Judy Loveland in 1966. They made their home on the farm in Plainwell where they soon began a family of their own. Proud parents of four wonderful sons, together they raised their boys, Doug, Mike, Bob and Jason. Life on the farm left little time for pleasure, but as a family they enjoyed family get-togethers and memorable times during the holidays.
Paul’s grandfather started the farm in 1920 and it grew to become a dairy farm, including plentiful crops such as wheat, hay, corn, and beans. Paul spent his career running the family farm when he took over from his father. Later in life, when his own health forced him to slow down a bit, Paul eventually handed the farm operations and reins over this his own sons. Paul’s great gift of gab served him well in negotiating deals at auctions where he would buy additional cattle and farm machinery. It never mattered where Paul was, he was always looking for a good buy for the benefit of the farm. Through the years he was a member of the Farm Bureau and the MMPA.
Ever the hard worker, when Paul wasn’t milking the cows or working the fields, he could be found tuned into RFD TV, and over the last few years, he came to enjoy watching soap operas. Paul loved to go hunting, particularly for deer and raccoons, and just about anything that ate his crops! It wasn’t uncommon for Paul to check in on the cows, and at the end of a long day’s work, he’d enjoy looking over the fruits of his labor, gratefully handed down through the generations.
A year ago, Paul suffered a major stroke. It slowed him down, but he fought back hard and was just getting to the point where he could stand and begin walking again. When another health complication came upon Paul several weeks ago, sadly nothing more could be done for him. With the family he loved by his side at home on his beloved farm, Paul slipped away, finding peace once again.
Paul VanDenBerg never required much in life. He had his family by his side, a good and thriving farm, and numerous others he counted as friends. He would have made his grandfather proud, and his father knew well his prized farm was in good hands, just as Paul knew the best of legacies was leaving the farm to his hardworking boys. Gone but never to be forgotten is the wonderful example Paul was and the treasured memories he leaves behind.
Paul W. VanDenBerg, age 69 of Plainwell passed away at his home on Monday, August 10, 2015. Visit with his family on Wednesday from 4-7 PM at Life Story Funeral Home-Plainwell, 120 S. Woodhams (685-5881) where his funeral will be held on Thursday at 11:00 AM. Memorial donations may be made to the Easter Seals.
Paul was preceded in death by his son, Douglas VanDenBerg; his brother-in-law, Ronald Hotchkiss; and by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Judy; sons, Michael (Chris) VanDenBerg, Robert (Stacey) VanDenBerg and Jason (Angie) VanDenBerg; ten grand-children, Christopher, Molly and Joey VanDenBerg, Sam, Laura and Vanessa VanDenBerg, Cody Schmidt, Tristan, Lexus and Ava VanDenBerg; his sisters, Betty Hotchkiss and Janet (Greg) Martin as well as many other relatives and friends. Visit Paul’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory and/or photo of Paul and sign his online guestbook.