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Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Wayne Edwin VanAuken

March 30, 2024
Wellston, MI




Wayne Edwin Van Auken, 96 of Wellston, formerly of Sebring FL, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on March 30, 2024. He was born on November 17, 1927, in Kalamazoo to Wayne and Bernice (Slack) Van Auken.

Wayne graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and worked at the Kalamazoo Paper Mill where he met the lovely Marian Doorlag. They were united in marriage in 1951 and were blessed with 55 years of marriage until Marian's passing in 2006.

Wayne dutifully served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. After his return from service in Germany, he and Marian continued to grow their family. He spent most of his career at National Water Lift as an assembler. He also owned Crosstown Bar for ten years.

Wayne loved hunting and enjoyed many deer hunting camps with his family at his Kettlehole cabin property in Manistee National Forest as well as hunting trips to North Manitou Island. He and Marian were members of the Michigan Motor Home Club, and they traveled across the country in their motor home. Memorable trips were taken to Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and Pennsylvania. His family fondly remembers trips in the motor home to Branson, MO, and the Ozarks. Wayne was a 49-year member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. He enjoyed socializing with other members and even celebrated his daughter's Elk membership.

Wayne is survived by his children Wainetta (Richard) Holmes and Danny (Carol) Van Auken, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Marian, daughter Donna Dangler, son-in-law Rick Dangler, sister and brother-in-law, Anna Mae (Andrew) Prak, and his parents.

Funeral services for Wayne will be held on Monday, April 8, 2024, at Langeland Family Funeral Homes 3926 S. 9th St. Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Friends are invited to greet the family from 10:00 am to 11:00 am when the service will begin with Reverend Jim Dyke officiating. A luncheon will be held after the service at the funeral home and will be followed by a graveside service at Mt. Ever-Rest Memorial Park South at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in honor of Wayne to Hospice of Michigan 932 N. Mitchell St. Cadillac, MI 49601.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Wayne's nieces, Laraine and Vicki for their dedicated comforting care.

Please visit Wayne's memorial webpage to share memories and condolences with his family at