Monday, June 1, 2020
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Social distancing of 10 people
Social Distancing of 10 people
Life Story / Obituary
Art VanderVelde was a kind and generous man through and through. A faithful servant and loving companion, he earned a wealth of abundant memories and special moments over the years. Art was known for his optimistic outlook and fierce independence. There is no doubt that his wisdom and guidance will be deeply missed by his many special friends and loved ones.
With the economy still suffering as a result of the Great Depression, and the promise of a newly elected president who pledged to make American lives better, Harry and Mattie (Elhart) VanderVelde welcomed home their newborn son, Arthur Gerrit on September 25, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Joining his older brother Gerald, his birth brought special joy to their hearts and home.
Growing up, Art enjoyed a typical childhood of the time. The family lived on Courtney Street NW behind the Mr. Fables restaurant on Leonard Street NW. He and his brother enjoyed their fair share of mischief and boyhood wonder. Art attended West Side Christian on Pine Street near his home. With a father who owned gas stations throughout the area, it was no surprise that Art held a special interest in cars as a teenager. He enjoyed working on them for countless hours as well as tooling around town with his close buddies. His favorite cars were his 1947 Mercury and later a Cadillac that he always kept in meticulous condition. Throughout his life, he never lost interest in the makes and models of his developing years.
Art attended Grand Rapids Christian High School through his junior year before turning to the world of work. Ambitious as well as disciplined, his first job was as a delivery driver for Dykstra Food Company. He was content earning a living before later being drafted into the United States Army in 1958. Art was proud to serve his country during the Lebanon Crisis as it left a lasting impression on his view of the greater world. He talked fondly of his time protecting the government from the rebel forces.
After he was discharged, he returned to Dykstra Food Co. until his retirement in 2010. Well-liked as well as deserving of recognition for his years of service, the company gifted him a round trip train ticket out to California. Art enjoyed taking in the many beautiful sights in the Golden State as well as the natural landscape views from the train. His excellent driving record and reputation landed him another position with VanEerden Distributing before finishing his remarkable forty-year career with Good Year Tire Company. Whatever he put his mind to doing, he did it with a sense of pride, purpose, and determination.
Art was a man of many simple pleasures. He was a lifetime resident of the area he called home living at Leonard Street Apartments for many years until later moving to Walker Meadows Apartments. A voracious reader, Art read any historical novel he could get his hands on! He had read enough books over the years, he had literally become an expert on a wide variety of topics regarding history. Whenever someone had a date or an event they couldn’t remember or wanted to know more about, they would just ask Art!
In addition to his love of cars and history, was his love of food! Art liked to eat but was very particular about his food. His favorite meal consisted of chicken dinner with potatoes or a burger from Mr. Burger. One could argue that the past ten years of Art’s life were his best as it was during this time he met his special friend, June Faasse. They shared many commonalities and enjoyed spending time together. During their quiet moments together they attended many special events and enjoyed going out to dinner. Art was a remarkable person to know and to love. May his memories live on in the hearts of all those who were touched by his life.
Mr. Arthur Gerrit VanderVelde, age 85, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. Arthur was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Mattie VanderVelde. He is survived by his brother, Rev. Gerald (Ardythe) VanderVelde, and his special friend, June Faasse; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. Arthur was an active member of Seventh Reformed Church for many years. He served in the US Army during the Lebanon Crisis. A funeral service will take place at 11 AM on Monday, June 1, 2020, at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW with a visitation from 10 AM until the service (Social distancing practices of 10 people will be applied) Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.