Life Story / Obituary
Todd VanStee was a deeply kind and compassionate person. Genuine as well as generous, he was quick to share his time and resources with anyone in need. He loved all people and was always looking for ways to encourage others and support the family he loved. Deeply loved, Todd will forever be missed by his many special friends and loved ones.
His story began in the year 1959 which brought about many significant changes to our nation. Alaska and Hawaii joined the Union as our 49th and 50th States, the Boeing 707 Jet Airliner came into service, and Barbie Dolls made their debut! During this exciting time, William and Lois VanStee were pleased to announce the arrival of their youngest son, Todd Charles, on October 10th, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His birth brought his parents great joy and happiness.
Growing up on Haines Street NW, Todd lived a typical childhood of the times. His father worked for the local business Country Fresh Dairy and his mother was a wonderful homemaker to him and his three older siblings. As a family, they often vacationed to the Silver Lake area near Hart where they made the best of memories. They liked to go fishing, boating, and running in the dunes until the sun set over Lake Michigan. Todd attended Oakleigh Elementary where he made many friends. As a matter of fact, throughout his schooling, the relationships he made far surpassed his studies. He graduated with the Class of 1978 from Union High School and entered the world of work. Ambitious as well as driven to earn his way, he went from pumping gas at Crystal Flash to working in the quick lube at Dale Baker Chevrolet. He later went on to Honda Technical School and became an auto tech for Fox Honda where he remained for a remarkable forty-one years. Well respected by fellow employees, he was known as Big T. and also known for taking the time to break in the new techs over the years.
Fox Honda would also be the place where he met the love of his life, Kim, who worked as a greeter at the dealership. He was instantly drawn to her beautiful smile and upbeat personality and she took a chance on their first date to Bostwick Lake during Winterfest. Todd made a lasting impression on her parents when he came to pick her up and walked in to meet them before they left for their date. Nervous as well as excited to spend the day with her, he leaned over and kissed her before they even backed out of the driveway! Kim never forgot that moment and the rest was history! Kim had just bought her first home and wanted some time to live independently. So after ten years of dating, they finally joined in marriage on September 17, 1988. Calvary Church was the perfect setting for their celebration before they left on their Florida honeymoon where they enjoyed Sea World and deep sea fishing. They settled down together at Kim’s home on the NW side of Grand Rapids.
Todd and Kim shared a special love for one another. They both enjoyed the outdoors and when it came to fishing, normally Kim would catch more fish than Todd! Their bond was so admirable that later Todd’s best friend, Mark Sheldon, married Kim’s sister, Melissa! The four of them spent many wonderful times together over the years. Todd and Kim continued their love of boating on Silver Lake and as luck would have it, they purchased their own special place in 1994 in the area. Todd commented that the only thing their second home was missing was kids. Just a year later, they were blessed with the arrival of their daughter, Kailey. Avid music fans, they were struggling to name her until they heard the popular song, Kayliegh, by Marillion on the radio and then settled on her name instantly!
As a father, Todd was also active in Kailey’s life. He wanted nothing more than to share his many special interests with her over the years including teaching her how to drive a boat! He enjoyed playing sports with her as well as playing Badminton in their backyard. Friends were always welcome in their home and Todd enjoyed taking them sledding on the hills at Union High across the street from their home. Todd instilled in Kailey the idea of being independent and taught her how to maintain her vehicles as well as mow the lawn. The two of them watched the Detroit Tigers play season after season and win or lose, they looked forward to the next game. Todd was thrilled when she met her life partner, Alan Jackson, and witnessed their wedding in 2018. He was immensely proud of the two of them and looked forward to helping them move into their new home together. Sadly, Todd passed away before he had the chance. Described as dependable, always willing to help, and easy-going, he leaves behind a rich collection of memories for his family to cherish for years to come. May they never doubt his unconditional love for them and may his memories be eternal.
Todd Charles VanStee, age 60, of Grand Rapids, MI passed away unexpectedly at home on August 20 with his loving wife of 31 years, Kimberly VanStee, and daughter and son-in-law, Kailey and Alan Jackson, at his side. Surviving are his siblings; Doug (Kay) VanStee, Karen (Alan) Webber, and Kim (Dennis) Dodgson. He leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews, family members, friends and loved ones. Todd was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Lois VanStee, and now joins them in heaven. Todd worked for Fox Motors for 41 years and had a special love of Silver Lake where he spent time in the summers ever since childhood. Todd had an easy-going nature and was a friend to everyone he met. He will be deeply missed. Due to COVID restrictions, a private family ceremony will be held with a celebration of life event to be held at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to American Heart Association. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to submit a favorite memory, photo, or to sign the guestbook online.