First Responders 04

Richard John VanOosterum

November 3, 1947 ~ November 14, 2021 (age 74)

Obituary

Richard John VanOosterum, beloved husband, father, brother, and grandfather was called home to be with the Lord on Sunday morning, November 14th, 2021.

Richard was born to Dick and Jane (DeYoung) VanOosterum on November 3rd, 1947, in Kalamazoo, Michigan and remained a lifelong resident of Comstock Township in Kalamazoo. When Richard was younger, he enjoyed spending time with friends and family, watching friends play music, and bowling. He attended Comstock High School where he participated in Marching band graduating in 1966.

After graduation from high school Richard attended Michigan Tech. in Delton Michigan, graduating with a degree in electronics in 1968. After completing college, Richard began work at the Michigan Bell Telephone Company where he worked as a Switching Technician until his retirement in 1999. In 1979 Richard, or "Van" as he was known to his fellow firefighters, began serving as a firefighter with the Comstock Township Fire Department. He dedicated 33 years of faithful service to the citizens of Comstock Township, rising to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief, before his retirement from the department in 2012. Richard also proudly served with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department Reserve Division from 1970 to 1983, earning the prestigious Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department "Man of The Year Award" in 1980, in recognition of is unwavering volunteer service to the citizens of Kalamazoo.

On November 30, 1968, Richard married his high school sweetheart Judy, a match truly made in heaven. Their nearly 53 years of marriage was an inspiration to everyone who knew them. Richard & Judy were blessed with 2 sons, John, and Jim. His sons and daughters-in-law were the light of his life, and the grandchildren they brought him became a beacon. He was proud of them and bragged about them often.

Richard was a lifelong member of Bethany Reformed Church in Kalamazoo where he attended since his childhood being both baptized and married in the church. During his years at Bethany, he served the congregation as both an Elder and a Deacon. He loved church and loved the fellowship with his church family. Richard was a loyal servant to God, dedicating his life to serving his community.

Richard is preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Austin Jackson; and brothers-in-law, Ed Turner and Bob Turner. Richard is survived by his beloved wife Judy VanOosterum (Turner). Also surviving are his sons, John (Danielle) VanOosterum and James (Tammi) VanOosterum; grandchildren, Christian Jackson, Jeremy VanOosterum, Ellie VanOosterum, Seth VanOosterum, and Carson VanOosterum; brother, William (Wendy) VanOosterum; and sister-in-law, Kay Todd.

Visitation will be held 5:00pm - 8:00pm Thursday, November 18th at Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S. Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. Funeral services will be held 11am, Friday, November 19th at Bethany Reformed Church, 1833 S. Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49001. The family will receive guest at church beginning at 10:00am and following the service during a reception at the church. Graveside services will be held in Comstock Maple Grove Cemetery beginning at 2:30pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes or the Comstock Firefighters Memorial. To view Richard's personalized web page, please visit https://www.langelands.com

Services

Visitation
Thursday
November 18, 2021

5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, Memorial Chapel
622 S Burdick St
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Visitation
Friday
November 19, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Bethany Reformed Church
1833 S Burdick St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Funeral Service
Friday
November 19, 2021

11:00 AM
Bethany Reformed Church
1833 S Burdick St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Reception
Friday
November 19, 2021

12:00 PM
Bethany Reformed Church
1833 S Burdick St.
Kalamazoo, MI 49001

Graveside Services
Friday
November 19, 2021

2:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Maple Grove Cemetery
Corner of Sprinkle Road and Cork Street
Comstock, MI 49048

Donations

Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes
901 Portage St., Kalamazoo MI 49001
Tel: 2693433663
Web: http://www.kzoolf.org

Comstock Firefighters Memorial
P.O. Box 8, Comstock MI 49041

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