Vance D. VanderBurg, of Niles

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Vance D. VanderBurg, 78, of Niles, Michigan died at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at his home following a brief illness.

He was born on July 22, 1937, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Carl Marx and Mildred (Guiles) VanderBurg. He graduated from Painted Post (New York) High School, earned his Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse (New York) University and earned a Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. VanderBurg was employed by American Electric Power as a Nuclear Engineer and was retired. He has lived in Niles since 1996.

Vance was a member of the Cathedral Church of Saint James in South Bend, Indiana. He was a veteran of the Viet Nam Era, serving in the United States Army. He was always humble to say that he served in an office post and was proud to volunteer at the Niles Senior Center to drive fellow veterans to appointments in Battle Creek. He also volunteered with the American Red Cross. Vance always sought knowledge, reading non-fiction, finding the elegance of solving a lengthy equation, and the wisdom of using a theological “discussion” to test and either prove or modify his own beliefs.

On Aug. 7, 1966, he married the former Nancy Trover Davis with whom he celebrated 20 years of marriage prior to her death on May 14, 1987. On July 22, 1988, he married the former Elizabeth Helen (Ruhoff) “Betsy” Graham, and they celebrated this year the twenty-seventh anniversary of their wedding.

Surviving family includes his wife, Betsy VanderBurg; his children, Kirsten (David) Hall of Saint Joseph, Michigan and Barton (Gwendolyn) VanderBurg of Chicago, Illinois; Betsy’s children, Robert (Stephanie) Graham of Lewis Center, Ohio, Margaret (Dan) Janei and Michael Graham, both of Grand Rapids, Michigan; grandchildren Nancy, Abigail, Carlin, Evelina, Carter, Evan, Robert, and Caroline; and Vance’s sister, Penelope “Peni” (Robert) Guyer of Roseville, California; a nephew, Zachary (Julie) Guyer and their daughter, Madelyn.

He was preceded in death by his parents and by an infant sister.

The Requiem Eucharist on behalf of Vance VanderBurg will be offered at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, at The Cathedral of Saint James, 117 North Lafayette Boulevard, South Bend by The Very Reverend Brian G. Grantz, Dean of the Cathedral. The Committal Rite will be offered at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, at Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles.

The family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday at the Cathedral beginning at 5 p.m. Contributions in memory of Vance may be made to the Cathedral of Saint James Building Fund, 117 North Lafayette Boulevard, South Bend, Indiana 46601; or to Holt International Children’s Services, POB 2880, Eugene, Oregon 97401; or to the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, 5500 Armstrong Road, Battle Creek, Michigan 49105. Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.