Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
Baker City, Baker County, Oregon
Arlo Ledell “Van” Vandenbos, 70, of Gresham, a former Baker City resident, died Jan. 1, 2003.
Born June 8, 1932, on the Rose Bud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota, his parents were farmers who later moved their family to Valentine, Neb., where Van was raised with his three brothers and two sisters.
After high school graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant. Much of his four years of service was spent at Adak, Alaska, during the Korean War. A tough Marine, he was especially proud of winning the Golden Gloves Boxing trophy.
On Feb. 28, 1954, while stationed at the naval depot at Hastings, Neb., he married Ruth Ann Junge, a registered nurse from York, Neb. During the early years of their marriage, Van attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln while Ruth worked as a surgical nurse.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, Van began a 30-year career with the Soil Conversation Service. Van and Ruth raised five children while moving to various assignments in Wyoming and Oregon, finally settling at Gresham for the past 25 years.
He enjoyed a variety of outdoor activities with his family, including camping, backpacking, horseback riding, skiing and hunting. He also liked rodeos, exploring the countryside and visiting national parks and recreation areas.
He was an avid Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. Van was a skilled carpenter and handyman, passing on many practical skills and abilities to his children.
He was preceded in death by has parents, Adrian and Mildred Vandenbos, and his younger brother, Ivan.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth Ann; his children, Cheri and Gary Smith of Baker City, Bruce and Rachel Vandenbos of Boise, Lori and Hart Rutherford of Fredericksburg, Va., Angela Vandenbos of Portland and Keith and Tiffany Vandenbos of Eugene; his brothers, Leland and Curt Vandenbos, and sisters, Yvonne Schroeder and Luetta Chamber, all of Colorado; 11 grandchildren, Jennifer and Brian Raymond of Boise, Adam and Honalee Smith of Ontario, Carlin Smith of Baker City, Marc, Aaron, Paul and Seth Vandenbos of Boise, Rachel and Jack Rutherford of Fredericksburg, Va., and Nichelle and Ashton Moore of Portland; and one great-grandson, Alex Raymond of Boise.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity Lutheran Church Memorial Fund in Gresham.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, January, 10, 2003
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor