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Thomas Scott VanderPloeg, loving father, husband, and all around awesome human, aged 72, passed away and on to heaven on November 5th, 2018. Preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ann VanderPloeg. Living on and remembering him always are his only child-beloved #1 daughter Jennifer VanderPloeg, his son-in law Gary Barnett, his two brothers Steve and Mike, his sister-in law Mary VanderPloeg, a gaggle of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends that cherished him dearly. And last but not least, his loving roommate and cat, Ginger!
Tom had a heart as big as Lake Michigan. He was the realest, most genuine, loving, and true blue man to have walked this earth. He rejoiced in fatherhood and had great pride and joy in his daughter Jennifer VanderPloeg. After the passing of his wife Mary Ann, Tom, Jennifer and her husband Gary went on many adventures together. They went on weekend trips and went to countless restaurants and festivals and breweries in Chicago. Tom was most fond of their Christmas trip to Ireland and England to meet Gary's family. Tom made friends and family everywhere he went. Two continents full of family and friends will miss him dearly.
Tom was also a proud Navy Veteran, serving as an Electrician's Mate 3rd Class in the Vietnam War. Oh the stories he'd tell of getting into fights and scrapes as a sailor, almost getting arrested, and hanging out with some too wild Australians.
Tom was a jack of all trades! He was an actual Electrician but also served as an amateur plumber, deck builder, car mechanic, window replacement guy, roofing guy, gardener, comedian, home repairman, and creative insults generator! He was also anointed King of the Grill by his daughter and most others would agree.
Fair winds and following seas, Thomas S. VanderPloeg. Until our paths cross again.
A small memorial service will be held on December 14th, 2018 at Memorial Alternatives, 2pm-3pm visitation, service begins at 3pm-4pm. 2432 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Those who desire may make memorial donations in Tom's name to either the Cancer Research Foundation https://www.cancerresearchfoundation.org/#donations or the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
Cancer Research Foundation
9732 Pyramid Way, Ste 181, Sparks NV 89441
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
1730 M Street NW Suite 705, Washington DC 20036