It is with great sadness we share the passing of Larry Vande Berg, our dear father, on January 28, 2024.
Larry was born on June 27, 1936 in Waupun, WI. He was united in marriage to Kathleen Balnaitis in 1957 and together they raised 5 daughters. His girls were the light of his life. Although, constantly being asked, “how to you do it with 6 women in the house?” His response was always a laugh and he’d answer “oh, it’s not so bad.” Maybe not for him, he had his own bathroom, while 6 girls had to share one. I think that was used as a place of solace, away from the screaming, giggling and occasional fighting over toys, clothes, and later boys. There was never a dull moment in the Vande Berg house!
Larry was extremely proud of his girls and took every opportunity to lend encouragement, teach kindness and give unconditional love. He loved being the father of five girls, his greatest joy.
Larry was an avid fisherman, bowler, golfer, and boater. Every summer spending weeks at Crystal Lake teaching all five girls to waterski. It did not matter how long it took, we would be on the lake from early morning until sunset, he never let us give up, as he never gave up on us. This is what made him the happiest, spending time with his girls.
Larry’s gentle manner and mild ways found him in a predicament at one time or another, never being able to successfully discipline his girls fully, his heart just couldn’t do it. Each girl putting on the charm in their own way… do you blame him. And with five girls, you bet there was lots of shenanigans going on. Larry found such humor in the stunts we pulled off as we reminisced over tales of our younger years.
Before family life set in Larry joined the army in 1956 and became a Radio Instructor in the Army. Larry was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Those were memorable days he recalled with honor and pride.
Following his service Larry became a Butcher, eventually owning Fessler’s Grocery Store, and running the meat department. Larry was known in town by everyone, he was a friend to all he met. Helping others out in need, giving them always a little bit extra when things were tight. The friendships he made along the way were treasured and forever kept. Many knew him as be best Meat Cutter in town! Those blue eyes charmed everyone!
His faith in Jesus Christ was prevalent in the involvement and commitment to his church, St. Peter Claver. Working at times two jobs to make sure all his girls would be given the opportunity to attend the school there. Larry and Kathy were firm believers that a Christian based education be instilled in the minds and hearts of all their children.
Larry was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, building a true connection in faith with his brothers helping others.
As the years went on Larry transitioned into a new career as The City of Sheboygan’s Weights and Measures Inspector. A job Larry enjoyed immensely until his retirement.
In 1988 Larry was united in marriage to Clarice Aschebrock. After both had retired, they moved to their ‘heaven on earth’ in the woods of Crivitz Wisconsin where they enjoyed the outdoors, boating and not to mention the Casinos! Never much luck, winning some, losing probably more… but ever so much fun trying!
We will miss our dad terribly; he was our biggest fan throughout our lives. His time here has ended, but all of life’s lessons he has instilled in us remain deep in our being. See you again dad, we love you!
Larry is survived by his children:
Julie (Mike) Radzicki, Lisa (Jerry) Geibel, Karen (Nels) Roe, Susan (Jeff) Milbrath and Christine (Greg) Phillips. Grandchildren: Nate Radzicki, Amanda (Brian) Ayotte, Ben (Alicia) Radzicki, Britany (Craig) Buechel, Ryan Geibel, Zach (Aimee) Thiel, Sheenah (Chris) Swoverland, Vanessa (Steve) Brayton, Carmen (Eric) Thimmig, Abby Finley and special friend Jeff Rittenhouse, Jack Phillips, and Sam (Ashley) Phillips. As well as the blessings of 26 great grandchildren and Larry’s sister MaryAnn (Larry) Daane.
Larry was preceded in death by his wife Clarice Vande Berg.
Also proceeding him in death, Kathy Larson, and their infant son Steven Alan, along with his parents, brothers, and sisters.
We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Palliative Care Team at Aurora, as well as the nursing staff in the intensive care unit. The CNA’s, Nurses and staff at Progressive Health Services, the Sharon Richardson Hospice staff, and all the Caregivers. Kaitlyn our dad’s Social Worker who without we would have been lost on how to navigate through this. If we could name each person we would, every person provided our family with immense care and support that was beyond measure. We cannot thank you enough!
We the family will be holding a private service to honor our father and celebrate his amazing life on Friday, February 2nd. His final resting place will be at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Memorials can be made to The Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice in his name.