William Burton Van Valkenburgh, known as “Van,” died on May 14, 2018. Van was born on January 10, 1926 to Alvin and Osie Van Valkenburgh. He was the 13th of 14 children and grew up in Deer Creek, Oklahoma, population 312. His father staked out the family's homesteaded farmland in the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893.
Van served in the Navy as a Quartermaster in the South Pacific during World War II. Van was inducted in the Navy on June 27, 1944 and was honorably discharged on June 3, 1946.
Van's parents believed strongly in education, and they saw to it that all of their children went to college. Van attended University of Oklahoma where he met his wife, Marilyn Wilson. They were married on September 9, 1950. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he studied at Garrett Methodist Seminary in Evanston, IL, graduating in 1953. He was ordained as a Methodist Minister in 1954.
He served Methodist university students at Northwestern University, Kent State University, Ohio Wesleyan, and the University of Iowa and had a fellowship to do advanced work at Drew University in Madison, NJ. While there he became an Episcopal Priest and served as a Priest at Church of the Redeemer in Morristown, NJ and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Clifton, NJ.
Van was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters: Heylin, Ruth, Lois, Alpharetta, Mabel Louise, and Martha Jean and his brothers: Norman, Glenwood, Merlin, Paul, John, and Meredith.
Van is survived by his wife Marilyn and his sister Roberta in The Dalles, OR, as well as his children: Paula and Stephanie in Richland, MI., Katrina and Mike in Chicago, IL, and William and Ilva in Mequon, WI, and his two grandchildren, Aksel and Sigmund Van Valkenburgh as well as many nieces and nephews.
Van loved to read, travel, and talk about his family, social justice, religion and politics. He participated in Civil Rights marches including the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. He was a champion for those suffering from any kind of discrimination.
He will be deeply missed by all his family members, friends, and others he touched.
Our heartfelt gratitude to all his caregivers both at home and at Lakeland Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
A Memorial Service will be at 10:30 AM, Saturday, June 16, 2018 at the Holy Family Episcopal Church, 909 S. Darling Street, Angola, Indiana with Father Tom Adamson officiating.
Visitation will be from 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM Saturday prior to the service at the church.
Burial will be at a later date in Flint Cemetery, Steuben County, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Holy Family Episcopal Church at 909 South Darling Street, Angola, IN 46703.
Charitable donations may be made in William's memory to the following organization:
Holy Family Episcopal Church
909 S. Darling Street, Angola, Indiana 46703