Eugene "Gene" Michael Vandehey
Eugene “Gene” Michael Vandehey, a longtime resident of the Forest Grove community died Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at the Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro. He was 83.
Rosary and Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 AM on Monday, October 3, 2011 at Visitation Catholic Church; 4285 NW Visitation Rd in Verboort, OR.
Family and friends are invited to attend a reception following the Mass held in the Parish Hall.
A private family committal service will take place at Visitation Cemetery later in the day.
Born in Hillsboro, on 16 April 1928, Gene was the oldest son of Charlie and Agnes (Hermens) Vandehey. He grew up on the family farm in Verboort and received his education at the Visitation Catholic School and graduated with the class of 1946. He served in the US Army following WW II and was honorably discharged as a Private First Class.
Gene met his future wife, Sylvia Coussens, at a dance above the Old Roy Store. They were married at Saint Matthew Catholic Church in Hillsboro on April 21, 1952. They resided in Forest Grove until 1965 when they moved onto their farm in Kansas City where they have made their home since.
A life-long farmer, Gene raised a variety of crops including “the best berries” in the Valley, corn, cucumbers, cauliflower, wheat and beans. In addition to his farming, he was very active in the local community and served as a charter member of the Forest Grove Elks and served on both the Banks School and Fire Boards. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Visitation parish.
As a teenager, Gene played shortstop for the Verboort Dutchmen and he continued his baseball talents playing with the “Verboort 9” as a young man. He loved a good ‘prank’ and was renowned for “short-sheeting” a practice that continued to the surprise of his many grandchildren. His hobbies included bowling, pinochle, golfing, and square dancing with Sylvia where he could twirl her like no one else. He retired from farming in 1993 and maintained his community interests while expanding his golfing talents as a ‘regular’ at the Sunset Golf Course in Verboort. Gene could be seen daily driving his 4-wheeler on the farm while his best dog Harley ran along beside.
He is preceded in death by his sister Vera O’Meara and his daughter-in-law Lori Vandehey.
Survivors include his loving wife of 59 years, Sylvia; five children and their spouses: Debbie and Ken Collyer, Nick and Joan Vandehey, Julie and Rod Rose, Jeff Vandehey, and Mitch and Cherie Vandehey; four siblings: Ellis Vandehey, Marlene VanDyke, Bob Vandehey, Loraine Volz; and 12 grandchildren.
Eugene Vandehey is remembered for his goodness and compassion for his family and neighbors alike.
The family wish donations in Gene's name to the American Lung Association in Oregon; 7420 SW Bridgeport Rd Suite 200 Tigard, OR 97224 or to the American Heart Assoc; 1200 NW Naito Parkway Suite 220 Portland, OR 97209