Richard R. “Rick” VanDerGeest, 55, of Lexington, SC died suddenly at home on Friday, September 8, 2017. Rick was born in Merrill, WI on March 18, 1962, to Mary Ann and Ken VanDerGeest.
Rick was a devoted husband and father, spending countless hours of time playing with Maria and Jack in the backyard. His love for his children was boundless and he was not only a life coach to his children, he also coached them in basketball and soccer. His favorite pastimes were watching his kids play sports as well as watching the Wisconsin Badger Football and Basketball games. He wouldn’t admit it, but he loved decorating for holidays, especially Halloween and Christmas.
He loved animals, especially his dogs, Louis, Oscar and Bucky. A staunch Badger and Green Bay Packer Fan, he also loved boating and was known to his friends as “Boater Rick.” He also loved cross country skiing and participated in several Birkebeiner races.
He was a very loving son and brother and had an intense sense of the importance of family. He was known for his immense compassion and kindness for all who came into his life. A devout Catholic and member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lexington, SC., he helped all who he came in contact with, especially his neighbors both in Wisconsin and South Carolina. He was the Lexington County Recycling Coordinator and a retired Air Force Captain as well as part of the 440th Air Force Reserves, serving in Active Duty in Desert Storm. Rick was also a recruiter for the Air Force He was a Graduate of Merrill High School and the University of Wisconsin Madison.
He was known by his friends and family as an incredibly handy man, with a dry sense of humor and infectious laugh. He was multiple Yard of the Month award winner in Wood Creek subdivision, loved landscaping around his pool and spending time at Wild Dunes with his family and friends.
Rick is survived by his parents, Mary Ann and Ken VanDerGeest of Merrill, WI.; his wife, Anne (Ott) VanDerGeest of 30 years as well as his two children, Maria Kathryn VanDerGeest of Madison, WI (22) and John Richard (Jack) VanDerGeest (18) who lives with his Mom and Dad in Lexington, SC.
Seven sisters and three brothers: Karen (Bob) Akey of Merrill, WI, Debbie (Bill) Groskopf of Nashota, WI, Patti (Mike) Boyd of Merrill, WI, Tim (Carol) VanDerGeest of Birmingham, AL, Jim VanDerGeest (Deana DeWan) of Wausau, WI, Nancy (Johnny) Dewar of Merrill, WI, Steven (Kristin Akey) VanDerGeest of Minneapolis, MN, Kelly (Jon) Leiskau, of Merrill, WI, Katie (Will) Yutuc of Merrill, WI, Marci (Dale) Rankin of Tomahawk, WI and many nieces and nephews who will miss their uncle who loved spending time with them.
Rick was preceded in death by his Brother Michael VanDerGeest and Sister Catherine VanDerGeest, and Nephew Christopher Grubb as well as his grandparents, Ralph and Florence Schewe, and Joe and Anna VanDerGeest.
A Celebration of Rick’s life will be held on Friday, September 15th, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Waid Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 301 Eagle Drive, Merrill, WI 54452 and again on Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 10 a.m. until the time of service at St. Francis Xavier Church.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Saturday September 16th, 2017.
In lieu of Flowers, please send Memorial Contributions to the American Heart Association.