Don L. VanOpdorp, 87, of Geneseo, died Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, at Hillcrest Nursing Home, in Geneseo. A memorial service celebrating his life will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at First United Methodist Church, in Geneseo. The Rev. Dr. Christopher Ritter will officiate. Inurnment will follow at North Cemetery for Don and his wife, Darlene. A visitation for Don will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to the Don VanOpdorp Memorial Fund. Vandemore Funeral Home & Crematory, in Geneseo, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Donald was born April 11, 1931, in Hanna Township, the son of August and Mary (Mariman) VanOpdorp. He graduated from Geneseo High School in 1949. He was united in marriage to Darlene K. Reese on Nov. 3, 1951. Don was retired from Teamsters Local 371 after 30 years of service. After retirement, he drove a school bus for Pinks’ Bus Service for several years.
Don was a member of the First United Methodist Church, in Geneseo. In earlier years, he was an avid bowler. He and Darlene assisted with the Geneseo Youth Bowling Program and encouraged and taught children the sport. The tradition carries on today with his son and grandson. Don enjoyed wintering in Mission, Texas, and spending summers at their lake home in Michigan. Don and Darlene loved to ballroom dance. Most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family. He enjoyed keeping up the pace with his grandsons as they grew older. His passion was dining out. He took loving care of his wife Darlene, whose health was deteriorating. It eventually took a toll on his own health in 2015. It was a miracle in itself that he survived. We were fortunate to have him in our lives for 3½ more years. His family will be forever grateful for him.
Those left to cherish his memory are his children: Greg (Brenda) VanOpdorp, of Geneseo; Gloria (Stan) Redell, of Geneseo; Steve (Rhonda Smith-Chesling), of East Moline; 8 grandchildren; 13 great- grandchildren (with soon to be 14); three step-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, June Nicholson, of Hillsdale; several nieces and nephews; as well as a special friend, Wilbur Floming, of Osco. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Darlene; a brother, Howard; and a great-grandson, Sean.
The family would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the ENTIRE staff at Hillcrest Home. The caring and concern for Don and his family was evident, throughout his stay and especially the day of his passing. We will be forever thankful for all of you.
A special thank you also, to the staff of Heartland Hospice Care. Even though it was for a short time, you were caring and supportive to Don and his family.