VanAntwerp calls brothers ‘angels’ for removing tree

Lisa Depies
Submitted photo
Justin Redell of 2 Brothers Tree Service works to remove a maple from Sharon VanAntwerp’s yard in Atkinson. The company donated their time to help VanAntwerp, who is battling cancer.

For Sharon VanAntwerp of Atkinson, angels can tear down trees.

After a portion of the 35-year-old soft maple in her backyard fell on her house during the summer wind storm of 2008, VanAntwerp knew the tree needed to be removed.

In March, she paid a deposit to a tree service and was told the tree would be removed the next day. Months passed, and the tree service she’d contacted made no effort to remove the tree.

On June 23, four months after the tree was slated to be removed, a second wind storm hit Atkinson. “Half of the tree again fell on my house,” said VanAntwerp. The damage cracked ceiling plaster in the home's bedrooms.

The wind storm and its damage just added to the rough few years VanAntwerp has been having. Her husband, Russ, was killed in an accident three years ago, and VanAntwerp currently is undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer.

Her plight reached the ears of siblings Stan and Justin Redell, who own 2 Brothers Tree Service in Geneseo.

The brothers contacted VanAntwerp with an offer.

“I received a phone call, and they said they wanted to come and take the tree down for me. I couldn’t believe it,” said VanAntwerp.

The brothers wanted no payment. “All they asked is that once I’m done with chemotherpy I do something nice for someone else and pay it forward,” she said. “I couldn’t believe someone would step up and do something like this for me. Since Russ died and I’ve gotten cancer, I’ve come to realize there are angels all around me in this world.”

After the storm, her friends and family members helped VanAntwerp clean up the immediate mess. The Redell brothers, joined by Adam VanOpdorp, Danny Mapes, Mark Doubler, Darrell Weimer and Dave Mapes, joined together to remove the rest of the tree in July.

“It took them a morning to take the tree down, and when they were done, everything was cleaned up. There were no branches, and I didn't have to do any raking. They even cleaned off my roof for me,” said VanAntwerp. “They were amazing, and they worked together like clockwork. I can't say enough good about those boys.”

Though 2 Brothers Tree Service only started in Geneseo earlier this year, VanAntwerp said she hopes they have a successful career. “I want them to flourish. They did a wonderful job,” she said.

With the troublesome maple finally gone from VanAntwerp’s yard, the Atkinson resident was able to ride out last week’s wind storm with peace of mind.

“After the storm, everyone was saying to me, 'I bet you’re glad those trees are down,'" she said. “I just don't know how my insurance agent would have handled it if the tree fell on the house a third time.”

And, because of the good deed done by 2 Brothers Tree Service, VanAntwerp said she's already planning to pay it forward.

“I want to actually make it a point to do something nice for someone else,” she said.