Walter de Vries ’54

Walter Dale de Vries, 90, of Wilmington, N.C., died November 27, 2019, at his home.

He was born in Holland, Michigan, on November 13, 1929, and was the oldest son ( of seven) of the late Martin and Catherine ( VanderLeek) de Vries, immigrants from The Netherlands.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Lois Cook de Vries ( to whom he was married for 68 years); his grandson, Jeffrey de Vries, and his brother John de Vries.

Surviving are his four sons, Michael Dale de Vries, Robert Cook de Vries and wife Nancy, Steven Richard de Vries and wife Janet, and Walter Dann de Vries; grandchildren, Richard de Vries, Christine de Vries, Jason de Vries; Walt is also survived by five brothers, Peter de Vries and wife Arlene, Edgar de Vries, Calvin de Vries, Martin de Vries, Jr and wife Carol, and David de Vries and wife Carol.

Walt received a B. A. degree from Hope College, Holland, Michigan, and an M. A. and PhD in Political Science and Social Psychology from Michigan State University.

Walt enlisted in the 2nd Armored Division of the U. S. Army ( 19481949) and was recalled to active duty with Army Security Agency in Korea (1950-1951.) While in graduate school Walt served as the Administrative assistant to the Speaker of the House in Michigan. He was then elected as a delegate to the historic 1961 Michigan Constitutional Convention. Subsequently he served for five years as the Executive Assistant to Governor George Romney of Michigan and guided Romney through multiple campaigns.

The de Vries family moved to North Carolina in 1972: Walt was a lifelong avid sailor. And an inveterate traveler. They entertained many at their waterfront home at Wrightsville Beach, NC. His wife Lois and he traveled to over 25 countries and were together for 68 years and this world and forever reunited in the next.


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