Tyler VanLonkhuyzen ’97
Tyler Andrew VanLonkhuyzen was born October 21, 1974 in LaGrange, Illinois to Mary Lou Muhs and Curtis Van Lonkhuyzen. On November 25, 2021, Tyler unexpectedly died in his home while doing what he loved, running on his treadmill and waiting for Thanksgiving festivities to start with his family.
As a child, Tyler spent many summers in Sheboygan, Wisconsin playing on the shores of Lake Michigan with his family members. He was known to be precocious and that continued in high school at Timothy Christian where he played soccer and later in his college days at Hope College where he was a loved member and former president of the Fraternal Society.
Tyler became a well-respected member of the Chicago community where he spent his adult life growing his personal and professional life.
His two children, Brecken (17) and Casen (13) have the benefit of their dad’s best qualities – quick wit, intellect, charisma, loyalty and work ethic. Both of his children made Tyler so proud because he saw them experience the world in ways he could not fathom in his own childhood – they effortlessly understand how to share their love, advocate for others and assert an opinion on any subject.
Tyler’s fiancé Aubrey brought him great joy since the day they met in 2018 and they had planned to be married next year in Cabo. Aubrey brought out the best in Tyler – kindness and a focus on family which was a gift to everyone who knew him. He adored her and she him – their love for one another was palpable.
Tyler was an avid sports fan, first of his own son who Tyler often played and watched baseball, football, basketball and golf with and the Cubs were a close second – he loved making memories at Wrigley Field with Aubrey, his son and his friends. When Tyler wasn’t working, running, at a sporting event or at home cuddled up with his family and dog watching a movie, you could find him near an ocean, traveling, cutting a rug on a dance floor, firing up unique requests at a piano bar, sharing his unusual music interests (Pearl Jam, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake, Adele to Disney tunes) and if you were very lucky, singing karaoke. He and his ex-wife Courtney built a modern family with their partners that focused on providing a loving and fun environment for their two children.
To say Tyler was bright is an understatement. He had a great legal mind, high business acumen and a commitment to his clients that was relentless. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and DePaul College of Law, in Chicago, Illinois, both with honors. He spent his entire legal career with the law firm of Seyfarth Shaw which was a perfect professional home for Tyler – he enjoyed his colleagues, loved serving his clients and quickly became an expert in his field. Tyler concentrated his corporate legal practice in finance, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate matters but his strategic advice set him apart from other attorneys. Often, his next client was the client on the other side of a deal because he was just that talented. He served as the chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s Chicago Corporate group and co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Finance practice. Tyler was also a gifted writer who shared that gift by advocating for his many clients and now that gift lives on his children.
What the world will miss the most about Tyler is his wit and intellect. He will be missed by all who knew him. Tyler lived a life well lived and was taken too soon but his wish for all he loved was to keep living and cherishing each other.
Tyler was preceded in death by his father, Curtis Van Lonkhuyzen and stepfather Wayne Muhs, and is survived by his fiancé Aubrey Feeney, his mother Mary Lou Muhs, his children Brecken and Casen VanLonkhuyzen, his siblings Chris (Judy) and Spencer Van Lonkhuyzen, his niece Hannah Van Lonkhuyzen and nephews Collin and Cole Van Lonkhuyzen, Suzette (Jerry) Warmus, Diane (Tom) Teune, Bob (Lisa) Van Lonkhuyzen, Sandy (Gerry) Swets, Nancy (Mike) Rhodes, his ex-wife Courtney Welton (Taylor) and his loving dog Macatawa, as well as many extended family and friends.
A celebration of Tyler’s life will be held at a future date with family, friends and colleagues.