Robert Vanden Bos ’69
After watching an amazing fall sunset, Robert”Bob” L. VandenBos, age 75 of Grand Haven, MI, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
Bob was born onMarch 22, 1947 in Holland, MI to Benjamin and Ethel ( Wildschut) VandenBos. Following his graduation from high school, he attended the University ofMichigan for a year before transferring toHope College, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Business. However, he remained true to the “maize and blue” his entire life.
After beginning his career as a stock broker, Bob found his true professional passion as a very successful sales representative. He was the consummate professional, earning the respect of the companies he represented and the clients he served. Bob was known for his integrity, problem-solving ability, and work ethic. Many of his clients and colleagues became true friends. Growing up on the south side of LakeMacatawa, Bob developed an affinity for all things water-related. He always had a Hoby Cat on the beach, and a power boat at the marina. He took up wind- surfing and kite- boarding, forever enjoying the spray of Lake Michigan on his face. Bob also enjoyed golfing; not for the game, but for the comradery of his buddies on the course. One of his golf league friends commented, “I always knew he wasn’t really into golf…he just liked being around the guys.”
Bob’s favorite weekly activity was solving the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle. He would listen to soft jazz and work on the puzzle to completion. Bob was also an avid reader, especially in his retirement, and would often complete a book in a day. He also read several newspapers to keep current on events. Most relaxing, perhaps, was enjoying a Lake Michigan sunset; he cherished each and every one of the thousands he saw. Bob valued his friendships. Once he befriended you, you had a loyal, generous, and gracious friend for life. His friends came from all walks of life, and he faithfully maintained friendly contact with phone calls, coffee, lunch, visits, or a beer.
Bob loved great conversation and collegial debates, and he provided moral support as necessary. His friends reciprocated with that same unwavering friendship and support for him. Bob married Dana Overway on July 1, 1992, and they spent over 30 wonderful years together. In addition to supporting each other’s professional careers, they shared many adventures ( and some misadventures!), traveling the world and boating on Lake Michigan. In retirement, they bought a home in Arizona, enjoying hikes in the desert landscape and the many friends they made there. Most importantly, Bob was a devoted, loving, and generous family man who enjoyed hosting gatherings for his extended family, especially Fourth of July celebrations and Christmas weekends up north. He loved watching his grandchildren grow and was so very proud of their many accomplishments in academics, athletics, andmusic. Bob was so gratified to see them become responsible, caring young men and women.
Bob leaves to mourn his loss, his loving wife, Dana; children of his heart, Amanda (Patrick) Sorrelle and Martin ’99 (Dawn) Gravelyn II; and his beloved grandchildren, Harrison, Maggie, and Gillian Sorrelle, and Jack, Liam, and Grace Gravelyn. He is also survived by his in-laws, Cindy VandenBos, Jon (Ruth) Overway, Erin Reynolds, Sara Busken, and Michael ( Traci) Overway; many nieces and nephews, including Stephanie VandenBos and JaNell Stevens; close friend and cousin, Sybil Biles; and his two puppies, Benz and Porsche. He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Marvin and Daphne Overway; brother and best friend, Ben VandenBos; his sister, Iris Schram; and his beloved Uncle Larry and Aunt MaryWildschut. The family wishes to thank Dr. David C. Smith and his staff at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center for the many additional quality years of life they provided for Bob. Hospice of North Ottawa Community provided comfort and care to Bob in his final months, with special appreciation to his nurse, Eve, social worker, Margaret, and doctor, Stuart VanderHeide. A Celebration of Life for Bob will take place on Sunday, November 13, 2022, at the Grand Hall ( above Porto Bello Restaurant), 41Washington Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417.