MISSOULA ~ Ronald D. Vander Veen, age 74, of Missoula, Montana, went to be with his Lord and Savior on the 26th of February, 2022 after a valiant battle with a long illness. He passed away in his home surrounded by his wife and children.
He was born on April 2, 1947, in Norfolk, Virginia, to Marjorie and Don Vander Veen.
As a young boy, Ron attended many schools. An inevitable part of military family life is moving often. His family settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he completed high school.
He soon joined the US Airforce, working as a missile maintenance technician on Titan Missiles, in Tucson, Arizona. He moved to Great Falls, Montana to be a safety technician on Minuteman Missiles, completing 8 years of USAF Service.
In 1970, he married the love of his life, Stephanie (Green) Vander Veen.
He completed a degree in Geology and opened "Ron's Rock Shop" in the old post office building, in Lolo, Montana. In 1977, he and his family opened Western Montana Gem - Chalet Jewelers on North Reserve Street, in Missoula, Montana. He was a master silversmith, goldsmith, lapidarist and gemstone faceter. His reputation for being a man of integrity and honesty preceded him.
Ron enjoyed birds, fishing with his brothers, camping, riding his motorcycle, metal detecting, and in his younger years, beating his older brother in tennis. He loved to landscape and was quite the green thumb with indoor plants. He was an excellent skeet shooter and enjoyed shooting with his son.
A loving husband, father, and grandfather, he also was an animal lover - Cats were especially fond of him.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Stephanie (Green) Vander Veen; one son, Donald Vander Veen; three daughters, Mariaha (Matt) Rogers, Shameen (Tanner) Cochrell, Rachel (Tim) Parks; seven grandchildren; his brothers, David (Julie) Vander Veen, Terry Vander Veen; sister, Lyndy (Randy) Drewry and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.
Graveside Service with Military Honors to be held at 2:00pm on Monday, March 7, 2022, at Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery, in Missoula, Montana.
The family is being served by Sunset Cemetery Funeral Home & Crematory.