Walter “Tom” VanOosterhout, 70, of Three Rivers, formerly of Denver, Colo., passed away very suddenly on Jan. 15, 2013 at the Borgess Medical Center. He was born in Chicago, Ill., on Aug. 10, 1942 the son of the late Walter C. and Matilda “Tillie” (DePotter) VanOosterhout.
Tom has been a long time resident and active member of Three Rivers. He was employed by the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department for six years before moving to Denver, where he met the love of his life, his wife, Linda whom he married on Aug. 26, 1976. He was employed by the Denver Police Department before moving back to Three Rivers and working for General Motors until retiring in 1995. He was also a courier for Southern Michigan Bank and Trust, formerly First National Bank.
Mr. VanOosterhout served his country in the U.S. Air Force as an E-4. He was honorably discharged. He was a member of the St. Joseph County Fraternal Order of Police and also the Three Rivers Elks B.P.O.E. #1248. Tom had a wonderful sense of humor and his joy was making people laugh through jokes. Walter’s life’s motto can be phrased as “Don’t sweat the small stuff” “Everything is small stuff” “If you don’t like my apples … Don’t shake my tree” “You gotta have a sense of humor.”
He leaves to cherish his loving memory his wife of 37 years, Linda (Alchermes) VanOosterhout of Three Rivers, son, Peter VanOosterhout; daughter, Jennifer VanOosterhout; step-sons, Kevin Hart and Steven (Sarah) Hart; step-daughter, Mary (Karl) Huhnke; sister, Betty (the late Ernie) Knapp; brother, Robert (Mary) VanOosterhout; grandchildren, Katie (Joe) Winkler, Sarah (Lloyd) Sheteron and Maggie (Michael) Swinehart; one great-grandchild, Landon Sheteron; brothers-in-law, Brian (Christy) Alchermes and Steve (Darie) Alchermes; sister-in-law, Janie (Joe) Riley.
The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18 at the Hohner Funeral Home.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Fr. Robert Johansen officiating.
Interment will be held in Riverside Cemetery with Military Honors under the auspices of the American Legion Hice-Shutes Post #170 with the U.S. Air Force assisting.
Memorials may be donated to St. Joseph Animal Rescue Fund (A.R.F.) or T.R.A.M. Envelopes available at the funeral home.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hohnerfh.com.