Msgt (Ret) Robert W “Van” Vandenberg, Jr (76) of Sherwood, Arkansas passed this life on August 2, 2020 after a long battle from the effects of Agent Orange. He is survived by the love of his life Deborah Matthews Vandenberg.
He was born on December 5, 1943, in Olympia, Washington, the son of the late Betty and Robert W. Vandenberg Sr. He was the oldest of 5 siblings.
He was raised in Michigan and served in the U.S. Air Force during the war in Vietnam. After honorably serving his country for almost 24 years, he retired from the military and began a career at Falcon Jet where he worked for an additional 18 years.
Bob was a fun-loving man that loved his family and friends. He was very handy and could fix anything. He loved movies, had a great music collection, and was an amateur World War II historian. He also loved Star Trek and all things Sci-Fi. After retiring from Falcon Jet, Bob finally had the time to follow his true passion, which was auto restoration and classic car cruises. He and his wife Debby travelled the country with their car club friends to showcase his classic 1957 Ford Custom Hot Rod. If you were looking for him, you could usually find him in his garage tinkering on cars or sitting in his chair telling stories of the dozens of trophies he and Debby had racked up through the years.
He is survived by daughters, Kim Dovish (Chuck) and Alicia Russell (Mark); sons, Jeff Vandenberg (Misty) and Donnie Matthews (Laura); sisters, Brooks Roddy (Dave) and Patty Herbst (Howard); 14 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by brother, Alvin Vandenberg and sister, Charlotte Miles (Rick).
A gathering of friends and family will be held Thursday, August 6, 2020 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Smith Family Funeral Home, 7700 Hwy 107, Sherwood, AR. Military honors will be held at 6:00 pm. For those unable to attend, it will be streamed live on the Smith Family Funeral Home Facebook page. Interment will be held at a later date at the Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be made to Arkansas State Veterans Home, 2401 Johns Ashley Dr., North Little Rock, AR 72114 or Central Arkansas Veterans Health System Voluntary Services: CAVHS Voluntary Services 135/NLR, 2200 Ft Roots Dr., North Little Rock, AR 72114 and include the name of Mr. Vandenberg.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of MSgt Robert W. "Van" Vandenberg, Jr. (Ret USAF), please visit our floral store.
Central Arkansas Veterans Health System Voluntary Services: CAVHS Voluntary Services 135/NLR
2200 Ft Roots Dr., North Little Rock AR 72114
Arkansas State Veterans Home
2401 John Ashley Dr, North Little Rock AR 72114