Thomas Edward VanDeVen, 74, of Marble Hill, Mo., died October 23, 2017, at his home. Born in St. Louis, Mo., on Nov. 27, 1942, he was the son of Elmer John and Irene Agnes Eppes VanDeVen. He married Carolyn Diana Smith at Arnold, Mo., on Nov. 23, 1963. She survives.
Tom served 20 years in the U.S. Navy including the Vietnam War. In 1979, following his discharge in San Diego, Calif., he and his family returned to Missouri. Tom and Carrie made a home for their three children near Marble Hill. Tom began a new career as a truck driver, crossing the country. He found time to rodeo, bull ride, team rope and bronc ride and work on a ranch in Montana. He enjoyed horses and raised them on his farm.
St John Catholic Church was his church family, and he helped work at the church picnic and with the Knights of Columbus 5898. Many will remember his skill at telling a tale. He loved to attend local shooting matches, deer hunt, and to fish with his Dad and brothers. He was a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, an advocate for Handicap Hunting, participated in Civil War Re-enactment-Red Rover Run, and loved history.
Tom fully lived the adventure of life. He gave his kids a "can-do spirit", taught them to always help others, and to never judge another. Although his work often kept him away, when he was home, family was his focus. Through him his family knew that not the quantity of time, but the quality of time spent with people was what is important. Above all, he cherished and took care of his wife. His motto would have been, "Fill your life with adventure, not things and have good friends to tell your stories to."
Besides his wife, he is survived by a son, Jesse VanDeVen of Marble Hill; two daughters: Debbie (Andy) Holland of Marble Hill and Becky (Bradley) Hoffman of Indiana; two brothers: Richard VanDeVen of Marble Hill and Harold VanDeVen of Virginia; a sister, Adeline Pierce of Indiana; and five grandchildren: Caleb Moyers, Olivia Moyers, Brandi Biberstine, Thomas and Britni Hoffman.
Visitation will be on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, at Hutchings Funeral Chapel in Marble Hill from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. Parish prayers will be recited at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary. Graveside services with military honors will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery at Bloomfield, Mo., on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. Father David Coon will officiate.
Memorials may be given to the Bollinger County Association for Retarded Citizens in lieu of flowers.