Jeffrey VanDeven

October 9th, 1953 to August 25th, 2018

On Saturday, August 25, 2018, Jeffrey Scott VanDeven, loving husband, father of four children and grandfather to nine grandchildren, passed away at age 64.

Jeff was born on October 9, 1953 in Detroit to Donald and Justeen VanDeven. He graduated from Garden City East High School in 1971, where he enjoyed football, wrestling, and the marching band where he played the sousaphone. He married his high school sweetheart, Shelley Rice, on June 7, 1975. They raised two sons, Christopher and Derek, and one daughter, Amber. After the death of his wife, Shelley, in 1994 he found love again and remarried. His second marriage was to Rene Dahlke on April 20, 1996. Rene brought her daughter, Lindsey, into the family where she was embraced by her new siblings and step-father.

Jeff received an associate degree from Schoolcraft Community College, and a certificate in electrical repair from Lawrence Tech University. He went to work for his father-in-law, Everett Rice, in the elevator repair and installation business. Jeff spent most of his career working for Detroit Edison (DTE) as an electrical journeyman, before officially retiring in 2010.

Jeff loved working with his hands. Outside of work, he loved to build things around the house, including multiple decks, gazebos and other home remodels. He was an avid University of Michigan football fan and was a season ticket holder for almost 40 years. He loved being outdoors, especially out on Lake Huron where he lived, enjoying time on his personal watercraft. Most of all, Jeff loved spending time with his family, never missing one of his children’s sporting events or school functions. He was known for his kind and generous spirit, his great singing voice and his hearty laugh.

Jeff is survived by his wife, Rene; children, Christopher (Sarah) VanDeven, Amber (Jason) Hodgins, Derek (Rachel) VanDeven and Lindsey Gintner; grandchildren, Kaleb, Emerson, Delaney, Clara, Carter, Elsa, Ingrid, Evertt and Elliott; sister, Diane (Daniel) Talbot; mother-in-law, Helma Rice; and several cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Shelley; parents, Donald and Justeen VanDeven; father-in-law, Everett Rice; brother-in-law, Timothy Rice; mother-in-law, Norma Nichol; and sister-in-law, Christine Dahlke.

Our Dad will be missed dearly, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he has been made whole again in Heaven by the grace of our Lord and Savior, whom he loved and served faithfully.

A memorial visitation will be held from 7-9 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home.

A short memorial service will be held at noon on Friday, August 31, 2018 in St. John’s United Church of Christ, Port Huron with a luncheon to follow.

Because of Jeff’s passion for the University of Michigan, and his willingness to help others, we ask that you consider making a donation to the Chad Tough Foundation in lieu of sending flowers.

Arrangements are by Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home. For guest book and information, please visit

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