Neil Richard VanDermeulen, 86, of Imperial, passed away on Monday, August 19, 2019. Born Oct 3, 1932, to Harry and Victorine (nee Schrenk) Vandermeulen in Buffalo, NY. Beloved Beloved husband of 53 years of Maryann (nee Felss); loving father of Neil Jr. (Jill) and Sue (Chris) Dillon; dear grandfather of Victoria “Tori”, John “Jack,” and James Vandermeulen and Sean and Annie Dillon. Brother of the late Harry (Jean), Carol (the late Harold), the late Lois (late Steve) Popeluk and Ronald (Lois).
A Korean War veteran, Neil was a staff sergeant with the 92nd Armored Field Artillery, where he was a forward observer on the front lines providing coordinates of enemy targets. That interest in geography became a 39-year career in cartography, where he made maps that supported our military and space program for the Defense Mapping Agency Aerospace Center (currently known as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). There he met his wife, Maryann. He was devoted to their son, Neil Jr. (Jill), and daughter, Sue (Chris) Dillon, and equally devoted to their families, including grandchildren Tori, Jack and James Vandermeulen and Sean and Annie Dillon. His faith was always at the forefront of his life, leading by example with his words, actions and church activities. Despite being slow to anger, you could get a reaction if you called the Korean War a “Conflict.” That fueled Neil to co-found the St. Louis chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and also serve as the first commander of the KWVA Missouri State Chapter, helping raise awareness for the forgotten war and the many sacrifices that were made.
Services: Visitation Thursday, August 22, 4-8 p.m. at John L. Ziegenhein & Sons - South County. Funeral Friday, Aug. 23, 10:30am at Peace Lutheran Church, 737 Barracksview Road with visitation at church from 9:30am until 10:30am. Interment immediately following at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Peace Lutheran Church.
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