Mrs. Viola Vanderbeck, 96, of St. Joseph passed away Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, at her home.
Viola was born Nov. 13, 1922, in St. Joseph, to Albert and Theresa (Dorrow) Bittner. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1938, and then attended Twin City Business College in Benton Harbor. On Jan. 17, 1943, she married the late Stanley Vanderbeck Jr. in St. Joseph. Viola worked as the assistant deputy treasurer at the Berrien County Clerk’s Office. Viola was a member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in St. Joseph for many years and was involved in many activities such as the church choir and playing the piano and organ. In her spare time, she enjoyed shopping, baking (especially her chocolate chip cookies and apple pies), and spending time with family.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Road, with the Rev. Jonathan Vanderbeck of Trinity Reformed Church of Schenectady, N.Y., officiating. A visitation will be held prior to the service from 10-11 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home. Following the service, a private Order for Christian Burial will take place at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Family and friends will gather following the burial for a meal at the funeral home. Those wishing to share a memory of Viola online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com. Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice.
Viola is survived by her two daughters, Elaine (Lee) Gast Jr. and Susan Campbell; and her son, Dr. Ron (Laurie) Vanderbeck; five grandchildren: Michael Gast, David (Dr. Lisa) Gast, Dr. Bob (Kristen Manies) Brainard, Dr. Andrew Brainard and the Rev. Jonathan Vanderbeck; seven great-grandchildren: Katherine and Caroline Gast, Andy and Zoë Gast, Tyler and Riley Brainard and Jade Brainard; as well as her sister, Elaine Brouwer; sister-in-law, DeDe Bittner; sister-in-law, Gloria Vanderbeck; numerous nieces and nephews; and her beloved granddog, Maggie.
Viola was preceded in death by her parents, husband and eight siblings.