Michael Van Amburgh

January 10, 1947October 4, 2020

Michael Lynn VanAmburgh, 73, of Annapolis, MD, passed away on October 4, 2020, at AAMC, surrounded by family. He left this life after a yearlong battle with kidney cancer and other complications.

Mike was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to Veda Back VanAmburgh and John F. VanAmburgh. He grew up in Springfield, Illinois. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1965. He entered the United States Marine Corps in 1967 and was honorably discharged in 1971 after serving a tour in Viet Nam. While in the service he earned the Rifle Expert Badge. He proudly wore his love of the Marine Corps. Mike then continued his education graduating from West Illinois University in 1974. In 1976, Mike became a Special Agent with U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). During his lengthy investigative career, Mike worked cases in the Chicago, Phoenix, and Baltimore Field Divisions as well as Bureau Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Mike was the recipient of the Secretary of the Treasury’s Albert Gallatin Award and the Treasury Secretary’s Honor Award for his work in the District of Columbia’s Armed Criminal Enforcement Study (ACES I). As an ATF Explosive Enforcement Specialist, Mike was instrumental in the planning and execution of ATF’s mission at the 2000 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

He retired in 2002 after the Winter Olympics. In retirement he went onto become a firearms instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Georgia.

While living in Georgia, he resumed his favorite sport of golf, where he could be found most days. He also volunteered for the Veterans Administration, driving Veterans to medical appointments.

In 2019, he moved back to Annapolis with his wife, Darlene Rodowsky VanAmburgh to be closer to their family. They met in Annapolis as neighbors and were married in 2000. He had recently started volunteering at the USO at the BWI Airport and enjoyed helping the travelling service men and women.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Matthew Linton Vanamburgh in 2001 and his brother Roger VanAmburgh.

He is survived by his wife, Darlene, son Marc Donaldson, daughter Heather Ertel, her husband, Joseph, of O’Fallon, IL, Grandchildren, Tanner Miller VanAmburgh and his wife Melissa of Olathe, KS, Brady Donaldson of Kennewick, WA, Hanna and Gretchen Ertel of O’Fallon, IL.

A service will be held on Saturday, October 10, 2020, at 9 AM at St. Mary’s Church in Annapolis. Burial will take place on 10/23/2020, at 11:30, at the Veterans cemetery, Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the USO, Department WS, PO Box 96860, Washington, DC 20090-6860 or


  • USO


23 October

Graveside Service

11:30 am - 12:00 pm

Jeferson Barracks National Cemetery

2900 Sheridan Road
St. Louis, MO 63125


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, October 10, 2020


Michael Van Amburgh

have a memory or condolence to add?

Keith/MaryAnn Hueston

October 19, 2020

Darlene, and all of Mike's family, please forgive the lateness of our condolences, we only recently learned of his passing. Mike was a nice person and a great neighbor. We also see him as a great American who served his country both as a U.S. Marine and as a lawman. He will be deeply missed.

Guy Morice

October 12, 2020

We had lots of laughs when you were in Chicago. I know you had a lot more you wanted to do before you left us. However, it was not to be. Rest in Peace old friend.
Guy Morice

Miriam Neal

October 12, 2020

So sorry to hear about Mike. He was always willing to share such great life stories. Darlene, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda Rustin

October 11, 2020

My condolences to you Darlene and the family. We worked together for several years at FLETC And Mike was always a joy to work with, a true gentleman.

Margie Moore

October 10, 2020

Michael was an asset while working on the ACES Task Force in Washington, DC. Always willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. Very easy going and was a pleasure to work with in ATF. RIP brother.

Amy Schab Clements

October 9, 2020

Darlene, Heather and Marc - all of the Schabs are so very sorry for your loss. We remember Michael and how happy he and Darlene were together. Please know we will be thinking of all of you and remembering your years on Melrose.

Marissa Mitchell

October 8, 2020

Had the pleasure of working with Mike and Darlene at FLETC. Shared many a laughs. My thoughts and prayers are with Darlene and the family. Rest in Paradise Mike! Out of Role

Jo Olson

October 8, 2020

I'm so sorry for your loss Darlene! RIP Mike!

Wayne Thomas

October 8, 2020

Great guy, good neighbor and a friend that will be remembered and missed. May God bless his family as he receives Mike into his arms.

James Tanda

October 7, 2020

I had the honor and pleasure of working with Mike when he joined the ATF Baltimore Field Division in the 1990’s. He was a true professional with everything he did and he was a true gentleman with everyone he worked with.

We lost him way too soon but our memories will last forever. We will miss you, my friend.
Jim T


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