March 15, 1942 – August 14, 2015
Donald “Don” VanDragt, age 73, passed away on Friday, August 14, in Arvada, Colorado.
Don was born March 15, 1942, in Battle Creek, Michigan, to Grace and Eugene VanDragt. After graduating from Battle Creek Central High School, he attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Packaging Engineering. While at MSU, he met Patricia Martin and they were married on August 13, 1966. After working a short time for General Motors, the couple moved to the northwest suburbs of Chicago, where their two daughters were born and Don worked for Honeywell. During these early years he served in the Air National Guard and he earned his Masters of Business Administration from Loyola University in Chicago. In 1974, they moved to Midland, Michigan, when Don began his 23-year career with Dow Chemical. The family moved to Lake Jackson, Texas, when he transferred to Dow’s Texas Operations in 1979, advancing his career in operations and project management. He retired from Dow in 1997, but continued to work as a contract engineer and project manager for a few years. His wife died in 2005. In 2011, he moved to Golden, Colorado, to live near his youngest daughter and his beloved Colorado mountains.
Don will always be remembered as an outdoorsman and traveler, whether it was fishing on the Texas Gulf Coast with his buddies, driving a camper trailer through Alaska, or backpacking in New Zealand. He coached many youth softball and soccer teams and contributed greatly to the development of the girls’ youth soccer program in Lake Jackson. Don also never met a dog he didn’t like, and there’s never been a dog that didn’t love Don.
Don is survived by his daughters Kellie (Marc) Wiersma of Parkville, Missouri, and Kristin VanDragt of Golden, Colorado; grandchildren: Anna, Ryne and Grace Wiersma of Parkville, Missouri, and his sisters: Laura (Keith) Bloomensaat of Chelsea, Michigan, and Jean (Jeff) Willbur of Battle Creek, Michigan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Eugene and Grace, and his wife of 38 years, Patricia.
A celebration of Don’s life will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 22, 2005, at the Olinger Crown Hill Pavilion of Reflection.
Memorial donations may be made to the National Park Foundation (www.nationalpark.org or 202-796-2515).
Saturday, August 22, 2015
August 22, 2015
Don changed my life in so many ways. He showed me how beauitful life can really be and I what I am supposed to do with my life. I'll never forget our countless hikes and many different outdoor experiences together. I gained another family through Don, which I will be forever grateful. Thank you Don for being such a great man! You will be missed everyday.
August 20, 2015
Sorry to hear about Don's passing. I worked with Don at Dow at OC Vinyl and Plant A Marine Terminal. "DVD" was always a joy to work with . . . great sense of humor.
August 19, 2015
Sorry to read about Don. What a great guy and great engineer. I knew Don in Midland and Texas. Everyone knew that Don could be counted on to do whatever was needed on any project he was associated with.
August 19, 2015
I was sorry to read about Don in this morning's paper. I had the pleasure of working with Don on several engineering projects. He was always cheerful, had alot of technical expertise, and had a good eye for detail. I'm glad he got to spend some time in those beautiful mountains. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
August 17, 2015
We were so lucky to have been the neighbor of both Don and Pat for many years. They both loved their children endlessly and cherished their grandchildren! Lucy rescued Don when he was losing his precious wife and Don rescued Izzy during one of his daily hikes along the Texas beaches! Don had many stories to talk about from his hikes and outings with Kristin in New Zealand, his time helping to build a room in Missouri with Kellie and Marc or teaching his grandkids how to dive in his backyard pool He loved life to the fullest! We will cherish our time with Don and he will be greatly missed! He made the world a brighter place to be and treated people, animals and the world like they are precious gems.. we will miss you Don! Love, Bruce, Billie and Zoe Brannan