Harley Douglas 'Doug' Vanderhoof
REED CITY — Harley Douglas “Doug” Vanderhoof was born to Irene Louise (Schade) and Douglas Stone Vanderhoof on Sept. 4, 1922, in Reed City. He died and went to heaven on Monday, May 15, 2017.
His family had also lived a few of the early years in Wooster, Ohio, where his father was working. During the Great Depression, they lived with Doug’s grandparents in Cadillac until 1931, when they moved back to Reed City to live with Irene’s parents in the family home on Roth Street (where he had been born). The last home he lived in was in Heritage Acres, one block from his first home.
Doug, nicknamed by some Suz, was Reed City’s Class of 1940 Co-Athlete of the Year with friend Virgil Petchell. His favorite sport was baseball/softball and the family has heard many stories over the years and witnessed his outstanding athletic abilities. After high school, he joined the CCCs at Camp Axin, west of Cadillac, where they planted hundreds of pine trees and built the toboggan run at Caberfae.
During the bombing at Pearl Harbor in 1941, he was working at a small tool and die shop in Detroit. Doug and some friends joined the U.S. Marine Corps in June 1942 and were sent to fight in the South Pacific. He was wounded by shrapnel at Guadalcanal and was hospitalized. He spent three months recuperating. He later rejoined his company in Melbourne, Australia. The 1st /1st /1st was sent in August 1943 to fight on several other islands.
When he returned to Reed City, he played and managed three teams of fast-pitch softball and enjoyed a beer or two while traveling with his teammates. He played softball and bowled for the Osceola Hotel’s teams. He missed the “perfect 300” by one pin. He spent one year and one term at Central Michigan with the idea of becoming a shop teacher, but he scored high on the Post Office test and was hired in 1947.
In 1949, Betty Sack, of Big Rapids, was looking for the owner of the shiny new Chevy convertible in front of the Post Office, and found him. They were married in 1950. Wally Bergey was his best man. Two children, Susan and John, were produced from their long and loving relationship.
Doug made friends with most customers on RR#3 and retired from the “PO” in 1977. Betty retired from Reed City High School in 1981, so he had four years to learn housework, which he said he did learn, and Betty agrees.
In one written version of his story, Doug wrote, “We did some cruising and RVing and saw part of every state all 50, and many foreign countries and islands … in 1992, we bought a home at Angler’s Green Park in Florida where we wintered for 20 some years. We had a great time. The years piled on so we came back home for good.”
He was a member of the Reed City United Methodist (RCUM) Church, where he had served faithfully.
He was preceded in death by many friends, most recently in 2017 by Bob Dahlquist and Roy Wolverton.
He is survived by his wife, Betty; daughter, Susan (Dale) Hannaly; son, John (Pam) Vanderhoof; grandchildren, Holly (Mike) Scott, Jennifer (Patrick) Arends, Selvin Shields, Nathaniel (Crystal) Vanderhoof and Christina (Willy) Jacobs; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Per his wishes, he has been cremated and a memorial service will take place at a later date. Memorial gifts may be made to the Reed City United Methodist Church or to Reed City High School Athletics.