William Robert Van Deelen, 91, beloved father, grandfather and great grandfather and a true gentleman passed from this life on Sunday, January 15, 2023 with his family by his side.
Bill was born in San Fransisco, in 1931. He attended St. Anne Catholic School, and Porterville High School. He was drafted in the Army in 1953, and received a Medical Honorable Discharge in 1954. He met the love of his life, Aggie, and they were married on September 12, 1954, at St. John’s Church in Fresno, CA. They were newlyweds for 67 years, until her death in 2021.
When Bill was 13, his father Henry started a dairy on 20 acres in Porterville, CA, with 6 cows and 2 bulls. Bill loved being a farmer, and the dairy grew to 42 cows and 2 tractors before they sold it. They next farmed cotton and corn, until Bill had to give up farming due to his asthma.
Bill began a sales career with Producers Dairy, Gallo Wine, and was regional manager for Carnation Ice Cream dairy and restaurants. He entered real estate sales, becoming a broker in 1979, and spent 31 years in the business. His goal was always to help his clients get the home of their dreams, and Aggie supported him through each endeavor by adding her secretarial expertise.
When Joni and Bill came along, ten years apart in age, they had built two homes and solid careers. For many years, St. Johns church, and then Our Lady of Victory church and school, were the source of many friendships and treasured memories. Bill was a devoted member of both the Catholic Serra Club of Fresno and was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
They also found joy in their early travels around the U.S. and in Europe. When they both had retired by 2010, they spent their golden years enjoying their second home in Arroyo Grande, CA.
As a grandfather, Bill was known as Papa, and he loved that position in life above all else. There were sleepovers, day trips, card games, and many barbeques and pizza nights. He was always available to support Emily, Chris, and Kaley with each and every activity they chose. When the great grandchildren would visit him, his smile would light up the room. Claire, June, and baby Kellen each had special moments with him, that he had often planned with care and love.
It is impossible to speak of Bill, without his Aggie. They were a team in every sense of the word. His family remains blessed by his constant faith, his abiding love, and celebrate though their tears the reunion he had been awaiting.
Bill was preceded in death by his beloved wife Aggie in 2021, his parents Henry Garrett Van Deelen and Clara Theresa Miguel, his infant sister Loraine, his brother Fred Van Deelen, his sister Eleanor Reichert, his half brother Hank Van Deelen and his nephew Richard Van Deelen
He is survived by his children, Joan Van Deelen of Clovis and her children, Emily Huebert and her husband Brandon and Christopher Boldt and his wife Elisa, his son Bill G. Van Deelen and his wife Stephanie of Fresno , Bill's daughter Kaley Adams and her husband Blake Adams and by his great grandchildren Claire Huebert, June Huebert and Kellen Boldt.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from 2 PM to 6 PM at Jay Chapel, Madera. Recitation of the Rosary will be on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Fresno at 10 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30. A reception will follow immediately after Mass at Holy Spirit Church.
Private Family interment will be at St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery.
Mass will be live streamed, please go to Holy Spirit web site at www.holyspiritfresno.org on day of service for the link.
Remembrances suggested be sent to The Good Shepherd Organ Fund, c/o Msgr. Patrick McCormick, 608 N. Church Street, Visalia, CA 93291 or to the, Serra Club of Fresno P.O. Box 26134, Fresno CA 93729
Serra Club of Fresno
P.O. Box 26134, Fresno CA 93729
The Good Shepherd Organ Fund
c/o Msgr. Patrick McCormick 608 N. Church Street, Visalia CA 93291