Andrew LeRoy Van Dam
July 23, 1955 - February 7, 2018
Beloved brother, sweetheart, son, cousin, scholar, musician, friend to many
Parented by: K. Aart Van Dam, Martha Jean Van Dam, and David Van Dam
Survived by: Melissa Talbott, sweetheart and life partner; David Van Dam, brother; Ruth VanDam-Hinds, sister; Esther Van Dam Kovacs, sister; Timothy Van Dam, brother; and Philip Van Dam, brother
Andy entered the world on a warm summer’s day in Sac City, Iowa. He had a cherubic face and manner and started early in his quest for knowledge. And he always loved life.
As a pre-schooler, he variously wanted to be a big yellow diesel engine, a saber-toothed tiger/cat, and a paleontologist. He could talk for hours about prehistoric ages whenever he had an audience, because of his avid reading of books including encyclopedias.
When he started into school, teachers didn’t always know how to teach such a gifted student and he would adopt various postures at his desk to feel comfortable as he did his schoolwork. He was not one to brag, show o or try to force his ways on others. He also didn’t try to blame others for his problems.
He was a congenial child and always wanted to know and understand more of the world and the universe. He shared his knowledge easily and showed an early gi for teaching which he continued throughout his life.
Because he was such a scholar, when he started to develop into adolescence, complete with handsome face and solid healthy body build, he didn’t really know how to acclimate himself to the kinetic world. He would talk about his thoughts and philosophize about reality as he saw it.
Over the years he made his own mark in the world, not always the path his parents would have chosen for him, but always interesting. He helped disabled adults for many years showing compassion and wisdom. He started the process toward receiving a doctorate in Medieval History and grew toward that end by leaps and bounds, completing all required course work. He loved learning, independently teaching himself Latin, for example, and he strove for personal educational goals.
He played beautiful music that he put his heart into. And one could quickly see what an animal lover he was by how he cherished, treasured and nurtured his pets.
He and his beloved Melissa fell in love and have lived in love for over 14 years. ey have been so good for each other, holding each other up and completing each other. Few marriages can report such love and rapport as they have experienced.
It is with deep grief and sadness that we say good-bye to Andy, even knowing that he is enfolded in the love and goodness of his eternal family.
Memorial service for Andrew LeRoy Van Dam will be 6:00 p.m. Monday February 12, 2018 at Arlington United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 1820 West Arlington Road.
I was so sad to hear of Andy's passing. I met Andy many years ago in Indiana, Pa. at a Ra Festival. He was one of the kindest, most gentle souls I've ever known. I admired his poetry, his songwriting, his music and I enjoyed listening to his reflection and philosophy on the world around him. I will always remember Andy with the fondest of memories and for the kind hearted man he was. He was a good person and he will be missed.