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Virgil was the son of Oscar and Tracy (Bouma) De Vries. He was born on October 9,1936, in Orange City, Iowa. Virgil was the third of four children. He grew up helping his dad who was an electrician and had run a gas station in town. He really enjoyed riding along in the tanker truck to Sioux City to get fuel.
Lois and Virgil got to know each other while attending the same church and roller-skating. After high school he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the summer of 1953 where he worked for the publishing house associated with the Christian Reformed Church. Virgil and Lois became engaged Christmas Day in 1954. They were married on June 10, 1955, in Bellflower, California. They were married almost 60 years before Lois preceded him in death in 2015.
Virgil was a devoted and caring husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and treated many others as family. There are many stories of his generosity and kindness. He was a faithful member of his church and served on the council for many years. Virgil enjoyed traveling with his wife, family, and friends. He especially loved to drive their motorhome all across the US, including Alaska, as well as through Canada. They enjoyed visiting family and friends wherever they went, spending time and often playing cards. They also frequently traveled to attend concerts of their favorite gospel quartets.
Virgil enjoyed watching all sports, especially when his kids and grandkids were playing or if he was at an Angels baseball game with family. He was a constant presence at his granddaughters’ music and dance performances. He liked to go on the annual trip to Lake Mohave, stay involved with the family business, and do Sudoku puzzles.
Virgil loved to reminisce about past experiences, people, and places. Even after Lois went to be with the Lord, he still enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends. Favorite stops included coffee shops especially in Orange City, where he loved to have coffee and catch up with the locals. His favorite time to be there was for the Tulip Festival in May, when he would walk up and down the street, running into people from his past. He was blessed to still be connected to a wonderful network of family and friends. He will be missed by the many who loved him.
Survivors include a daughter, Verla and Harold Van Foeken, of Oakland, NE; two sons and their wives, David and Vali De Vries, of Long Beach, CA; Brian and Leslie De Vries, of Lakewood, CA; eight grandchildren, Kristen and her husband, David McClure; Nolan Van Foeken; Shannon and her husband, Michael Caldwell; Nicki De Vries; Natalie and her husband, Tanner Bellamy; Brianna De Vries; Chloe De Vries and Molly De Vries; a great-granddaughter, Madison Caldwell; a sister Bette Venhuizen and her husband, Ken; three sisters-in-law, Helene Jasper, Gertrude Rens, and Audrey Rens; and many more nieces, nephews, and other close family and friends.
In addition to his wife Lois, he was preceded in death by sister, Thelma De Vries; brother, Stan De Vries; brother-in-law Bill Rens and his wife Coba; sister-in-law, Hermina Borgman and her husband Mel Borgman; and brothers-in-law, Vernon Jasper, John Rens, and Gerald “Bing” Rens.
He entered into eternal life on May 15, 2020, and was laid to rest on May 20, 2020, with a small family graveside service in Artesia, CA. A memorial service to celebrate Virgil’s life will be held by the family at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Long Beach Christian Reformed Church – Music Program at 5559 E. Wardlow Rd., Long Beach, CA 90808 or to the Artesia Christian Home at 11614 183rd St., Artesia, CA 90701
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