Cover photo for Gary Allan VanVleet's Obituary
Gary Allan VanVleet Profile Photo
1933 Gary 2023

Gary Allan VanVleet

February 4, 1933 — July 20, 2023

St. Johns

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     Gary Allan VanVleet, age 90, of St. Johns, MI, passed away on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at Hazel I. Findlay Country Manor, St. Johns, MI.

     Funeral Services will be held at Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, MI, at 11:00 A.M. on Monday, July 24, 2023, with Pastor Jim Pearl officiating. Burial will take place at South Bingham Township Cemetery, St. Johns, MI. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 23, 2023, from 4:00-7:00 P.M. at the funeral home.

     Gary was born in Ovid Township, Michigan on February 4, 1933, the son of Robert Fred and Arleita Belle (Armstrong) VanVleet.  He graduated from Rodney B. Wilson High School, with the class of 1951. Gary married his homecoming queen and high school sweetheart, Shirley Ellen Mrazek, on June 20, 1953, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church, St. Johns, MI. They had over seventy years of devotion to each other. 

     Gary joined the United States Navy in 1952.  He was in a Navy Air Squadron spending time on aircraft carriers as the official photographer.  He was stationed at Oceana Base in Virginia. After the Navy, he worked at the United States Postal Service in Lansing, MI for thirty-seven years as a mail carrier; retiring in 1989. Gary and Shirley lived in St. Johns until retirement and they moved to Higgins Lake and lived there for twenty-seven years, then moving back to St. Johns.  Gary's pride and joy are his sons and their families.  He loved his grandchildren so much.  He was a lifelong member of the DeWitt VFW Post 671.

     He is survived by his devoted wife of over seventy years Shirley of St. Johns, MI; his son Steve and Tammy VanVleet of DeWitt, MI; his son Jeff and Delores VanVleet of St. Johns, MI; his six grandchildren: Mike (Katherine) VanVleet, Eric (Holly) VanVleet, Andy VanVleet, Jeremy (Brooke) Pung, Jamie Pung, and Kristi (Brad) Stoddard; and thirteen great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by his sister Janet and Ed Thompson of California; his sister-in-law Iris VanVleet of Colorado; his brother-in-law Jim Mrazek of St. Johns, MI; and his sister-in-law Donna O'Brien of Lansing, MI.  He was preceded in death by his parents, and three siblings: Marlene (Jim) Monfort, Bruce (Barbara) VanVleet, and Ronald VanVleet; and infant brother David VanVleet.

     The family would like to thank the staff of Hazel I. Findlay for the respect and compassion they were given.

     Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 225 East Main St. PO Box 118, Loudonville, OH 44842. Online condolences can be sent to www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com. The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes - Osgood Chapel, St. Johns, Michigan.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gary Allan VanVleet, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, July 23, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Smith Family Funeral Homes St Johns

104 East Cass Street , St. Johns, MI 48879

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Funeral Service

Monday, July 24, 2023

11:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Smith Family Funeral Homes St Johns

104 East Cass Street , St. Johns, MI 48879

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Monday, July 24, 2023

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