Gary Vanden Berg, 63, of Appleton, formerly of Iola, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Gary was born February 14, 1950, in Appleton, the son of the late Alvin and Loretta (Blair) Vanden Berg. Gary was united in marriage to Bonnie E. Krenzke on June 3, 1972, in Poy Sippi, and they were blessed with two children, Jason and Amy.
Gary began his love of the grocery business very early when he started bagging groceries as a high schooler at the Piggly Wiggly in Appleton. In 1978, he took the next step and purchased Happy Harvest Foods in Scandinavia. In 1981, he opened First Stop Food Depot in Waupaca. Focusing on the grocery business in Waupaca, he established Gary’s Piggly Wiggly in 1989. He took pride in his business and loved to give back to the community. This is where he ran the business he loved for 24 years until he sold it to his “other son” and long-time manager, Scott Neumann, this past May. Although his passing was so close to his “retirement”, he was doing what he loved his entire life.
He enjoyed being a member of GWGC for many years and loved to golf whenever and wherever he could. He served on boards for various organizations including Glacier Wood Golf Course, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Harbor Vista Condo Association, and Piggly Wiggly Midwest Retail Advisory Board. He also had been known to play some cribbage and sheepshead from time to time and looked forward to the Thursday night pool league. He always said, “I’m working every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning unless there is something I want to do on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning.”
Survivors include his wife, Bonnie; son, Jason (Amy) Vanden Berg, Appleton; daughter, Amy (Aaron) Tuomi, Seymour. Grandpa will be missed by his grandchildren: Taylor, Nicholas and Kate Vanden Berg and Bryce, Brenden and Lydia Tuomi. Gary is further survived by sister-in-law, Barb Vanden Berg, Appleton; brother-in-law, Gene (Evelyn) Krenzke, Paxinos, PA; nieces and nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alvin and Loretta, and his brother, Mark.
The funeral for Gary will be held Friday, October 25, 2013, 11:00 a.m., at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1120 Evans St., Waupaca with Reverend Loren Fritz & Reverend Paul Bowe officiating. Visitation will be Thursday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Voie Funeral Home, 120 S. Main St., Iola. Visitation will also be held at the church on Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery in Appleton, Wisconsin. A special thank you to CPL. Mike Bartlein of the Grand Chute Police Department and EMS.