Julia “Julie” Marie DeValk, age 77, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. She was born on February 20, 1936 in Little Chute, WI, the daughter of Martin and Catharine (Verkuilen) Vanden Hogen. Julie married Lyle DeValk on November 24, 1956 at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church in Little Chute.
Julie is survived by her husband Lyle, her five children: Randy (Cybele Bjorklund) DeValk, Bethesda, MD; Steve DeValk, New York, NY; Tim (Lisa Nietzer) DeValk, Appleton, WI; Brian (June) DeValk, Appleton, WI; and Katie (Rob) Goggins, Victoria, MN; and her seven grandchildren: Willem and Nicolaas DeValk, Kyle DeValk, Ryan and Maria DeValk, and Sydney and Jack Goggins. She is also survived by her brothers Clarence “Clink” Vanden Hogen and Sylvester (Eunice) Vanden Hogen, her sister Theresa Buchberger, and her sister-in-law Ruth Vanden Hogen. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, her brother Joseph Vanden Hogen, her sister Wilhemina Van Hammond, and her brothers-in-law Clarence Van Hammond and Doug Buchberger.
Although Julie worked at a number of different things in her life, she would be the first to tell you that by far her most important and enjoyable roles were as mother and grandmother. And her children and grandchildren would be the first to say she was very, very good at these roles. Every grandchild was fortunate to receive regular special notes from Nana Julie, filled with funny stories and loving words of support and the letters of each word were written in a different Crayola color. All of her children and grandchildren quickly learned that Julie was “directionally challenged”. If you asked her for the best route to a small local grocery store a few blocks from her Appleton home, it was very likely that faithfully following her directions would lead you to a large home renovation store in Green Bay. But as with all things involving Nana Julie, everyone laughed with Julie laughing the loudest, for we knew that with Julie it was the journey that mattered not the destination. A very wise person once said that the key to happiness is to treat every day as a gift not a guarantee. Anyone who knew Julie also knew that a day with her was both a gift AND a guarantee. A gift to be in her loving, supportive presence and a guarantee that she would selflessly set aside her own personal concerns and tell you some stories that were certain to make you laugh and forget about your problems.
And while Julie will no longer be with us physically, we all take comfort that we need look no further than the faces of her loving grandchildren to see and feel her presence. During the course of visits, phone calls, and letters, Nana Julie managed to instill in them her basic decency and goodness and that will always be with us.
The family would like to acknowledge the love and support provided to Julie over the course of her life, but especially in the past several years, by her two best friends – her brother Clink and Joan Hammen. Julie greatly enjoyed her time with them, carefully marking down the date of each scheduled visit in her calendar of upcoming events and happily and eagerly discussing with her family afterward the details of each outing.
It was Julie’s wish not to have a formal funeral service. A private service will be held as she is laid to rest at Highland Memorial Park, Appleton, WI, overlooking a pond that was a favorite destination for her and her grandchildren on their much treasured walks through her neighborhood. In recognition of Julie’s friendship with Joan and everything she did for our mother, we ask that people seeking to remember Julie make contributions in support of Joan’s daughter, Kay Reinke, to the Lymphoma Leukemia Fund, C/O Brian DeValk, N9427 Dusty Drive, Appleton, WI 54915.