Kenneth “Kenny” James VanNeste, resident of Battle Creek, formerly of Wyoming and Sterling Heights, passed away on March 12, 2019 at his home at the age of 51.
Kenny was born on February 26, 1968 in Southfield. He was raised in Sterling Heights and attended Haitema Elementary School, and was a proud Hornet. He also attended Carleton Jr. High where he made many touchdowns for the Colts and Sterling Heights High School. Kenny earned his GED in 1986; from there he joined the United States Army and was stationed in Hawaii. Kenny was elected to the Delta Force and was selected by the 4th Battalion/22nd Infantry to be the “scout”, first man out of the helicopter in foreign lands. He served in the Army for 3 years and 1 month. Kenny was decorated with the Good Conduct Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, M-16 Rifle Expert Status, and the Hand Grenade Expert Status as well as the Army Pin of Honor. Kenny also took classes through the community college.
Kenny was a man of many talents. He was adventurous, athletic, and intellectually gifted. He was quick on his feet, leaping fences in a single bound. He loved music, particularly the drums and was an avid musician. He was self-taught on the piano. He had the privilege of sharing his passion with his niece and nephew. At one time he was part of a band call Rival. He also was an amazing chef. You never left the table hungry after he prepared a feast. He was perseverant and could talk his way through any situation. He never gave up. He was successful at anything he put his mind to. If he fell he always got back up again. He was a hard worker and his precise attention to detail was reflected in his work, as well as his military training. He was well loved and respected among his family, friends, and coworkers. Family was always first place in his heart. Kenny loved to fish and traveled to various destination to find a good catch. He took flight with the Red Wings and roared with the Lions.
He will be missed by his parents Kenneth O. VanNeste and Mary K. VanNeste as well as his two sisters, Julie Mattiacci and Kathleen VanNeste-Kortebein; two incredible sons, Merrik, and Skot; five adoring nieces, Jodi, Genevieve, Claire-Marie, Magdalena, and Jacinta; and nephews, Ryan and Joshua; Kenny exchanged comradery over his lifetime with many friends, especially those who believed in him when times were most difficult. We salute Kenny as he always looked to promote the underdog. He was a great son, brother, and friend to many. He was proud to be a Veteran serving God and his country.
A Funeral Mass in his honor will be held 9:30 a.m., April 2nd, 2019 at St. Blasé Catholic Church, 12151 E. 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, 48312. Burial will take place on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 at Great Lakes National Cemetery, 4200 Belford Road, Holly, 48442.
Instead of flowers donations to a Veterans Charity or to his sons would be appreciated.
To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Theodore’s online guestbook or to share a favorite memory, please visit: www.MichiganCremation.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, exclusive providers of Veterans Funeral Care.