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Claude Charles VanBuskirk Jr., age 69, of Portage, passed away Friday, April 24, 2020. He was born December 9, 1950, in Kalamazoo, MI, to the late Claude and Francis (Uminn) VanBuskirk.

He enjoyed traveling, riding his motorcycle and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He lived his life to the fullest.

Claude proudly served in the military with HHC 1/77th Battalion Heavy Armor as a tank commander, reaching the rank of Sergeant (E5) on the Vietnam DMZ. His professional career included design engineering working with flight controls for military aircraft, including the F-16, F-18, AV8B Harrier, hot engine controls for GE-404 engines, & C-17 reversers with NWL Control Systems (Parker). He finished out his career at Eaton Corporation Truck Division in heavy and medium duty transmissions.

He is survived by his loving children, Chelsea (Brian) Haske, Megan (Greg) Scholten, and Michael VanBuskirk; and his four grandsons, Easton and Liam Haske and Greyson and Lucas Scholten.

In accordance to Claude’s wishes, there will be no funeral services held.

A private military honors memorial service will be held at a later date as well as a celebration of life with family and friends. He will be interned in Montana surrounded by his children, where some of his most fond memories were made.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or a charity of your choosing.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Claude’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:

Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, MI, exclusive providers of Veterans Funeral Care.


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1 Condolence

  1. Debra DeMink on May 9, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    Claude was such a nice young man. I dated him in high school and remember the enjoyment he got out of riding and working on his motorcycle. My heart is with the family.

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