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Michael Jon Vanderwolde, age 57 lost his battle with cancer on Nov.7, 2020. Mike was born on Aug 21, 1963 to Arlyn and Susan VanDerWolde and lived in Valley Springs, SD until he graduated high school at Brandon Valley High in 1981. Mike had a passion for carpentry, he started his carpentry at a young age and utilizing scraps from building sites to build tree forts for the neighborhood. Around age 13, he started working construction in the summers for his Grandpa John DeHaan Construction business, and worked beside his grandpa John and Uncle Tim DeHaan. In 1983, Mike followed his dream and attended Pipestone Vocational School for Carpentry. After vocational school, Mike moved to Hills, MN and continued to work with his grandpa and uncle. In 1984-85, Mike attended and played basketball for Huron College in Huron, SD. In 1984, Mike joined the 114th Fighter Wing in SD as a Guardsman. He was hired full time in 1989 into the Orderly Room. July 1990, Mike then changed careers as a NDI Tech, performing inspections on the A-7’s and F-16’s. In 2001, Mike transferred to the 110th Wing in Battle Creek, MI, and was promoted to NDI Lab Supervisor. In 2014 Mike changed careers to be a Meteorologist for the 110th . Mike was activated and served multiple tours overseas during his 37-year career to include Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Europe. Mike married Denise Boeve in 1993 and lived in Brandon SD from 1993 to 2001. They were blessed with Katelyn Kay in 2000. Mike loved to boat, fish, camp, bike and travel with his family. Mike also enjoyed hunting, fishing, basketball, softball, and carpentry with co-workers and friends. Mike brought fun and laughter wherever he went and will be deeply missed. Mike is survived by his wife Denise and daughter Katy, of Battle Creek, MI. His parents Arlyn and Sue, his brothers Ed (Deanna) and Tony (Sherri) VanDerWolde of Sioux Falls, SD and a sister, Lavonne (Thomas) McKee of Alcester, SD, and a nephew and five nieces.


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

 Cremation arrangements were entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 616-452-3006.


Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.


  1. Rachel Jandernoa on November 10, 2020 at 9:38 am

    We are sooo sorry for the loss of you husband, father. Our prayers for you and all your family.
    The Jandernoa Family

  2. John Rourk on November 10, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Mike was always a great guy to talk to and listen to. He took my son Johnny on his first boat fishing trip around your lake. Even though Johnny was being a pain in the but Mike insisted Johnny needs to come back and fish anytime. The next day at work Mike made sure to come up and tell me how much he loved watching Johnny fish and that we can come anytime.

    Thanks Mike you will be missed.

  3. Jutta Parks on November 10, 2020 at 10:28 am

    My sincere condolences on the loss of Mike. He was a great man and I always enjoyed chatting with him at work. He will be missed by many.

  4. Angie Gouge on November 10, 2020 at 10:58 am

    My cousin Mike was the most mischievous relative I know. With a sneaky side grin and a twinkle in his eye, you knew something funny was about to happen. He brought a lot of life and laughter to our family gatherings. I remember at a particular reunion in South Dakota about 8 years ago, the family was busy with putting together the large family meal. All of a sudden, we heard high-pitched screams and squeals and children running all directions. Water was flying everywhere from squirt guns and water balloons. In the middle of it, was Mike, causing all the trouble (ie, fun). We loved his big-kid spirit and he will be missed every time we gather. Love to all his family, as we hang on to all the wonderful memories he left us.

  5. Kay Knoblock on November 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    My heart and prayers go out to all of you. I kept in touch with Michael’s accomplishment and success through Aunt Shirlee. May God be with each of you during this very difficult time. With love and prayers💞🙏 Kay Knoblock

  6. Arlyn Metzger on November 10, 2020 at 11:04 am

    My sympathy to Mike’s family

  7. Kevin K Callies on November 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    My Sympathies! Mike was so fun to be around & considered him a good friend. Many great memories of working with him at the South Dakota Air National Guard & playing softball together – He was also a great support person for me when I was diagnosed with Leukemia! – Very sad news & interesting to me that I was just reminiscing about a softball tournament & us celebrating a birthday

  8. WALTER E SMITH on November 10, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    I served with Michael for 13 years with the 110th, I worked with him in the MXG, and then moved with him to the 110 RPA squadron. Will always remember Michael’s smile and laugh. I still have a treasured group picture at my 35 year retirement party, where Michael grabbed my butt, and made me smile the biggest smile ever in a picture. Michael took my nephew and I on his first experience of fishing from a boat on Beadle Lake, all three of us caught fish. When the MXG was dissolved in 2013, I was less than a year from retirement, and unsure of my next move. Michael without being asked sat down with me and did all the math to show me what my income would be. Michael kept telling me you are going to be okay Walt, and he was exactly correct. I still have not recovered from the shock of the loss of my great friend, who I was blessed to know. Denise and Katy please know that I am hurting along with you, you both are in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. Mark Cravens on November 10, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    My condolences to Michael’s family. I served with Michael in the 110th for some years. He was a great guy to chat with on any subject. He was very outgoing and loved the outdoors. May his pain be mo more. Godspeed my friend!

  10. Ken Cunningham on November 10, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    Mike was a dedicated person and fun to be around. Many happy memories from our time together at the SD Air National Guard.

  11. Marvin Young on November 10, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Mike was a great friend that I thoroughly enjoyed working with at the Battle Creek ANG Base for over 15 years. Always fun to be around and we always had a great time playing basketball, fishing, and talking hunting strategies. I will miss our walleye, perch and bluegill fishing trips. It was great fishing with both of our daughters when they were still young. My condolences and prayers are with your family.

  12. Suzanne Macomber on November 10, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve known Mike since 2011 when we worked together during an inspection. He made a not so fun experience, fun. Great guy! He will be missed by so many.

  13. V Eric Kamp on November 10, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Mike was and will always be a great friend and mentor to me!!! I first met Mike at Camp Blanding, after continuing our weather forecasting training at Keesler AFB. At Camp Blanding, he inspired us to help update facilities such as the volleyball court, horse shoe pit, and pavilion. We all enjoyed volleyball, horseshoes, fishing, and grilling and just having a great fun time!!! Dangling your legs out the back of a Chinook 47 at 1000ft was fun too.

  14. William L Kluckman on November 10, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Mike was a very close friend and co-worker. I am honored to say Mike started working at the South Dakota Air National Guard in the Base Contracting office as a temp Admin Clerk and went on to get a full time job shortly after working with us in Contracting. I am also honored in say I was able to spend several years playing softball with Mike going to multiple Air National Guard Softball Tournaments. I also had an opportunity to visit with Mike after he moved to Michigan. I will miss you. I have know you and your family for many years. It is difficult know you are no longer with you. Prayers to the Vanderwolde family.

    Bill Kluckman

  15. Suzanna Friedly on November 11, 2020 at 6:39 am

    I had the pleasure of serving with Mike in the 110th. He was truly a gem – always upbeat and had a kind word for everyone. I was shocked abs saddened to hear of his loss. My condolences.

  16. Robert Bly on November 11, 2020 at 9:15 am

    My thoughts and prayers to all friend and family. It was great to work with Mike and I have many great memories.

  17. Brooklyn VanDerWolde on November 11, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    My thoughts and prayers for all his friends and family. He will be missed deeply.

  18. Gene & Andi Klein on November 11, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Thinking of you, Denise, Katy and all of Mike’s family. We were neighbors in Brandon and will hold those memories close to our hearts.

  19. Dan Vugteveen on November 11, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    Really saddened to hear about Mike. I have lots of good memories of Mike from our teenage years and I am sure he will be missed by his family and friends. Keeping all your family in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  20. TROY C FUERST on November 11, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    He will be missed. A good man. Some Really Good Memories!

  21. Bob Funk on November 11, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Please accept my sincere condolences. Mike was truly a good man. He made my transition to full time in the SDANG much easier. I remember several deployments with him because he always made sure we had a good time. Mike usually had a smile on his face and always had a big heart. He happily helped me replace some bad siding on my house. The only payment he would accept was a thank you and a beer or two. We shared yard work together because we both lived in Brandon. I loved the shark fin on his old rusty Suburban.

  22. Lonny Ackerman on November 11, 2020 at 7:11 pm

    My deepest sympathies Vanderwolde family. I have fond memories of Mike from our younger years. I enjoyed hanging out with him, working with him, going to church with him, and playing softball with him. He was a great man and a great friend. My prayers are with you all!

  23. Mark DeBoer on November 11, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Not just a cousin, Mike was also a true Friend. Everyone who encountered Mike, would meet one of the funniest good natured people ever. He always had an ear to listen & I honestly cannot remember ever not getting along with Mike. He will forever be in our hearts.

  24. Mike Holland ( Indiana Mike ) on November 11, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Mike was more like a brother than best friend, I looked forward to our weekly phone calls and planning our next project or adventure. And Mikes Family are all amazing people. He will be Missed. Rest in Peace Mike

    Your Brother from another State: Indiana Mike

  25. Jan Ellsworth on November 11, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    So sorry about Mike’s illness and death. Many good memories of him and your family, when you lived in Huron. Praying for comfort for all of you.

  26. Chris Harnack on November 11, 2020 at 11:30 pm

    Mike and Tim taught me everything I know in carpentry. Had many memories working with Mike

  27. David Myers on November 12, 2020 at 12:43 am

    So sad to hear this! My condolences to Mike’s family for this heavy loss. It was my honor and privilege to have served with Mike, he will be missed, our country has lost a patriot!

  28. Melania Barnes on November 12, 2020 at 7:35 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of working with Mike at the 114th. He will be missed by many!

  29. Joe Thornell Sr on November 12, 2020 at 8:02 am

    I served with Mike in the 114th FW in South Dakota. Mike was always a great guy and fun to be around. His energy was felt whenever he was around. Kerry and I send our prayers to Denise and Katy and family. Godspeed Mikey!

  30. Greg Anderson family on November 12, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Our deepest sympathies and condolences for Denise, Katy and Mike’s family. I would second what Angie Gouge said above. Mike was always about fun and mischief. He will be missed. Mike touched many lives in his short time on this earth and his passing will be felt by them all. He sincerely cared about all those he befriended and would do whatever he could to help others. May the memories of his caring and compassionate, robust outlook on life guide you through this difficult time. The Greg Anderson family

  31. John Zeck on November 12, 2020 at 9:39 am

    So sorry for your loss, I served with Mike in the South Dakota Air National Guard. Lots of fond memories of our time in the Guard.

  32. Kit Gleason on November 12, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. Prayers for comfort. May you find peace and joy in your shared memories.

  33. Allen (Scooby) and Kathy Skotvold on November 12, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    Our sympathy to Denise, Katy, and all of the VanDerWolde Family in your loss of Mike. I had the honor of supervising Mike when he was in the NDI Lab at 114th with many memories over the years, never a dull moment on deployments, a true Veteran.

  34. Christina Roby on November 13, 2020 at 6:59 am

    My prayers and thoughts to Denise, Katy and all of Mike’s family and friends. I first met Mike at our 2016 ANG Weather Workshop in Nashville, TN. After that, Mike traveled to our Iowa unit to gain additional training for his weather career along with helping our unit out. Mike always had a smile and was enjoyable to work with. We really appreciated his help and determination within our career field. He will be greatly missed!

  35. David and June Burney on November 14, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Praying for comfort for your family. So hard to lose one so young.

  36. Todd Magnuson on November 15, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    A great person always willing to help and a great sense of humor

  37. Bruce and Faye Lee on November 20, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    We got to know Mike in 1991 and soon came to realize that he was more than just a co-worker at the South Dakota Air National Guard, he was a great friend as well. We can’t look at any part of our acreage without remembering how Mike brought his awesome personality, and positive, can do attitude to our house and helped update it to make it our home, we loved him like a Brother.
    Our sympathies go out to Denise, Katy, and all of Mike’s family and friends, he will truly be missed by everyone that had the honor and privilege to know him.

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