DUANE JUDE VANGELDREN peacefully left us on February 20, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. Duane is survived by his loving parents Tom and Betty, his siblings who adored their baby brother, Thomas VanGeldren (Cathy), Irene Sigel (Michael) and Lori Zillante (David). Pre-deceased by his older brother Scott VanGeldren. Duane is now flying with the angels. Scotty, he is back with you now…please take care of him and watch over him, until we all meet again.
Duane was the youngest of 5 children and this gave him an opportunity to play many important roles throughout his life. “Uncle Duane” was one of the most important to him. He formed loving lifetime bonds with each one of them. We don’t remember a time when he didn’t have a toddler on his hip, or was seen pushing a stroller up a hill or had one of his nieces or nephews on his shoulders to view a good, old Ridgefield Park 4th of July parade in 100 degree heat with never a complaint. Kristen, Tanya, Billy, David, Daniel, Catie, Lauren, Alison and Tommy were quick to receive lessons or advice on skateboarding, the cool way to ride a bike, the latest best rap artists, how to correctly put bait in a crab trap, and how to hook fish correctly. Duane was then blessed to give another helping hand to the next generation of great nieces Jaida, Shana and Arianna and his great nephew Aidan. Duane’s compassion for others will live on in all of them.
Duane had a passion for many things. Deep sea fishing was one of them, as he was always conflicted with keeping the big fish after he caught them. One day, when he finally caught “the big shark” he was so relieved when he was told he had to return it to the ocean. Duane enjoyed the house known to the family as “The Green house” on the bay. He spent countless hours out on the dock crabbing and fishing and enjoying time spent with everyone and watching the sunsets. Atlantic City trips with family was a favorite of Duane’s. He was lucky with the poker machines and always seemed to go home a winner. The beach, the boardwalk, family gatherings, concerts with friends always would make him smile. Duane’s love for animals was immeasurable. His cat Hillary and his dog Sheba were true to his compassion for those who could not speak for themselves
Duane’s smile would melt your heart and even after his diagnosis of Juvenile Diabetes, his incredible courage was contagious to all around him. Duane was fiercely protective of those he loved and he loved them with every cell of his being. Duane always saw the good in everyone, and believed in always giving second chances. He was sweet, loving and had a gentle soul. Ride away Duane in that beautiful black Jeep, pick up Scotty along the way, let the wind blow and the radio blast for all to hear. We love you.
The family wishes to sincerely thank ALL of the people who took a part in caring for Duane for the past two weeks. Your knowledge of medicine is a gift to us all. The love and compassion you showed for Duane and our family is immensely appreciated.
Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest.
Memorial Mass Saturday February 25 ,2023 10am. Saint Francis RC Church, Ridgefield Park. If desired donations may be made to Saint Francis Food Pantry 114 Mt. Vernon Street, Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660 in his memory.