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Obituary for John Charles VanHouten

John Charles VanHouten, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at his home. 

John was born on March 17, 1941, in Lansing, Michigan, to Cloyce and Alma (Rademacher) VanHouten. He joined the Marines at the age of 18 and was stationed at Cherry Point, North Carolina. During this time, John met the love of his life, Kathy, at the Wagon Wheel in Portland. This was the beginning of a love story that blossomed into a 56 year marriage.  He retired from GM after 31 years but never stopped working. His strong work ethic has been instilled in his children and grandchildren. John loved tending his sheep over the years.  As much as John loved to work, he also loved to play cards. Many a night, he and Kathy could be found playing Euchre and Canasta with family and friends. He was also an avid hunter, fisherman and woodcutter. First and foremost, John loved his family and put them above everything.  John and Kathy enjoyed many vacations, especially their trips out West to see their beloved California family.  They spent many winters at their place in Florida and would meet up with the family in Daytona Beach for Spring Break on the way home every year.  He was very proud of all his grandchildren, and in recent years, John would light up at the very sight of his two great-grandsons.  When God took John, he took the best.

John was preceded in death by his parents; sisters-in-law Marlene VanHouten and Lois Bullen; in-laws, Darlene and Bill Ward; and brother-in-law, Tim Feazel. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; children Mimi (Vitas) Zubrickas, Rick (Caroline) VanHouten, Tamara (Keith) Brown; grandchildren Cody (Savanna) Pierce, Travis (Marlyn) Pierce, Jeremiah Pierce, Bailey VanHouten, Rachel VanHouten, Ty Brown, Katlynn Brown and Quinn Brown; great-grandchildren, Ian and Ivann Pierce; brother, Neil VanHouten; sister-in-law, Beverly Feazel; and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his precious dogs, Sassy and Copper, who were a constant source of love and delight.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m., Friday, October 30, 2020, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland.  The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland.  A private interment will be held for the family at the cemetery at a later date. Arrangements are entrusted to Lehman Funeral Homes. Online condolences may be made at


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