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Harlan Maring Van Dyke Sr.


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Harlan Maring Van Dyke Sr. Obituary

Harlan was born in Sacramento, CA, on October 2, 1922. He was the son of Bessie Anita (Hotchkiss) and David Clark (DC) Van Dyke. Lifelong Pleasant Grove resident, Harlan went to be with the Lord at the age of 94.

Harlan graduated from East Nicolaus High School, Class of 1940 and attended Sacramento City College where he studied Aeronautical Mechanics, while working at McClellan Air Force Base between 1941-1943. Harlan married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy G Sills, on March 15, 1942. Soon after they began their family. In 1944, Harlan joined the Merchant Marines, and was assigned to the Victory Ship.

After returning from the war, Harlan began farming in Pleasant Grove. In 1952, he took over Van Dyke's Rice Dryer from his father. He worked and developed it until 1978. VDRD is now owned and operated by his son, Jim Van Dyke. During that time, Harlan helped create the Pleasant Grove Volunteer Fire Dept, and between 1968-1972 he served as Fire Chief. In 1968, he built and developed Lake Minden in Nicolaus as a catfish farm and recreational area. Harlan served as a Trustee for Pleasant Grove Elementary School and served on the Board of Directors of the Yuba City Chamber of Commerce for two years.

Because Harlan found people so interesting he was always looking for an excuse to entertain and became famous for barbecuing for many luncheons at the dryer. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, and golfing. Because his passion was flying, he held a private pilot license for many years, flying the family to Tahoe, checking on his rice, and even flying across the country. His mechanical background allowed him to restore a collection of tractors, as well as his pride and joy, a 1926 Case automobile. He was also a longtime member of St. John's Lutheran Church, still attending church at the age of 94. Forever surrounded by his family, Harlan had a life well-lived, enjoying it to the very end.

Harlan is preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Dorothy, his parents DC and Bessie, and his brothers Daryl, Orlin and Dean. He is also survived by his four children, Harlan M Van Dyke, Jr (Irma), James C. Van Dyke (Donna), Susan I Dunbar, and Steven M. Van Dyke (Ann). His 10 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, as well as many nieces and nephews who also survive him. He was a friend to everyone he met and will be missed.

Services will be held at St. John's Lutheran Church, 1701 "L" Street, Sacramento, CA, on Thursday, December 29th, 2016 at 10 am. Burial will follow at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Pleasant Grove, CA. Arrangements are being made through Cochrane & Wagemann Funeral Home in Roseville, (916) 783-7171. Memorial donations may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Dec. 21 to Dec. 26, 2016
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