Robert Charles Van Laanen departed this life on June 9, 2014 in Cumming, Ga., after battling Alzheimer's. Bob was born on July 9, 1931 to Walter and Mary Bettine Van Laanen in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Bob moved to Oklahoma, attended the University of Oklahoma School of Law and honorably served his country for 10 years in the United States Navy. Bob spent many years as a loan officer with First National Bank of Oklahoma, Penn Square Bank and Stockyards Bank. Bob is survived by his wife Betsy, Marvel Powers, Hugh Van Laanen (Deceased), Mike Van Laanen, Jane Moore-Ramsey, Carla Murphy (Deceased), Ellen Hadwiger, Millie Wenzel, Geri Tease, Arlis Greiling And Katie Stowell; and children, step-children and grandchildren: Dara, Erin and her husband John Myles, Kerry and her husband Eduardo Malaga and children Rebecca and Elena, John Roberts, Susan Nicewander and her children Rex and Regan, and Charles Roberts and his wife Kim and their children McKinnon, Marin and Charles.
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Bob was a true believer in giving back, in random acts of kindness, and in living as Jesus lived. Early in his adult life, he spent untold volunteer hours with the Oklahoma Foundation for the Disabled and the original Cowboy Hall of Fame, and later masterminded and brought to life the Oklahoma City Youth Orchestra fund-raising 5K run. But children were his favorite pastime. He and Betsy served as faithful volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House. Later in life, Bob took up the camera and reveled in the joy of taking photos of children and their families throughout his travels with Betsy, and shared those photos with the families. Bob was always there for a friend, neighbor or acquaintance in need. We will miss him terribly but we have wonderful gifts of laughter and sage advice that Bob gave to us all, along with our memories, to see us through.
A memorial service will be held in Cumming on June 28, 2014. In lieu of flowers, Bob would ask for a donation to the Ronald McDonald House in his memory.
Condolences may be expressed on-line at www.mcdonaldandson.com
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
McDonald and Son Funeral Home and Crematory - Cumming
150 Sawnee Drive
Cumming, GA 30040
Published in Forsyth County News from June 25 to June 26, 2014