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William Van Dran

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William Van Dran Obituary
William Joseph Van Dran (Bill), 53, resident of Silver City, N.M. slipped peacefully away at home w/ his wife and dear mother in law on Wednesday Aug. 15, 2012 after a three year battle w/ kidney cancer. He was born Aug. 15, 1959, in Geneva Illinois to Joseph and Dorothy Van Dran, then of West Chicago, Ill. He moved to Silver City at the age of 14 when his parents retired. In 1993 he took Rhonda K. Little for his wife. After a few years of practicing Optometry in Las Cruces, they returned to her hometown of Silver City. He graduated from Silver High School in 1974 and Western New Mexico University in 1984 with a B.S. in Geology, Chemistry, and Mathematics. He worked as a geologist, chemist, surveyor, and lab director at Western New Mexico University, office manager and optician for their Optometry Practice. He loved making things work and spent many hours in his shop with his older son working on American steel. His red, 1974 kick-start, "shovelhead" Harley custom chopper was his favorite. William felt a strong sense of duty and commitment to his community. He held positions of leadership in most and actively served in each of the following: the Chamber of Commerce, Planning and Zoning and Bi-Pass Route Committees, Citizens for Economic Growth and Environmental Protection, Grant County Republicans, Tea Party, High Desert Humane Society, several gun clubs, Pop Warner and South West Youth Football League. He ran for City Council positions twice and County Commissioner once. He enjoyed the shooting sports and was a strong supporter and popular speaker on the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms and freedom. Coaching flag and tackle football was his passion when his three children were of age. He delighted in hearing "Hey Coach!" and watching the players grow up. Most recently he devoted his attentions to the 4H and FFA youth shooting teams. As Chairman of the Grant County Friends of NRA banquets he brought tens of thousands of dollars back to the community for our youth shooting teams. He is survived by his wife, Rhonda Kathleen (Little) Van Dran and children: William Eugene (Gene), Kathryn Ann (Katy Ann), and Raymond Joseph (RJ) Van Dran, and the children of his older brother: Lisa Ann Van Dran & George Flores of Orange, Calif., Cindy Marie Van Dran, Foothill Ranch, Calif., Perry Michael Van Dran, Wrightwood, Calif., Daryl Thomas & Laura DeChaine Van Dran, Alta Loma, Calif., Joan Carole Van Dran, Corona, Calif., Rick Andrew, Rialto, Calif., Stacy Catherine (Van Dran) & Eric Marty, Corona, Calif., and ten great nephews and nieces. He is preceded in Death by: His parents, Joseph Louis Van Dran and Dorothy Elizabeth (Hopkins) Van Dran of Silver City, and his older brother Eugene Leslie Van Dran, Alta Loma, Calif. and his wife Marjorie Ann Van Dran Ambrust, Chula Vista, Calif. His memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 at 10 a.m. at Terrazas Funeral Chapels with a reception to follow at the home of Thayne and Barbara Peters located at 3285 Mountain View Road, Silver City. Flowers are welcome or a donation to the William Van Dran Scholarship for 4H/FFA shooting team members going forward w/ their education in any program: Bachelors, Maine, or vocational, will be gladly accepted. Call Rhonda K. Van Dran OD, PC 388-2020 for information. Words cannot express our gratitude to the many individuals who have supported us during these last days with William. Thank you to the many professionals from Gila Regional Medical Center and Hospice for your care and compassion. Integrity, Compassion, Participation Cremation will take place at Terrazas Crematory. Arrangements are with Terrazas Funeral Chapels and Crematory "Trusted care for the ones you love" ~ 575-537-0777. To send condolences, visit
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 22, 2012
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