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William L. "Bill" VanSandt Jr.


1960 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
William L. "Bill" VanSandt Jr. Obituary
William "Bill" L. Van Sandt Jr.
July 8th, 1960 ~ May 17", 2014
Resident of Santa Cruz
William "Bill" L. Van Sandt Jr. didn't want the typical obituary, listing his life as a resume seemed too stale to capture who he really was. But we can be just as stubborn as he was and at least tell you that he was born on July 8th, 1960 and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. And that he graduated from Soquel High class of 1978; when he met his wife of 33 years Julie (McGuire) and shortly thereafter began a family. He was a loving father and general pain in the neck to 3 daughters; Jessica Linae, Alexandra Kay, and Victoria Loren Van Sandt. All of who loved him dearly and will always be "Daddy's Girls".
He worked as an expert heavy equipment Operator for the majority of his life, one of the best in his field. But his real passion lay behind the doors of a garage. Bill was a master mechanic that could diagnose engine trouble by ear. To him there was nothing better than grease under your nails, and the smell of gas on your clothes. If it had an engine, and it wasn't fast and loud, it would be when he got done with it. From motorcycles, and speedboats to muscle cars and much more – he's built it. All from the ground up; and you could see who he was in every inch of each one.
Bill was a jeans and work boots kind of man, whose idea of dressing up was putting on his fancy flannel and good Harley Davidson baseball cap. He had a long-standing love affair with Dr. Pepper, Orange Sherbet, NASCAR, and forensics shows on "The Murder Channel". He was happiest when camping on the lake, and driving his 496 big block flat bottom speed boat; terrifying his passengers and anyone dumb enough to get towed behind him on a tube.
Bill had a shockingly quick wit, and an amazing sense of humor. His raucous laugh was contagious to everyone around him. He was extremely good at making fun of you, then making you laugh when you got mad. Which was just as infuriating as it was endearing. One of his greatest lessons he leaves behind is that there is no situation so tough, so dire, that a good laugh can't remedy.
After a very close brush with death due to complications of his condition in May of 2013, where Bill could swear he 'saw the light", he had been awaiting that moment again with open arms when his time came. He died after a strong fight against cancer on May 17th, 2014; surrounded by his family, peacefully at home, murmuring of fixing engines. Once a mechanic, always a mechanic.
He is preceded in death by his Father, William L. Van Sandt Sr. He is survived by his Mother, Joan Van Sandt; Wife, Julie Van Sandt; Daughters, Jessica, Alexandra, and Victoria Van Sandt of Santa Cruz, CA.

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Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on June 15, 2014
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