Dennis A. "Bear" VandeBurgt
1953 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Dennis's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Dennis A. "Bear" VandeBurgt

Neenah - Dennis "Bear" VandeBurgt passed away peacefully as the result of a brain aneurysm on Thursday, July 30, 2020. He was born on August 1, 1953 to Adrian and Patricia. After graduating from Appleton East High School in 1971, Bear began a 44 year career with Presto Products (Alcoa). He married his main squeeze, Patti Helms, on September 13, 1974 at St. Bernadette Catholic Church.

Bear enjoyed a childhood full of mischief that included swimming, bike riding and other activities that cannot be mentioned. His summers were spent at the family cottage. In his high school years, Bear was an accomplished wrestler. He was a bruiser on the mat, earning a bid to state as a freshman.

His interests included deer hunting, fishing, NASCAR and cheering on the Packers. He enjoyed traveling, especially family cruises to the Caribbean. Bear and Patti fought many battles over the Scrabble board, although Patti made the recent discovery that Dennis was not above cheating to get the win. He cherished his time spent with friends. He was proud to be a card-carrying member of the "Think Tank", which included Dave, Mike and Dan. But most of all, Bear loved spending time with his grandchildren. They will carry on his legacy of love and family. He will always be their hero.

Bear will be remembered for his mischievous sense of humor. His sarcasm and quick wit were legendary and will live on in his four daughters. He loved tinkering with cars and his ingenuity always prevailed. He was meticulous when it came to his projects. Bear was on-call 24/7 to help with whatever his daughters needed, whether it was car repair, spider extermination or chauffeur duties. His family and close friends will remember his humility and generosity.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents Adrian and Patricia, mother-in-law Maria Helms and brother-in-law Patrick Wang. He is survived by his wife Patti, daughters Angela (Tony) Simmer, Jennifer (Jason) Streubel, Kim (Robert) Hills and Abby (Jeremy) Honick, adored grandchildren Maria and Sofia SImmer, Brycen and Samuel Honick and baby girl Hills. He is further survived by his father-in-law Rodney Helms, siblings Richard (Pam) VandeBurgt, Debbie (Al) Menting, Gail (Charlie) Bowman, Gina (Dennis) Mader, sister-in-law Geri Wang and brother-in-law Dave (Ellen) Helms, along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Due to current circumstances, a private service will be held for immediate family.

A public gathering will take place on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Wichmann Funeral Home, 1592 Oneida St, Menasha, WI 54952.

Interment will be at Highland Memorial Park in Appleton.

The family would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Gold Cross first responders and the ER and ICU staff at ThedaCare in Neenah. Special thanks to Dr Yazbak for his compassionate care.

For more information and to express condolences, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Aug. 7 to Aug. 9, 2020.
Memorial Gathering
04:00 - 07:00 PM
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Wichmann Tri-County Chapel
Not sure what to say?
1 entry
August 9, 2020
The smile says it all.Worked at Presto for 42 years and Bear was a person that you could always talk to and have a laugh with.He was a great guy.So sorry for your loss.Fellow Presto friend
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences