Paul J. Vander Heyden
1940 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Paul's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Paul J. Vander Heyden

Little Chute - Paul J. Vander Heyden, age 79, passed away peacefully at home with the love of his family around him on August 10, 2020 after a 3 year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born December 23, 1940, the son of Norm and Ceil Vander Heyden. He graduated from Appleton High School where he participated in basketball.

He married his loving wife, Jan Spierings on July 17, 1965, recently celebrating their 55th year anniversary. Together they had 4 children Michael, Ellen, Laura and David and 3 grandchildren Oliver, Elliot and Grace.

He was proud to say he was a Marine serving 6 years in the Marine Corp Reserves. He was owner/manager of Norm's Color & Lighting Design Center for over 50 years. Paul was active with the Appleton Foxes and the Timber Rattlers serving on the Board of Directors for 22 years and participated in the transition of the Foxes to the Timber Rattlers and construction of the present stadium. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Post 607 and The American Legion post 258.

Paul was a talented man who could remodel or repair anything as well as being a talented artist. Many homes of family and friends display his art work. He enjoyed sports and the friends it brought him. He was most proud of his family, especially the grandkids.

Paul is survived by his wife, Jan, children Ellen (Brett) Vander Heyden, Laura (Mike) Berger and David (Valerie) Vander Heyden and grandchildren, Oliver and Elliot Berger and Grace Vander Heyden. He is also survived by his sisters, Cecily Kuebler, Mary (Bill) Morrissey, Kathy (John) Jurewicz; in-laws Virgie (Gene) Janssen, Jack Spierings, Mary Weigman, Helen (Bob) Eting, Lois (Dale) Gralapp, Jim (Sue) Spierings, as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Michael, parents, Norm & Ceil Vander Heyden, parents-in-law, Ed & Margie Spierings, Dorothy Spierings, Sister-in-law, Carol Spierings, Brothers-in-law John Kuebler and Gary Weigman; and niece, Allison Eiting.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at St John Nepomucene Catholic Church, 323 S. Pine Street, Little Chute, with Fr Ron Belitz officiating. Visitation will be at the church from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the Mass. Interment will be at St. Joseph Cemetery, Appleton, WI. For online condolences, please visit

The family would like to thank the staff at Froedtert Hospital, Theda Care Appleton and Theda Care at Home, especially Dawn, Ida and Hanna.

In lieu of Flowers, memorials would be appreciated for the Spierings Cancer Foundation/Rock Cancer.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Aug. 11 to Aug. 12, 2020.
02:00 - 04:00 PM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home - Little Chute
Not sure what to say?
9 entries
August 13, 2020
Jan, we were so very sorry to hear about Paul’s passing. Please know how much we liked Paul. Such a warm, gentle and very talented human being. He will definitely be missed by so many people. May your beautiful memories warm your heart and give you peace.
Ron & Delores Sedo
August 12, 2020
I have been blessed with many great uncles that I have looked up to my whole life. My uncle Paul taught me a lot about life and how to work hard and play hard. When I was in my early years of high school he had me come work with him and his dad Norm at their store Norm's Color and Lighting located between Little Chute and Appleton. Paul put in long hours making sure he had as many light fixtures as he could hanging from the ceiling and the back wall of his store. I was taught how to wire them up and how to put the thousand dollar crystal chandeliers together. By the time I was leaving for my new job he had also taught me how to mix paint and fill those black canisters with all the pigments. Yes I once put the orange in the red container I didn't know until I was older that the red was the most expensive color and it had to be all tossed out. I stocked the shelves in the back of the store with the new fixtures and the cases of paint. There were (4) 1 gallon cans to a case in a cardboard box and Paul would use his vise grip hands to gab the boxes from the floor and place them on the shelves above his head with one hand. If you know my uncle Paul and are you are younger than me you had just above your knee squeezed or your neck adjusted and maybe even a good shoulder pinch. Uncle Paul made sure you knew he was in the room. He always asked serious questions about how things were going in your life and would also give you a good ribbing when you deserved it. He and Gary R. once told me that uncle Paul was color blind and it was how he could match every color under the sun. I told everyone they should go get their paint match mixed by Paul for many many years because he was color blind and could somehow match colors better than anyone. One day we were sitting around having a beer discussing the new computer color machines and I asked him about how he could mix paints being color blind he said "what I 'm not color blind" well I guess you shouldn't believe everything he said lesson learned. The working hard part he taught me was by example and by jobs given to me. See the Norm's Color and Lighting store had all brick walls and one summer Paul wanted to paint those walls a new color and the old paint had to be removed. I was given a short lesson on using a very large end grinder thing with a 6" diameter wire brush on it and the job of removing the paint form all three sides of the store. Muscles he said were what would (never did) develop. Then I was taught by his dad Norm how to use a paint brush and not your ordinary paint brush. It was the most expensive in the store made with real camel hair and was 6" wide with 5" long hairs. Norm should me how I had to slap on the paint not just brush it on. Yes I should have made the movie The Karate Kid but I didn't learn the karate part. A few years later (not that many) Lisa and I were buying our house and we purchased all our Devo paints and Olympic stains from my uncle Paul. We filled our house with light fixtures from him as well and our basement carpeting and kitchen wallpaper hung by my aunts and mom. He insisted I get a discount even though I wanted to be treated like every other customer. This morning when I was shaving I remembered Paul had wanted to give Lisa and I the mirror I was seeing myself in as a house warming gift 38 years ago. Lisa and I refused and he charged us way under what it cost. Paul and Jan had a son Michael his nickname was "The Duke" I remember always watching uncle Paul rough housing with Michael in their apartment on Main St. that is no longer there. Michael had his own boxing gloves and he and Paul would spar and I enjoyed watching uncle Paul just being an awesome father to him. Not by coincidence my oldest son is named Michel as well. I have many stories I could share about my uncle Paul he was a great man who helped many people I will treasure who he was and what he meant to me and how I live my life. I was blessed to have a visit and be able to thank him for who he was and how he was a special person in my life. Heaven gained a very gracious man. Larry
Larry Janssen
August 12, 2020
My sympathy to the entire family. May the Lord embrace all of you and guide you through this sad time. Rest in Peace Paul
Carolyn Braley
August 12, 2020
Paul was a very friendly person and always there to help any time or place when you needed it. He will be missed greatly by all He was a gentle giant
Joe & Kathy Ryba
August 12, 2020
Paul was a passionate man about many things, none more than his family! He spoke often of his children, grandchildren, and of course his love, Jan. Paul, you were a gentlemen, and a role model.

Thank you!
Corey Wiegel
August 12, 2020
Condolences to Jan and family,
Sorry to hear that Paul passed away, we always enjoyed his sense of humor as a neighbor and recognized both Jan and Paul for raising such a nice family. Are sincere thoughts are with you all at this time.
Russ & Paula Gilson
Russ Gilson
August 12, 2020
So sorry for your lost, Jan. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Ellen and Louie Mischler
Ellen Mischler
August 12, 2020
I only had the pleasure of meeting Paul a couple of times but could not help but instantly like him.
He was a gentle giant with a big heart.
We proudly have the pleasure of displaying several of Paul's paintings and love them.
May you rest in peace Paul!
My sincere condolences to the family.
Deb Hesse ❤
Debbie Hesse
August 11, 2020
So sorry to read about Paul's passing. He was a good friend and helped us on many occasions when we needed decorating help and the best was when my wife wanted to paint the brick on our fireplace. Paul came over after work on a Saturday and did it when he was finished it looked like a new brick fireplace. I'm God's rainbows will be a little brighter with Paul's help
jim schulze
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences