Richard John Vanderburg
July 14, 1946 – April 6, 2015
Richard Vanderburg left this earth doing what he so loved to do, and is now sailing the most calm waters to eternal beauty that we can only wait to see. Rich and his wife of 40 years, Kathy, were on a dream retirement sailing trip to the Bahamas when he suddenly became ill. The devastation of sepsis claimed his life on April 6, 2015, at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
Rich grew up in North Prairie, attended Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha, and graduated from high school at Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. He was an avid pilot, owning a Luscombe, Smith mini plane, V-tail Bonanza, and RV-4. He met his wife while piloting a Cessna 180 jump plane, as she was making her first parachute jump. It was a match made in heaven and magic ever since. Rich followed Kathy during her 26-year Air Force career, living at bases around the country and in the Philippines. He made friends for life at every base. Rich was adventuresome and lived life to the fullest. He was a private pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, BBQ champion, airplane builder, and sailor amongst other things. His remarkable skills as a licensed airframe and powerplant mechanic served him on his multiple moves, always respected by the airline industry, and landing him positions in quality as an inspector. He wanted to be remembered as a good man who was willing to help anyone. He indeed will be.
He was preceded in death by his father, Otto H. Vanderburg.
He is survived by his loving wife, Kathy; his mother, Doris L. Vanderburg-Bloede of Waukesha; and his brothers, Peter S. Vanderburg of Blanchard, Okla., and Stephen C. Vanderburg of Barnes. He is also survived by sisters and brothers-in-law, as well as cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. Rich was buried in Niceville, Fla., on April 1.
There will be a celebration of his life at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 16, at the Clubhouse at the Riverwalk Apartments, 806 Riverwalk Drive, Waukesha. A luncheon will be served. The family asks that you only bring a favorite memory of Rich.