Van Regenmorter, William J.

VAN REGENMORTER:  On Monday, June 18, 2012 William J. Van Regenmorter, age 73, of Georgetown Township, passed from his home on earth to his home in heaven to live with his Lord, whom he loved and served.  He is now free from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease which he endured for the past 9 years.  He was born on January 29, 1939 to William Sr. and Zora (Van Oss) of Jamestown, MI.  Bill was a man of integrity, humility, and had compassion for all people.  His life’s motto was based on Proverbs 31:8, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”  Bill served in the state legislature in both the House and Senate for 24 years and was chair of the Judiciary Committee for 16 years.  He was a consistent supporter of family values and is best known for having authored the Crime Victim’s Rights Act.  He helped over 30 other states write their crime victim’s rights laws.  During his last term in office, his colleagues re-named the law to the “William Van Regenmorter Crime Victim’s Rights Act.”  He started the Crime Victim Foundation to assist victims and for 20 years hosted the annual crime victim vigil at the Capitol.  Other accomplishments include two successful amendments to the Michigan Constitution, having over 150 bills signed into law, being named legislator of the year 12 times, and being the recipient of over 100 awards, including three national awards.  He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Cheryl (DeVries); 4 children and 10 grandchildren whom he adored, Deb and Dale Hoekwater (Abbey and Jacob Vriesman, Chase, Macy, Grayden), Jeff and Lynn Van Regenmorter (Logan, Jack, Camden), Dan and Chris Van Regenmorter (Mallory, Kendall, Avery), and Jon Van Regenmorter.  Also surviving are his brothers and sisters, Robert and Carolyn Van Regenmorter, Neil and Mary Van Regenmorter, John and Sylvia Van Regenmorter, Judy and Richard Hartwell, Ann and Roy Axford; close cousins, Martha Van Klompenberg, Nancy (David) Bos; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Rodger and Phyllis DeVries, Marva and Bob Van Dyke, Lora and David Nicholson; many extended family members and friends.  A celebration of Bill’s life will be held at 11 am on Friday at Baldwin Street Christian Reformed Church, where he was a charter member, 2101 Baldwin St., Jenison with Rev. Jay Pruim officiating.  Interment Jamestown Township Cemetery.  Relatives and friends may meet the family Wednesday 6-9 pm and Thursday from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at Matthysse-Kuiper-DeGraaf Funeral Home, (Grandville) 4145 Chicago Drive. Memorial contributions may be made to the Crime Victim Foundation or the Parkinson’s Association of West Michigan.

 

“He leaves an indelible impression of wisdom and insight

and we are grateful for his legacy”

Guestbook

William Van Regenmorter June 22, 2012
Bill Van Regenmorter was truly a great man and will be missed more than words can express.
Levada Austin-Giesey, Parents Of Murdered Children
It was an honor to work with Bill on many crime victims rights projects over the years. I will always remember the "fireside chats" with Bill at Higgins Lake with the Crime Victims Rights Forum Group. He left this world a better place.
Deanna Sears, Ottawa County Prosecutor's Office
My sincerest condolences to the Van Regenmorter family. I had the pleasure of working for then Senator Van Regenmorter, and I am forever changed for having known him. He was a true pioneer who was committed to his family, his work and his staff. You are
all in my thoughts and prayers.
Angel Sorrells
Bill was my colleague for several years while I served in the House and he in the House and Senate. I am a liberal Democrat and he was a conservative Republican, but we had tremendous respect for each other. When I announced my retirement from the House,
he told me how sorry he was and that the legislature needed people like me. I told him the legislature needed people like him too. He was an exceptionally intelligent, caring and honorable man. We didn't agree on many issues, but I continued to have the utmost
respect for him--and I still do. My deepest sympathies to his family and all of the people who served so well.
Maxine Berman
My family and I are greatly saddened by the passing of Bill Van Regenmorter. We met him in April of 1990 at the State Capitol celebration of the restored State Capitol. Bill met with families of SOLLO Survivors of Lost Loved Ones for 45 minutes on this
very busy day, and later at the Victim's Rights Ceremony there. Later, as a member of Parents of Murdered Children of the Metro Detroit Chapter, Bill was instrumental in supporting and encouraging our groups efforts to further legislation actions in support
of aiding victims of crime in Michigan. Bill called me a friend and it met so much to my family and me in our time of great sorrow for my son, Chuck.
Joe and Carol Schramek
Bill and I served together in the Senate and on the Judiciary Committee. He was a fair, open, and willing to engage in a honest debate. He will surely be missed.
Virgil Smith
I send my condolences to the Van Regenmorter family. I had the pleasure working for Bill as a legislative intern from 84-85 and remember all the hard work for the Crime Victims Right legislation Bill was working on. I also remember Bill saying this legislation
is not only for my constituents but for all victims of crime. Bill was truly a dedicated, loyal, and honorable man.
Brian Hurtekant, Lansing, MI
Bill was deeply respect by all and helped so many. The angels in heaven are rejoicing! We wish there were may more like him, but Bill was a real jewel and of priceless character; he was a role model for many and a true servant of his Heavenly Father. He
will be missed by many. Our love and prayers go to Cheryl and the family.
Maynard and Betty Juell
Bill was a great friend, inspiration and colleague who contributed greatly to the creation and expansion of crime victims' rights throughout our nation. He was always generous in sharing his time, expertise and insights with others. He came to my state
(Wisconsin) to help us improve our victims' rights statutes and to adopt a state constitutional amendment. He will be greatly missed.
Steve Derene
Matthew 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!"
Harv and Carol Visser
Bill hired me as his constituents relations person in 1992 after having lost my job as a consumer counselor due to legislative budget cuts. Bill was a wonderful boss, as caring and kind as they come, I will always remember all the happy times in Bill's
office (as well as in his home for our staff Christmas party) with great fondness. Cheryl, Please know that I, as well as so many others, believe that Bill will always be remembered as one of the most significant leaders in the history of the Michigan Legislature.
It was such an honor and privilege to work for him. Bill's entire family will be in our hearts and prayers forever. Marcia Cornell and family
Anonymous
I, too, had the honor of working for Bill for several years in the Senate. It is a rare politician - certainly one as powerful as he was - that would in all sincerity say, "call me Bill." I learned so many invaluable personal and professional lessons from
my time with him. Heaven's gain is our collective loss.
Laura Chappelle
To the family of The Honoraable William Van Regenmorter To Cheryl and Family we want to offer our sincere condolences on the passing of your dear husband and family member. We are so glad to have known Bill for so may years . We are also gald that we had
sent him a letter of our thanks for his faithful service upon his retirement. Bill had an enviable record of service with no black marks against him. His Christian upbringing and convictions served him well in the political arena. Once again we offer our Christian
sympathies to all of you. Russ & Doris VerMerris
Anonymous
To the family of Bill Van Regenmorter, Our deepest sympathies from our family to yours. The Avink Family of Jamestown.

Krystal Avink Adcock
Bill Van Regenmorter is a legendary champion for victims of crime and our condolences go out to his family.

Dan Levey-Parents Of Murdered Children
Bill was the consummate public servant- selfless, humble, and with an enduring legacy of accomplishment. I really enjoyed working with him. He was committed to the protection of crime victims and children. We will miss him greatly. I already sense the
introduction of new victim protection measures in the celestial expanse. Godspeed, my friend!

Jay Howell, Founder, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Our heartfelt sympathy to you, Cheryl, and to your family in this time of great sorrow and loss. We pray that God will comfort and uphold you. Ken and Pam Engelsma
Anonymous
It was an honor to know Bill and what he accomplished in the field of victims' rights. He was a giant whose footprints will be visable for generations to come.
John W Gillis, Victim Services Maricopa County; Former Director Office for Victims of Crime
Bill was an inspiration to me. I will never forget his work on behalf of crime victims. He will be missed.
Diane Alexander, Arlington, VA
It was always an honor to take my fourth grade students from Douglas, MI to meet their Senator. We always took him his faorite: chocolate chip cookies. He always took time to meet us when he was in Lansing when we were, taking us ino the old Supreme Court
or on the House or Senate floor. He was awesome with the children, talking to them sincerely about victim's rights. Condolences to his family.
Mrs. Laura Sullivan
We are sorry to learn of your brother's passing, Judy and Richard, (Hartwell). It's been so long since we heard from you. I hope you and your kids are doing well.
Al and Lynn (Langejans) Bos
Bill was the true pioneer in the crime victims right field. Many victims around the country owe a great deal to him for his leadership in getting constitutional protection for crime victims.

Paul Cassell, University of Utah College of Law
To Cheryl and Family- sending sincere condolances-truly an honorable man-allows had interesting conversations with Bill when we came to work by your house-May God give you peace and comfort in the days ahead
Henry & Lori Katerbergwxvsry
Dear Cheryl, I remember many years ago, when we lived in Jenison, that you and Bill befriended us, and I know we went out one time together to a West Side restaurant. Our relationship was cut short because we moved to Grandville, and lost track of each
other in the years to come. We always thought a lot of you and Bill, though, and thought you were both top-notch people. We were proud to say that we had an opportunity to get to know Bill and Cheryl Van Regenmorter. He was a first-class polititian, and person,Love
and Condolences,
Michael and Susan Palazzolo
Was so sorry to hear of your loss, I worked with Cheryl at Rogers Dept Store. She is one great lady!

Laurie (Sovereign) Muntter

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